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Extended Audio Sample Cloud Atlas: A Novel Audiobook, by David Mitchell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (68,083 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Mitchell Narrator: Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, Kirby Heyborne, John Lee, Simon Vance, various narrators Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2004 ISBN: 9780739305058
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Breathtaking in scope, Cloud Atlas is one of those rare novels that both captivates the imagination and challenges the mind of its readers. Consisting of six intricately interwoven stories told from the viewpoint of their protagonists that span across space and time, Cloud Atlas introduces us to a varied list of fascinating characters, all connected in ways that they could not have initially foreseen. Adam Ewing, the unwilling traveler crossing the Pacific in the mid 18th century; Robert Frobisher, a disowned and penniless composer attempting to make his way in 1931 Belgium; Luisa Rey, a young idealistic journalist living in Buenas Yerbas, California, in 1975; Timothy Cavendish, the 65-year-old vanity press publisher on the run from his gangster creditors in present-day England; Sonmi~451, a genetically engineered clone slave sentenced to death for rebellion; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander living in a primitive post-apocalyptic future. Linked in ways they cannot imagine, the narrators of Cloud Atlas find their destinies are changed in ways both subtle and profound. Cloud Atlas offer a breathtaking meditation on humanity's dangerous inclination toward power, and what future may lie ahead as a result.

Winner of numerous literary awards including the prestigious British Book Awards Literary Fiction Award, Cloud Atlas is an intriguingly unique novel that you're unlikely to forget for quite some time.

By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks | Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

A postmodern visionary and one of the leading voices in twenty-first-century fiction, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending, philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction as profound as it is playful. In this groundbreaking novel, an influential favorite among a new generation of writers, Mitchell explores with daring artistry fundamental questions of reality and identity.

Cloud Atlas begins in 1850 with Adam Ewing, an American notary voyaging from the Chatham Isles to his home in California. Along the way, Ewing is befriended by a physician, Dr. Goose, who begins to treat him for a rare species of brain parasite. . . . Abruptly, the action jumps to Belgium in 1931, where Robert Frobisher, a disinherited bisexual composer, contrives his way into the household of an infirm maestro who has a beguiling wife and a nubile daughter. . . . From there we jump to the West Coast in the 1970s and a troubled reporter named Luisa Rey, who stumbles upon a web of corporate greed and murder that threatens to claim her life. . . . And onward, with dazzling virtuosity, to an inglorious present-day England; to a Korean superstate of the near future where neocapitalism has run amok; and, finally, to a postapocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii in the last days of history.

But the story doesn’t end even there. The narrative then boomerangs back through centuries and space, returning by the same route, in reverse, to its starting point. Along the way, Mitchell reveals how his disparate characters connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

As wild as a videogame, as mysterious as a Zen koan, Cloud Atlas is an unforgettable tour de force that, like its incomparable author, has transcended its cult classic status to become a worldwide phenomenon.

List of Readers:
The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing, read by Scott Brick
Letters From Zedelghem, read by Richard Matthews
Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery, read by Cassandra Campbell
The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish, read by John Lee
An Orison of Sonmi~451, read by Kim Mai Guest
Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After, read by Kirby Heyborne Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Cloud Atlas ought to make [Mitchell] famous on both sides of the Atlantic as a writer whose fearlessness is matched by his talent. The Washington Post Book World
  • Thrilling . . . One of the biggest joys in Cloud Atlas is watching Mitchell sashay from genre to genre without a hitch in his dance step. Boston Sunday Globe
  • Grand and elaborate . . . [Mitchell] creates a world and language at once foreign and strange, yet strikingly familiar and intimate. Los Angeles Times
  • “One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”

    Dave Eggers, New York Times bestselling author

  • [David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page. The New York Times Book Review
  • One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature. Dave Eggers
  • Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative. People
  • The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds. Michael Chabon
  • “[Mitchell’s] language crackles with texture and bite.”

    Time

  • “[Mitchell’s] most audacious work…A wild, wonderful ride.”

    Newsweek

  • “Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “One of the biggest joys in Cloud Atlas is watching Mitchell sashay from genre to genre without a hitch in his dance step.”

    Boston Globe

  • Cloud Atlas ought to make [Mitchell] famous on both sides of the Atlantic as a writer whose fearlessness is matched by his talent.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Revolutionary…Cloud Atlas brilliantly puzzles out the way things might not have been.”

    Newsday

  • “Astonishing…The way Mitchell inhabits the different voices is close to miraculous.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “[Cloud Atlas] glows with a fizzy, dizzy energy, pregnant with possibility, and whispering in your ear: Listen closely to a story, any story, and you’ll hear another story inside it, eager to meet the world.”

    Village Voice

  • “Audacious, sprawling, preposterously ambitious…Next time someone suggests that The Novel is endangered, hit him with this one. Hard.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “A remarkable book…It knits together science fiction, political thriller, and historical pastiche with musical virtuosity and linguistic exuberance.”

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “[Mitchell’s] exuberant, Nabokovian delight in word play; his provocative grapplings with the great unknowables; and most of all his masterful storytelling: All coalesce to make Cloud Atlas an exciting, almost overwhelming masterpiece.”

    Washington Times

  • “Stunning…Mitchell has a gift with language. [His] exploration of power and greed is riveting.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “[Like] Haruki Murakami, Mitchell mixes highbrow concerns with pulp content for maximum reading pleasure.”

