As I'm reading Cloud Atlas I can't really make up my mind. Is this just written as a writing excercise by a very talented author, or is there somewhere a hidden seed of message within this russian doll plot? After having seen the trailer for the movie my interest sure was caught. Living with the strange idea that everything that is a good idea must have been done by someone at one point or another, my vivid imagination of course started making up its own ideas about what Cloud Atlas was. Before even having read a word of the book.
The book was not what I imagined. It was not an exploration of how actions in the past can change the future in a set of different iterations. It was not a book about time travel or a book about how things can be set right. Perhaps, I'm not sure, it was a book depicting the same story 6 times, with small variations but with a different core. But no, I don't really think that was it either. A book about bravery perhaps. And the importance of all actions, while at the same time the complete irrelevance of all actions.
The book is widely loved. At least that is what it said on the cover. And book covers don't lie - do they? What, I'm curious to know, was it in this book that appealled to so many people. In the end, it feels like the book is like a scribble by a genious. All the skill is there, but it is unfocused.