Cloud Atlas

A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles of genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian lore of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

Atlas was the first to arrived in the sky. It was a confusing transition.  Atlas had spent his entire life crawling through the steadily collapsing train tunnels, trying to repair them faster than they fell.  He had gotten quite good at it, so when one day he felt a slight push from the ground around him, then looked up to see a field of white, it took him by surprise.

He began to explore, and found remnants of other people.  Fantastical buildings lay in decay along the clouds, with wispy beasts roaming their interiors.  He quickly learned to tame these animals, and since he had spent his entire life so far fixing things, began to repair the cities.

He lives like this for months, bettering his cloudland when suddenly a man appears.  He is angry when Atlas tries to explain where they are, but as days pass comes to accept what has happens.  He even calls it a miracle.

The man’s name is Mr. Brown, and apparently he used to be a philosophy professors at one of the universities before they all collapsed.  Since then he became bitter, and did things he now regrets.  But up in the sky he explores the land with Atlas.  They discover other beasts, much different then the wisps that are so eager to help.  These new beasts are carnivorous, and the pair barely live through several encounters as they explore the land.

Then people begin to turn up in the sky at a rapid pace.  All of them are unique: inventors, philosophers, writers, dreamers.  They quickly repair the cloud city, working to beautify the beautiful land they have been given.  Mr. Brown founds a school, and a man named Juan finds that underneath the field of white are forests, they are in fact living in the canopies of floating plants.  He sets up a factory, creating vehicles, and power by using minerals mined from the soil down below.  The entire community bands together, working to ensure that everything they create has a minimal pollution value.  Every few days, another person appears and is welcomed into the work.

The last person to arrive is a woman named Victoria, who Atlas recognizes as the head of his old company.  She tells the people of the destruction of the land they’ve left and thy all vow to prevent that from happening on their new home.

Read Victoria’s Viewpoint at Atlas Shrugged.


2 responses to “Cloud Atlas

  1. Pingback: Atlas Shrugged | novel summary·

  2. Pingback: Atlas Hands | novel summary·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s