    Details

  • Cloud Atlas is such an astounding feat that it’s tempting to think there must be several David Mitchells, each of whom wrote one part of this book.”

    BookPage

  • “Sheer storytelling brilliance. Mitchell really is his generation’s Pynchon.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • An ALA Notable Book
  • A 2005 Arthur C. Clarke Award Nominee
  • A 2004 Man Booker Prize Finalist
  • A 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
  • A 2004 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • A 2005 Nebula Award Nominee
  • A 2006 Audie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kiki Sayre | 2/12/2014

    " Fascinating structure that demanded lots of flipping back and forth in the book to keep the sequences and stories straight. Enjoyed each story segment, but found it hard to see the forest for the trees. Anxious to see the movie to help sort it all out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel Mikula | 1/23/2014

    " Very interesting narrative structure. I love books that keep you on your toes and make you think as you go. I suggest reading this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew Kusbit | 1/12/2014

    " Very good book but hard to get through. Stories cut off just as they get interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 12/28/2013

    " A little hard to follow at first, Then you get used to the style and it becomes easier to understand and follow. Different than anything I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 12/17/2013

    " What an unique novel! I had some trepidation after the first chapter, but am glad I pushed on. Mitchell tells six different stories, across six different time periods, in six different genres that loosely tie together. Quite an impressive undertaking and well-executed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 12/2/2013

    " Cloud Atlas A difficult story to follow and not sure if I fully understand it. Many characters, and time periods, not sure how they tie together, maybe I missed it while listened, should watch the movie. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Calum Mackenzie | 10/27/2013

    " One of the dullest,most confusing and disappointing books I've ever read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 10/21/2013

    " Is that all there is? Really? I kept reading to the very end, thinking that there would be some awesome twist, but sadly there wasn't. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 6/24/2013

    " Been looking for an intelligent author not afraid to broach big ideas with insight and a tight plot line as Doctorow was able to do in Book of Daniel. Mithcell is it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adar Ng | 6/4/2013

    " Man, I would say it was initially difficult to read but once I finish it. It's great! Left you thinking & and loving some of the quotes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jonathan Kirton | 3/19/2013

    " This will no doubt go down in history as a classic along with Ulysses. However, I found the book tedious. I want to be gripped and entertained quickly and if a book catches my attention I will persevere but this isn't that book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 3/16/2013

    " This book blew my mind. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebekah Franklin | 8/23/2012

    " Some chapters were great, unfortunately not the first ! Try it, skip to the next chapter I you don't like the one you're on- it still works as short stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah | 4/25/2012

    " Loved it. I saw the film first, and loved it - but this is one of few instances in which I don't think the book is vastly superior to the film. Both are equally brilliant, I think, even though they are different in many ways. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Garima Mamgain | 11/27/2011

    " Have read fiction after very long.loved the way stories are intertwined. A must read. Caution:you may want to keep the dictionary handy !!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abelito Mcbride | 10/17/2011

    " Masterful, brilliant, transcendent, hilarious. This book deserves all the accolades. I can't praise it enough. Oh the beauty of literature! How it inspires! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mattalyst | 10/7/2011

    " The complex structure of the book is somewhat negated by the childish simplicity of its thesis and its villains. I was hoping for House of Leaves, and got something far more mass-market instead. But, there's still enough moments of wit and insight to sustain it on its hazy way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dillonef | 6/29/2011

    " I think I need to read it again to fully appreciate it- but mind bending even the first time! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dudley | 6/26/2011

    " Quite good, although I liked the middle more than the ends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesse | 6/26/2011

    " This book is such an interesting weaving-together of six, barely-related tales stretching over centuries well into the future. I was (and still am) very sad that I've finished this book. Read it twice in a row because it's just that good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 daniel | 6/25/2011

    " mr. ewing, are you acquainted with marchioness grace of mayfair? no? the better for you, for she is a corpse in petticoats.


    oy.

    i've taken to saying 'oy' of late. i credit this book.

    mr. mitchell: oy.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simon | 6/25/2011

    " Loved most of this. Although I find it unsatisfying. I guess, because I'm used to all the loose ends being tied up.

    Anyhoo - there isn't enough literary sci-fi, which is pretty much what this is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 6/24/2011

    " Brilliant. Towards the end I was reading slower and slower. I didn't want it to end.
    A terrific Russian doll of a book and a witty dabbling in genres.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pierce | 6/16/2011

    " I really enjoyed the layers and the convincing quality of each voice in this. Some were just great fun.

    I got a little tired of the changes, eventually. And once it started to return to the outer layer it all had a kind of inevitability that made me wish it was finished. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maryann | 6/15/2011

    " one of my favorite books. very unusual style and story. Have read this 3-ish times "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joey | 6/14/2011

    " One of my all time favorites. "

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About the Author
Author David Mitchell

David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, named a best book of the year by Time, Washington Post, Financial Times, New Yorker, Globe and Mail, and the New York Times. He has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize five times and hailed as “the novelist who’s shown us fiction’s future” (Washington Post), as well as named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

About the Narrators

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.

Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of several Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.

Kim Mai Guest is a multilingual voice actress who has worked extensively in animation, video games, and audiobook narration. She has won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and was a cofinalist in 2008 for the Audie Award for best science-fiction narration.

Kirby Heyborne is a musician, actor, and professional narrator. Noted for his work in teen and juvenile audio, he has garnered twenty-two Earphones Awards. His audiobook credits include Jesse Kellerman’s The Genius, Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, and George R. R. Martin’s Selections from Dreamsongs.

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.