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The Cloud Atlas Paperback – Oct 26 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback; Reprint edition (Oct. 26 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385336950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385336956
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The synopsis for Liam Callanan's "The Cloud Atlas" is actually the synopsis for David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas". Read it - it actually names the wrong author. Very misleading. Hope Amazon will correct this soon.
When I ordered this book, I thought I was getting the book described. My own fault for not paying better attention, but we were very disappointed with this order. I am now placing an order for the book I really wanted, which is David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas".
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By A Customer on May 7 2004
Format: Hardcover
Memory, history, war, love, and the spirit world are woven together in a type of effortless dreamscape in Liam Callanan's beautiful The Cloud Atlas. As a work of fiction grounded in fact, the story is unsurpassed in its portrayal of the effects of the Japanese balloon bombs, which swept across the Pacific to the United States during the remaining months of World War 11. One of the best kept secrets of the War involved some 9,000 balloons made of paper or rubberized silk and carrying anti-personnel and incendiary bombs were launched from Japan during a five-month period, to be carried by high altitude winds more than 6,000 miles eastward across the Pacific to North America
Told in the first person as a type of confessional, the main protagonist Louis Belk is now an elderly priest who sits by the bedside of Ronnie a Yup'ik shaman. Ronnie is dying from too much drinking; he's a failure, a drifter who feels that all the knowledge of the world is contained in the skies, and "in an atlas of the clouds." As he watches his friend die, Louis begins to reflect on his own life as a top-secret bomb disposal specialist during World War 11 in Alaska. The focus of the story is on Louis's adventures in wartime Alaska where half-naked palm readers, rampaging drunken sailors, and lunatic captains rave in darkened Quonset huts. Where chaplains swear like stevedores and Eskimo women "can tease your entire past from your hand."
While in Alaska, Louis is placed under the command of the sadistic and bitter Captain Gurley - having already lost a limb diffusing his first bomb, and embittered at being stationed in Alaska - he has an obsession to discover and collect all such bombs in the future. As the novel progresses Gurley gradually descends into a type of madness.
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By J. M. Hiraga on April 22 2004
Format: Hardcover
An absolutely masterful blending of history, fiction, and the fantastic. An amazing debut, with characters that are fully fleshed out, and narrative that transports the reader into a wonderful adventure with little/no need for suspension of disbelief. At times, Callanan's prose reminded me of Mark Helprin's "Winter's Tale" or "A Soldier of the Great War". Beautiful stuff.
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By cmacdougall on March 24 2004
Format: Hardcover
A book with a priest as the central character is not one I'd usually pick. But Cloud Atlas was wonderful -- a great story that keeps you on edge, characters that capture your imagination as their stories unfold, plus the environment of Alaska, spirituality, and secrets. And I ended up really liking the priest!
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By N. Farnsworth on March 16 2004
Format: Hardcover
Picked this up just because its subjects were both of interest -- WWII and Alaska. Thought I knew everything about the former and always wanted to visit the latter. Turns out this is an intriguing and thoroughly researched novel about a little known but shockingly successful Japanese effort to terrorize the US in late WWII with paper "balloon bombs" -- set in Alaska -- a genuine American frontier. Its got history, mysticism, adventure, interesting characters and Alaska - a hard to beat combination. Highly recommend it!
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By R. Taylor on Feb. 27 2004
Format: Hardcover
do yourself a favor and read this one. Everything about it: the setting, the characters, the language, the love and the tragedy are executed to perfection. I cannot wait to see what this author comes up with next because this is just a unique read. It makes you long for an adventure/experience such as that lived by the characters of the Cloud Atlas.
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