Monday, February 12, 2018

David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas: A Book Review

Click the picture to purchase and support.
After hearing about it for years, I finally grabbed David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and gave it a read. First off, this book is not for everyone. It is about the journey, a journey full of jagged edges in all the right ways, and its postmodern, experimental style will make you first work to understand the six disparate story lines and then to combine the storylines into one opus. Ranging from nineteenth century colony exploration to a murder mystery to a society of slave replicants to the post-apocalyptic remains of humanity, Mitchell digs into the human psyche. His characters are concerned about, searching for, and trying to find meaning in general.

In a sense, Mitchell exposes the fundamental exploration of humanity: meaning, purpose, and of course survival. While not littered with the term existentialism, a cursory analysis reveals a notary clinging to life and a meaning, a composer unable to come to grips with his existence while finally creating his one true opus, a reporter in a quest to expose her abilities and the dangers of a nuclear power plant, a publisher trying to escape an inexplicable commitment to a retirement home, a freed clone seeking to understand a world of slavery, and a final remnant of humanity clinging to his choices in an effort to both survive and find his humanity. Like I stated earlier, this piece is about the journey, the fascination, the dialects, and the mysterious overlaps that will haunt you as you look for the comet hiding in the heavens or lingering as a birthmark on the shoulder.

No comments:

Post a Comment