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Literary Review: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

This was probably one of the more unique ways of storytelling that I have seen in a very long time. Taking six seemingly independent short stories and tying them together where not only does one influence the next, but they all have common threads and tie-ins with one another… rather fun to see and watch.

Now… I know there is a film out there that was inspired, adapted from the book itself, but I haven’t seen it and I still have yet to decide if I really wanted to… so until then I will focus more on the short stories and what I liked and didn’t like… come to think of it lets my life easier and just do a quick list first:
1: The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing – Meh
2: Letters from Zedelghem – Meh
3: Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery – Love
4: The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish – Like
5: An Orison of Sonmi~451 – Love
6: Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After – Meh

So the second half of the post I would focus on those that I either liked or loved and those that got a “meh” I might go ahead and talk a little about them, but not really… mainly because they were just “meh” to me.

Anyway, the novel opens with a short story that goes into the past and continues until it reaches a particular climax when it then opens the next story in chronological order and stops when that hits the climax and rinse and repeat until the sixth story in the series when it goes uninterrupted until a moment in time when the action has ended and the protagonist (or relation thereof) goes back to the story, film, inspiration that drove some of the action in their particular thread and opens to the climax of the previous story and so on…. confused yet?

Well… let’s look at it from a numeric point of view:

first half of story 1 –>
first half of story 2 –>
first half of story 3 –>
first half of story 4 –>
first half of story 5 –> story 6 –> second half of story 5 –>
second half of story 4 –>
second half of story 3 –>
second half of story 2 –>
second half of story 1

It is like opening a book in the middle and placing another book in it and opening that in the middle and rinse and repeat for up to six books and then just read all six books straight through like that. A little disconcerting to be sure, but fun to me nonetheless.

So now let’s go into the short stories… shall we?
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