Cloud atlas

(27 Posts)
motherofvikings Thu 23-May-13 09:38:41

I've been meaning to read this for ages and finally downloaded it on my kindle.

It is SUCH hard going for me. I am a fairly intelligent person but I got so fed up of having to look up the meaning of some of the words! blush

Does it get easier or should I give it up now?
I like to read to relax so this is not ideal! confused

GuffSmuggler Thu 23-May-13 09:40:43

I found it totally bizarre and didn't enjoy it at all, yet I know some people who think it's one of the best books they've ever read!

I struggled to the end and wish I hadn't bothered.

I couldn't finish it. Despite numerous attempts. I gave up in the end.

No book that requires so much effort is going to be worth it in the end for me. The whole point of reading is pleasure.

There are lots of people on here who love it though.

<waits for Cote to turn up and tell me I'm a dumbass grin>

TwasBrillig Thu 23-May-13 09:46:51

I loved it and thought it was a really good book. Having finished it you see just how clever it is with all the stories having their own distinct style and the themes that run throughout. I loved it. . .

... But I did find it hard going at times. I'd tried it before and given up and only got into it this time as it was abookclub one. I didn't enjoy the first story or the style it was in but each section does get to an end and you get to a new story . . . So its worth persevering. I enjoyed the second half even more than the first as you revisit each story.

It was a book that required effort, and quite a lot of time, but I do think its worth it.

Carolra Thu 23-May-13 09:52:01

Oooh I didn't get on with Cloud Atlas at all. I read every single bloody page... my advice is to gift it to Oxfam. I'd just finished Shantaram so maybe picking up another massive book straight afterwards was stupid.... but don't bother finishing it if you're not enjoying it, life is too short!

Stircrazyafteralltheseyears Thu 23-May-13 09:54:43

I found it very absorbing - the way each section is subtly linked (via names/themes etc) and the way it is structured through time, from the past into the (apocalyptic) future. Isn't there a recent film of it? - I wonder if it's worth watching. Must have been a challenge to film....

Eskino Thu 23-May-13 09:57:29

My favourite book.

It sometimes crops up in my mind, years after reading it. Sign of a goodun.

motherofvikings Thu 23-May-13 10:07:05

I'm so relieved I'm not the only one to struggle with it! smile

was worried too many sleepless nights with dc had left me a bit thick

GypsyJo Thu 23-May-13 10:24:44

I got a third of the way through and then packed it in. I probably wouldn't have continued that long with it apart from a friend gave it me a while ago for world book night. Just didn't get it at all.

BaconAndAvocado Thu 23-May-13 20:22:56

I also found parts of it a huge slog but loved the sections about the old guy in the old people's home. Superb!

Overall though, for me, it was too much like hard work.

Film is great. Apart from dodgy noses grin

CoteDAzur Fri 24-May-13 10:01:49

Bunny grin

No, it is not a light read but it is ambitious, brilliant, and very satisfying.

If anyone is interested, here is the short thread where I put down what I got out of it - themes running through it, etc.

GoodbyePorkPie Fri 24-May-13 16:10:39

I loved it so much. Was completely absorbed in the characters and tracing the themes through each chapter. Was blown away by Mitchell's ability to jump between styles.

It does take some getting into though, and not all of the stories are as good as others. But my advice is to persevere!

maillotjaune Fri 24-May-13 19:14:48

I loved it, but I don't read just to relax.

How far have you got? I'm not great at persevering with books I'm not enjoying and it's hard to know when to give up.

motherofvikings Fri 24-May-13 20:56:53

I'm definitely still in the early stages of the first story. Well, that or nothing really happens in that bit confused it's hard to know when you're on a kindle.

I'm fairly sure I'm going to give up. It's just not gripping me or even enjoyable so far.

wiltingfast Fri 24-May-13 23:01:01

Loved it, but I'm terribly tired of regular fiction reading it since I was 11 cloud atlas was just so interesting!

MrsFawley Fri 24-May-13 23:04:44

2nd story is a much easier read (it took me a few attempts to get going with chapter one)You might even enjoy it!

jkklpu Fri 24-May-13 23:06:45

There have been quite a few threads on MN about this - I'm in the "hated it" camp and wish I'd given up. Sloosha's bloody crossing, anyone?

MrsFawley Fri 24-May-13 23:09:03

Yes Sloosha's crossing is the only story I didn't read in the end (just skimmed it to see if I was missing anything crucial).

StrangeGlue Fri 24-May-13 23:13:45

I think it is worth it. I liked some of the bits of it and not others but worth it in retrospect

maillotjaune Sat 25-May-13 19:14:55

I remember being ever so confused when I got to the end of the first story - started reading with no knowledge of the book at all and was just about to blame yet more kindle formatting issues until I flicked forward a bit!

You might just want to get into the second story but if you still don't like that then life's too short isn't it?

CoteDAzur Sun 26-May-13 13:03:52

OP - To answer your question: No, it doesn't get "easier" and if you don't like books that are not easy, this one probably isn't for you.

On the other hand, it is sometimes worth persevering with a book to arrive at the vantage point the author wants you at and see things in a different way. Then, you can look back at the journey of the book and be glad that you have read it, hard as it may have been.

Meanwhile, looking up words on Kindle is very easy with the built-in dictionary - you just come to the word and its definition appears automatically.

It's funny how these threads sometimes go. Yes, life is short but if it is long enough to read 20 fluffy books, surely it is long enough to persevere with one difficult but hugely rewarding book.

basildonbond Sun 26-May-13 21:45:35

I loved Cloud Atlas - as I was reading it I was in awe of David Mitchell's command of structure and language and it's tremendously satisfying in the end

I'd definitely say it was worth persevering

SkaterGrrrrl Sun 26-May-13 23:06:37

Another fan here. Just love that book. Keep going, OP!

CremeEggThief Sun 26-May-13 23:09:01

I finished it, as I read it as part of a Book Group, but I didn't like it. I thought it was imaginative and well-written, in fairness, but it just didn't grab me.

I watched the film on Sunday and loved it. So much so that I downloaded the book immediately.

I have been disappointed with the book, which I never thought would happen. I'm about half way through and although I'm enjoying it because I know what is going to happen, I don't find the writing style especially engaging and would probably had given up by now had I not seen the film.

I didn't like Black Swan Green much either tbh. I will persevere because I really want to see how things tie up together.

Trills Tue 11-Jun-13 21:46:57

I really enjoyed it.

I don't think I'm giving too much away when I say that there are a number of different stories, told in different styles.

If the Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing is not to your taste, there will be another story along soonish (the story I liked the style of the least was the last one, which made things easier for me)

FreakoidOrganisoid Tue 11-Jun-13 21:49:37

I've started it at least six times but failed to get into it. One day maybe!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now