Finally, finally, finally I've finished David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas". It has taken me weeks, in between everything else, and I have to say that at times it was hard going enough to make me consider giving up. As you will have gathered, I did not find it an easy read.... but in the end I decided it was a truly amazing one.
The plot is convoluted - six different narratives scroll through the book and connect together at the end. But it takes a leap of faith to believe that such different voices and such different stories can connect in any meaningful way. They do, though. He plays with the way that language has been used in literary narrative over the past two hundred years: some parts of the book are pure pastiche, while the whole book is something quite original indeed.
It's an intellectual read - a funny and at times an annoying read - but certainly a challenging read.
As I read it mostly late at night once I was finally bed, I'd often fall asleep while reading it. And several nights it infiltrated my dreams in unsettling ways. I feel really bereft now I've finished it - which is a testament to how consumed by the book I felt. And I've spent much time pondering the complex messages and themes which Mitchell is exploring.
Have you read this incredible book? If not, I'd recommend it to you. Let me know!
It was on the... 18th January, actually
23 hours ago