Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cloud Atlas

One of my favorite recent reads is "Black Swan Green" by David Mitchell. Now I add to that list "Cloud Atlas," an earlier novel by the young British writer. (Well, to me 40 is young.)

This is a fascinating book that spans hundreds of years, from 1849 to several centuries into the future. Six characters tell their stories in six different styles of narration: a journal, letters to a friend, a murder-mystery, memoir, interview and oral history. The characters are loosely tied to one another by strands of coincidence that transcend time.

It's Mitchell's versatility as a writer that so impresses me. Like Eric Clapton wowing a crowd with his electric guitar licks, Mitchell flashes up and down the fingerboard of language in a long, inventive, improvisational riff.

I can't wait to get to "Cloud9dream" and "Ghostwritten."

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