leader of the Valleymen, teacher, and spiritual guide
community leader of the Abbey and Union safe house outside of Neo So Corpos.
son of Meronym
Young government employee who interviews Sonomi-451 before her execution.
stowaway on the the Prophetess who befriends Adam Ewing and saves his life. Possibly the last free Moriori.
famous composer and mentor/host to Robert Frobisher. His music inspired Frobisher to write Cloud Atlas Sextet. Husband of Jocasta and father to Eva.
was kidnapped and possibly enslaved by the Kona. Zachry’s older brother.
was saved by Prescient medicine. Zachry’s sister.
Zachry’s mother and host to Meronym
killed by the Kona. Zachry’s father.
narrator of Sloosha’s Crossin’: An’ Ev’rythi’ After. Zachry tells his life story to his son and begins the tale on the day of his father’s death by the vicious Kona tribe. Zachry’s accidental involvement and his self professed cowardice indices Old Georgie, the devil, to tempt Zachry throughout his life. Old Georgie’s manifestations occur whenever Zachry is faced with an important decision. He would rather follow the teachings of Sonmi, the God of the Valleymen, but is often tempted, especially when Meronym, the Prescient arrives in the Valley. Zachry eventually learns to trust her but feels she is hiding something. Zachry accompanies Meronym on a dangerous journey to Mauna Kea to collect important information from the observatories. Later he is kidnapped and enslaved by the Kona but is freed by Meronym. The Valley is destroyed and Zachry goes to live with Meronym and the Prescients.
Timothy Cavendish’s friend and fellow escapee at Aurora House. Ernie was the mastermind behind the escape. He dates Veronica Costello and was once a jack of all trades. He is of Scottish ancestry.
brutal first mate of the Prophetess who rapes Rafael and belittles Adam Ewing.
the ignorant post-grad that torments Somni-451 after her release from Papa Song’s. He genetically engineered Yoona 939 and Sonmi-451’s Soap to make them more like purebloods.
Denholme (Denny) Cavendish
Timothy’s brother who tricks him into going to Aurora House. Denny later dies of a possible stroke at his home.
Denny’s wife and Timothy’s former lover.
the narrator of The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish. He is a vanity publisher in his late sixties, early seventies. He enjoys some notoriety after one of his author’s kills a literary critic but is forced to leave London when the author’s family blackmails him for more money. Cavendish goes to Aurora House in Hull and mistakenly believes it is a hotel. He realizes, to his great chagrin, that he has been tricked by his brother, Denny, into enrolling himself in a nursing home. The strict staff refuses to let him leave and he is reprimanded and drugged by the malcontent Nurse Noakes. Cavendish suffers a minor stroke, induced by Noakes, but eventually escapes Aurora House with the help of his friends. While imprisoned, Cavendish reads the manuscript for Half Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery and decides to publish the book upon his release.
A Unionist who helps Sonmi-451 escape Papa Song’s.
resident of Aurora House and former hat maker. She is the girlfriend of Ernie Blacksmith and escapes with Timothy Cavendish.
employee of Aurora House.
Edward Elgar, Sir
famous musician, composer, and friend of Vyvyan Ayrs.
spiritual leader and missionary on the Chatman Islands.
Californian notary and main character of the Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing. He is sent to New South Wales to settle the estate of a client. He keeps a journal of his travels, which is later published by his son, Jackson, and in turn read by Robert Frobisher, in the second section of Cloud Atlas. He travels on the Prophetess toward Hawaii with the intention of going home to California. He experiences the strange new world of the South Pacific and is morally concerned over the fate of the Natives/Aboriginals who he meets. He saves Autua, a free Moriori and befriends Dr. Goose, a false surgeon who tries to murder Ewing during the journey. Ewing, after recovering from his near death experience, is eager to make a difference in an unjust world.
Adam Ewing’s young son who later publishes his father’s journal.
Adam Ewing’s wife.
antagonistic friend of Boom-Sook Kim.
manipulative associate of Seaboard Inc. in charge of public relations. She tires to steal the Sixsmith report from Luisa Rey with disastrous results.
Felix Finch, Sir
literary critic killed at the Lemon Prize Awards by Dermot Hoggins.
crewmate on the Prophetess.
