Cooper Levey-Baker, Associate Editor of the Sarasota News Leader, has made the case for Cloud Atlas as the next One Book. Vote for Cloud Atlas if you agree with his comments below:
The first thing to say about David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas” is that I’ve never read another book quite like it. There are plenty of generation-spanning novels in the canon, books that track a family’s trajectory as the decades pile up. But how many civilization-spanning novels have you read?
I don’t want to give away too much about how exactly Mitchell builds the book’s ornate structure, but “Cloud Atlas” features six major storylines, each set in a different historical or imaginary, futuristic milieu. And for each plot, Mitchell adjusts his voice accordingly, parodying the style of seafaring narratives in the opening section and imagining what English might sound like after an apocalypse in another.
That description might make the book sound dull and needlessly complicated. Not true. Once you figure out what Mitchell is up to, his novel becomes addictive, and the reading experience turns into a race to figure out how (or if) all the pieces come together. As you move through the book, there is true suspense in whether or not Mitchell can possibly live up to his formal ambitions. Spoiler alert: he does.