Cloud Atlas


Cloud Atlas had positive reviews from most critics, who felt that it managed to successfully interweave its six stories. The BBC's Keily Oakes said that although the structure of the book could be challenging for readers, "David Mitchell has taken six wildly different stories ... and melded them into one fantastic and complex work."[3] Kirkus Reviews called the book "sheer storytelling brilliance."[4] Laura Miller of the New York Times compared it to the "perfect crossword puzzle," in that it was challenging to read but still fun.[5] The Observer‍ '​s Hephzibah Anderson called the novel "exhilarating" and commented positively on the links between all six stories.[6] Author and Booker Prize winner A. S. Byatt in a review for The Guardian wrote that it gives "a complete narrative pleasure that is rare."[7] The Washington Post‍ '​s Jeff Turrentine called it a "highly satisfying, and unusually thoughtful, addition to the expanding 'puzzle book' genre."[8] In its "Books Briefly Noted" section, The New Yorker called the novel "virtuosic."[9] Marxist literary critic Fredric Jameson viewed the novel as a new, science-fiction-inflected variation on the historical novel now "defined by its relation to future fully as much as to past."[10]

Criticism focused on the book's failure to meet its lofty goals. F&SF reviewer Robert K. J. Killheffer praised Mitchell's "talent and inventiveness and willingness to adopt any mode or voice that furthers his ends," but noted that "for all its pleasures, Cloud Atlas falls short of revolutionary."[11] The Daily Telegraph gave the novel a mixed review, focusing on its clashing themes, with Theo Tait noting: "In short, Cloud Atlas spends half its time wanting to be The Simpsons and the other half the Bible."[12]

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.