After reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet I really wanted to read more by David Mitchell. I picked Cloud Atlas purely by chance.
I am not quite sure what to think of this novel. Its setup is six interlocking stories, each story cut in half and interrupted by the following story. They are all set in different (subsequent) time periods, two of which lie in the future. They all deal with the same sort of characters, with strong hints that they are reincarnations of each other. Also, each following story mentions reading/finding the previous one.
Other than that the main theme is power, who has it, why, and how does this influence the life of our characters?
I liked the book, I liked the stories. But maybe the main message is too broad for me. History is cyclic, humanity craves power. But I expected one main event, one big thing tying the stories together. However, the more I think about it, the more the brilliance of the book stands out. And for that reason it gets five out of five stars.
On a sidenote, this was book 100 for me for this year. :-)