Several years ago, someone who works in the publishing industry told me Cloud Atlas was the best book she’s ever read. So it’s been on my list for a while. With the movie out, I finally decided to go out and read it.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very well-written novel. The structure is highly engaging, the differences in voice excellent, the way the stories intertwine very intriguing, at least at first. I just expected . . . more.
I had a similar feeling of dissatisfaction when I finished Hyperion. Yes, the stories interweave in kind of an interesting way. And yes, the differences in tone from one story to the next is cool. But there was no denouement to bring the entire series to a close. So after 500 pages of reading, I was left completely unfulfilled rather than feeling like I’d just experienced this huge, inevitable catharsis.
I haven’t seen the film yet, but I find it telling that it tanked at the U.S. box office but is doing well internationally. It’s the kind of story that would definitely fare better in cultures less obsessed with plot and more interested in tone or emotion. I wish it the best of luck. Doesn’t make me any less disappointed, though.
Anyone else out there read it? What are your thoughts?