(find judgment here)
by David Mitchell
"What I wouldn't give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds."In one word: wow. It's the first book where I agree with every back cover quote. And I found myself stopping to pencil down favorite bits and lines for future reference. And, by the end, all I wanted to do was read it again.
It was that good. It was everything, and it was amazing.
Cloud Atlas is a beautiful tale of human resilience and what makes someone good. Is it something taught or experienced, or realized at the most dire time? It's a story within a story within a story within a story, and at the heart of it is a tale of a man unknowingly influenced by all the highlighted lives before him. It's interesting to imagine what impact a life has, and it's beautiful to see them ricochet between stories here. And if you wonder how Mitchell can pull off six stories in one book--ranging from nineteenth century letters of a sailor to a post-apocalyptic man unaware of what the world was--don't you worry about it. He is a genius of storytelling and characterization. Every story feels different, every character feels real, and every twist makes me want to read it over and over again.
It really was more than a book, more than an escape--it's a second life, and it claims you whole. I found myself mesmerized for hours, absorbed by each character and each varying story, landscape, lesson. Even for its heart--that being one of redemption and reincarnation, second chances--it never came off as preachy. Just metaphysical. And I loved the...wonderment. It was astounding. Breathtaking. Intoxicating. Liberating.
I loved it. It's a new favorite, and I don't see it being replaced any time soon.