Cloud Atlas

“Mother used to say escape is never further than the nearest book. Well, Mumsy, no, not really. Your beloved large-print sagas of rags, riches, and heartbreak were no camouflage against the miseries trained on you by the tennis ball launcher of life, were they? But, yes, Mum, there again, you have a point. Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.”

“It’s true, reading too many novels makes you go blind.” This is one of my favourite quotes from one the most mind-blowing books I’ve read recently… Cloud Atlas. Written by David Mitchell and published in 2004, this book will suck you in and make you think… Like, really think. Past, future, love, death, reincarnation, hope, courage, knowledge, power, change, fate… Are our lives connected? Can everything be connected? The novel comprises of six stories that take you from mid-19th century to a post-apocalyptic future. Quite common you’d say… only it isn’t. The structure of the novel is everything but common. The first story begins, stops mid-sentence after 40 pages and you are being introduced to the next one. This goes on until you reach the last (whole and uninterrupted) story and then you are reprising the earlier ones in the reverse chronological order. Meaning that the book finishes with the conclusion of the first story. The end is the beginning is the end.

I am a rather impatient book reader. I hate leaving books/stories unfinished and its structure would normally put me off, if it weren’t for the brilliant writing of the author. Also, since the stories are interwoven, you are given a hint of what happened to the main character from the previous story. What is really refreshing is that the style of the writing changes along with the stories. For example, the first story is written as a diary. The second one is a letter compilation to a recipient you will get to meet in the third story. Interesting, huh?

Have a lovely day! 

modisher

admin is Fali’s Senior Editor. Arleen has been writing professionally for over 10 years. From 2005-2015, she covered the advertising and marketing industry for Majalah Dewasa.

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