Robert Frobisher’s older brother. He died in WWI in Belgium in an unmarked grave.
main character and narrator of Letters from Zedelghem. Frobisher writes to his friend and former lover, Rufus Sixsmith, of his misfortunes in England, having been kicked out of University and abounded by his father. Frobisher, a composer, goes to Belgium in search of Vyvyan Ayrs, the famous but ailing composer. Frobisher talks his way into staying with Ayrs and his wife Jocosta. He becomes the composer’s protégée. Never one to waste a financial opportunity Frobisher sells some of Ayrs’ possessions and sleeps with his wife. Frobisher becomes disenchanted with the arrangement when Ayrs refuses to credit him in their collaborations and their relationship suffers. Ayrs tells Frobisher he may stay with them and continue to work as his assistant but he will never be able to rise above his ruined reputation. Devastated but determined Frobisher leaves Ayrs’ home and rents an apartment. There he writes his own masterpiece, the Cloud Atlas Sextet. He writes to Sixsmith once more before killing himself.
editor of Spyglass magazine and Lusia’s boss.
CEO of Seaboard Inc. Killed by his own company.
Luisa Rey’s young neighbor.
Henry Goose, Dr.
traitorous and manipulative doctor who accompanies Adam Ewing on his voyage. He tries to kill Ewing by slowly poisoning him over the course of their journey.
Union leader and friend of Sonmi-451. He helps Sonmi-451 acclimate to life as a pureblood and later introduces her to Union. He reveals why Union is interested in her and shows her the slaughterhouse of Papa Song’s Ark which inspires her to write the “Declarations” in support of fabricant rights. He is also her lover.
author of Knuckle Sandwich who was sent to prison for the murder of Sir Felix Finch. His book helped catapult Timothy Cavendish’s financial success and subsequent misadventures.
one of three Dermot’s thuggish brothers who tires to blackmail Timothy Cavendish.
one of three Dermot’s thuggish brothers who tires to blackmail Timothy Cavendish
one of three Dermot’s thuggish brothers who tires to blackmail Timothy Cavendish.
replaces Alerto Grimaldi as CEO of Seaboard Inc.
missionary and leading member of the congregation at the church of Cape Nazareth. Has set theories about civilization and the progression of its future. Contradicts Christian ideals by slowly enslaving the Native Polynesians he helped “save.”
who is kind to Ewing during his stay in Cape Nazareth. Married to Mr. Horrox.
disgruntled son of an Aurua House patient and owner of the car used in Cavendish’s escape.
mother of Zachry’s first child.
Luisa Rey’s co-worker at Spyglass magazine.
Aurora House receptionist.
black market bookseller who propositions Frobisher for sex.
Yoona-939’s replacement and new stem type at Papa Song’s.
Cavendish’s loyal secretary.
Leary the Hilo
Valleyman turned traitor. He was apart of the Kona raiding party that enslaved Zachry and pillaged the Valley.
Union member who gives Sonmi-451 and Hae-Joo new identities.
quiet gentlemen and friend of Cavendish at Aurora House. He stows away during Cavendish’s escape and instigates a fight in a Scottish bar.
respected Boardman at the University in Neo So Corpos who takes Sonmi-451 away from Papa Song’s and encourages her to take classes. He also rescues her from Boom-Sook Kim and later supposedly commits suicide once his Union activities are discovered by the authorities.
a member of the Prescients, the last advanced race in the world after the Fall of civilization. She arrives on Big I and stays with the Bailey family. Meronym is scouting the Valley to see if it is suitable for co-habitation. She and Zachry become close and they save each other from various perils. Meronym has a comet birthmark and Zachry believes she is the reincarnation of Sonmi-451.
the greedy and unjust captain of the Prophetess.
Napes of Inouye
Valleyman who accompanies Meronym to the Icon’ry. He tells the story of his ancestor, Truman Napes and his adventures going to Mauna Kea.
According to folk legend, he climbed to the top of Mauna Kea, befriended a dead man, and escaped Old Georgie with his soul still intact.
Seaboard Inc. employee in charge of security. Former cop and friend of Lester Rey. Napier helps Luisa Rey take down Seaboard.
antagonistic nurse that induces a stroke in Timothy Cavendish during his stay at Aurora House. She bullies her residents and uses both violence and psychological abuse to subdue them.
replaces Dom Grelsch as editor of Spyglass. Fires Luisa Rey at the request of Seaboard Inc.
