Where has David Mitchell been all my reading life? People have raved to me about David Mitchell many times and after seeing the excitement over proof copies of his new novel, The Bone Clocks, (due out in September) I finally decided to find out what all the fuss was about. Cloud Atlas was universally declared as the place to start and David Mitchell immediately blew me away.
On the surface Cloud Atlas appears to be six separate stories and they each work independently of one another. The stories range from a colonial journal, to a 1970s political thriller through to post-apocalyptic vision of our world. Each story is a magnificent piece of storytelling. Mitchell’s use of language is staggering in its skill, imagination and breadth. Each story takes his writing to new levels with the sixth story astonishing in its linguistic achievement and storytelling.
But the genius of Cloud Atlas is the way that David Mitchell has joined these stories together. The stories are interlocked in intricate and subtle ways. At first it feels like you are adding layers and when you reach the apex of Mitchell’s timeline you begin peeling them back. But it is even more than that. It is very much a sextet of stories. Each carefully arranged and conducted by an author who is unconfined by time, space or genre and utilizing the limitlessness of his imagination.
Each year I manage to discover a new author who I have missed along the way. This year’s discovery is a goldmine and I cannot wait to devour David Mitchell’s other books before diving in to The Bone Clocks which has been described as “his most Cloud Atlas-y novel since the global phenomenon Cloud Atlas”. Can’t wait!!
Classification: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Format: Paperback (197mm x 130mm x 35mm)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 9-Sep-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom