David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas

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David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is perhaps better known for its film version now, but I assure you: the book is far better. The work consists of six interconnected stories that span from the nineteenth century to a post-apocalyptic future. The stories themselves are each interesting, particularly those set before the current time. Personally I found the few vignettes set in the imagined future the least compelling, perhaps because they struck me as almost caricatures of a possible future. Together, the six tales explore key questions about human nature. Similar challenges and moral questions arise in all the narratives. The issues play out in different ways depending on the precise circumstances, but the larger concern with how people relate to one another link the stories together. Overall, the book lives up to its hype and rewards readers who enjoy trying to see the connecting threads between not-fully-distinct tales.

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