Cloud Atlas, both the movieImage and the book upon which it was based, require some digging and study to fully understand. One excellent resource is the Cloud Atlas Wiki (http://cloudatlas.wikia.com/wiki/Cloud_Atlas_Wiki) which identifies the main characters in the six stories within the novel. Unless you want to “mentally imagine” the characters yourself (which means you have not seen the movie), the wiki provides both visual and textual descriptions of the main characters (Adam Ewing, Robert Frobisher, Rufus Sixsmith, Vyvyan Ayrs, Luisa Rey, Bill Smoke, Timothy Cavendish, Sonmi-451, Zachry, Meronym and so on).

Also available on the Wiki are definitions of terms that might help in understanding/translating the stories within the stories; check out the links under the Chapters tab.

Another excellent resource is the Book Drum site’s treatment of Cloud Atlas, see http://www.bookdrum.com/books/cloud-atlas/9780340822784/index.html. Check out the Setting tab on the top of this page for background on the settings for the six stories within the novel.  Other tabs across the top of this page provide access to Bookmarks (quotes and background on the quotation), (a ) Review, Glossary (not as comprehensive as I’d like), Author (about David Mitchell), Map (locations in the novel) and Summary (short synopses of each story within the story).

I’m looking forward to our discussion of Cloud Atlas tomorrow, Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 7 PM in the Meeting Room at the Leawood Pioneer Library in Leawood, KS. Bring your comments, questions and reactions to David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas.

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