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Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas

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Winner of Best Read of the Year and the Literary Fiction Award at the British Book Awards 2005. David Mitchell entices his readers on to a rollercoaster, and at first they wonder if they want to get off. Then - at least in my case - they can't bear the journey to end. Like Scheherazade, and like serialised Victorian novels and modern soaps, he ends his episodes on cliffhangers and missed heartbeats. But unlike these, he starts his next tale in another place, in another time, in another vocabulary, and expects us to go through it all again. Trust the tale. He reaches a cumulative ending of all of them, and then finishes them all individually, giving a complete narrative pleasure that is rare.

If you like David Mitchell you might also like to read books by Susan Hill, Michel Faber and Hisham Matar.


Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas has been made into a film with a luminary cast including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent. CLOUD ATLAS will be released in cinemas across the UK on 22nd February 2013 and you can see a trailer of it below.

By the author of THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET, David Mitchell's bestselling and Booker Prize-shortlisted novel, one of Richard & Judy's 100 Books of the Decade, CLOUD ATLAS has now been adapted for film. The major motion picture, directed by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer, stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent and Hugh Grant. The novel features six characters in interlocking stories, each interrupting the one before it: a reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a hig-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified dinery server on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation. The narrators of CLOUD ATLAS hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changes in ways great and small.


'A remarkable book ... there won't be a bigger, bolder novel this year.'

'An impeccable dance of genres ... an elegiac, radiant festival of prescience, meditation and entertainment.'
The Times

'His wildest ride yet ... a singular achievement, from an author of extraordinary ambition and skill'
Matt Thorne, Independent on Sunday

'David Mitchell entices his readers onto a rollercoaster, and at first they wonder if they want to get off. Then - at least in my case - they can't bear the journey to end.'
AS Byatt, Guardian

'Mitchell's storytelling in CLOUD ATLAS is of the best. I was, appropriately, captivated.'
Lawrence Norfolk, Independent

'The best novel of the year so far ... a thrilling ride of a story'
Philip Hensher, Summer Reading, Observer

'Impeccably structured novel of ideas in many voices by a talent to watch.'
Literary Editor's Best Books, Observer'

About the Author

David Mitchell

Born in 1969, David Mitchell grew up in Worcestershire. After graduating from Kent University, he taught English in Japan, where he wrote his first novel, Ghostwritten. Published in 1999, it was awarded the Mail on Sunday John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, number9dream, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and in 2003, David Mitchell was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. His third novel, Cloud Atlas, was shortlisted for six awards including the Man Booker Prize, and adapted for film in 2012. It was followed by Black Swan Green, shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which was a No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. Both were also longlisted for the Booker. In 2013, The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice From the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida was published in a translation from the Japanese by David Mitchell and KA Yoshida. It was an immediate bestseller in the UK and later in the US as well.

Author photo © Paul Stuart

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd November 2012


David Mitchell

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Sceptre an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division


560 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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