Valleymen devil who stones the souls of his victims so they cannot be reborn. Zachry is manipulated by Old Georgie who periodically appears and tries to persuade him to go against Sonmi, the Valleymen’s God.
mascot and Logoman leader for the popular restaurant chain of the same name. Papa Song is a parody of Ronald McDonald.
young Australian crewman of the Prophetess who kills himself after being raped by other crewmembers.
Luisa’s affluent mother.
Luisa’s recently deceased father, former police officer and celebrated journalist.
main character of the Half Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery. She is a gossip columnist for Spyglass magazine but wants to become an investigative journalist like her father, Lester Rey. Luisa meets Rufus Sixsmith in an elevator and she becomes entangled in solving his murder and revealing the extent of corruption within Seaboard Inc. Sixsmith’s report on their new HYRDRA reactor would have taken down the company but after his murder by Bill Smoke, Seaboard’s hired hand, Luisa takes up the cause and almost dies twice as a result. She reads the letters written to Sixsmith by his former lover, Robert Frobisher, and believes she his reincarnation.
overseer of the Papa Song fabricants who overdoses on Soap.
adulterous wife of Seer Rhee.
partial owner and activist of Swannekke Island. She was brutally beaten by Bill Smoke on the orders of Alberto Grimaldi.
is a scientist and employee of Seaboard. He befriends and perhaps falls in love with Luisa Rey. Sachs was a colleague of Rufus Sixsmith and later puts a copy of the HYDRA report in Luisa’s car. He is killed in a plane explosion shortly thereafter.
scientist and Rufus Sixsmith’s niece.
scientist and Robert Frobisher’s lover. He is killed by Bill Smoke after sending Luisa Rey a report denouncing an unsafe reactor. He is the only character to have an active role in two different storylines of Cloud Atlas, appearing in “Letters from Zedelghem” and “Half Lives The First Luisa Rey Mystery.”
hired hitman for Seaboard Inc. He killed Rufus Sixsmith among others and tried to kill Luisa Rey.
main character and primary narrator of the An Orison of Sonmi-451 section. Sonmi-451 is interviewed by an Archivist. She tells her life story from her time spent serving in the restaurant, Papa Song’s, as a fabricant/clone and later reveals her activities with Union, the rebellious Abolitionist group that wants to take down Neo So Corpos and its corrupt corporations. Sonmi-451, as a fabricant, is born into slavery but because of Union’s involvement she was able to attend University and advance not only her education but her understanding of the world. Toward the end of her life, before she is executed, she reveals her hope that a successor will take her place and be inspired by her life and words and they will in turn free the fabricants. Sonmi-451 was killed shortly after her interview but her philosophy helped inspire a rebellion. Her image was worshipped by the Valleymen, a post apocalyptic tribe, who believed she was merciful God of reincarnation.
Swedish crewman of the Prophetess interested in finding gold in California.
former lover and friend of Timothy Cavendish.
Eva van Outrye de Crommelynck
daughter of Vyvyan Ayrs and Jocasta.
Jocasta van Outrye de Crommelynck
wife of Vyvyan Ayrs and Robert Frobisher’s lover.
Hester van Zandt
Environmental activist and leader of the protesters against Seaboard Inc. on Swannekke Island.
Corrupt Vice CEO of Seaboard.
the wild and unruly stepson of Mr. Wagstaff, acquaintance of Adam Ewing.
a dissatisfied gentlemen who befriends Adam Ewing in the Cape of Nazareth.
a disgruntled wife and mother in the Cape of Nazareth.
fabricant that befriends Sonmi-451 at University. He is killed in a fire during an experiment.
mean-spirited employee of Aurora House who beats Timothy Cavendish with a cane.
Union member killed by Neo So Corpos during Sonmi-451 and Hae Joo’s escape from University.
fabricant of Papa Song’s and only friend of Sonmi-451. Yoona-939’s intelligence, her interest in life outside of Papa Song’s, and her subsequent death inspired Sonmi-451 to question her the world around her.
Cloud Atlas Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Cloud Atlas is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.