I must catch up with posting about recent arrivals as there are a lot of them, so I'm going to do a series of short introductions, beginning with David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas.
I was delighted to get this - the film tie-in edition - as I am well aware of the book's reputation. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the James Tait Black and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and it won two British Book Awards and the South Bank Show Literature Prize, and newspaper reviews include lines such as "an elegiac, radiant festival of prescience, meditation and entertainment", "a tremendous novel ... an extraordinary narrative", and "a masterful feast".
Using broadly the same idea as Sebastian Faulks does in his excellent new book A Possible Life, 'a novel in five parts' (of which more soon), that is that everything is connected and lives converge in more ways than the obvious, Cloud Atlas features six characters in interlocking stories, "each interrupting the one before it ... each hearing the other's echoes down the corridor of history, their destinies changed in ways great and small". I'm very keen to read it, especially as I loved David Mitchell's last novel The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet (there's a post on it here).