I love this book.
I can't remember the last time I loved a book so much. The Cloud Atlas is composed of a series of stories across time and countries that are linked, but only just. The connections between the characters pop out and reorientate things, but are not intrinsic. I have read angry reviews, calling for Mitchell to admit that he had a bunch of short stories but a contract for a novel. I disagree, and anyway.. and?
I got lost in the time movements, which is probably testament to my own shitty memory and post-work, post-semester attention span as much as it is to Mitchell's robust character development. I find that it hard to empathise and connect with characters from ancient history, and unrecognisable times and places, but there was none of that here. The characters are complex and real, regardless of how foreign their environment.
Something about this book is reminiscent of Will Self, though I can't quite put my finger on how. Something about being sly, and feeling like the only person in the room picking up on the joke that's just been played on the oblivious crowd.