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Cloud Atlas

by david mitchell

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One of the greatest difficulties with reading a novel where structure has become so inverted is to get past that inversion and still appreciate the story. David Mitchell has constructed his novel Cloud Atlas from six novellas which are broken up in Russian-doll style with the first half of the first story coming first and the last half of the first story being last so that the stories sandwich each other like this: 1 2 3 4 5 6 5 4 3 2 1. The reason to do something like this should not be just to do it and Mitchell does make great efforts to tie his stories together but ultimately the cleverness of the conceit never gets much beyond that: being clever. The upside is that his ability in this effort is fluid and flawless, his prose brilliant.

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ISBN: 0812984412
6 of 10 Votes: 5