Another book I nearly gave up on. But so glad I didn't.
The only thing I knew about Cloud Atlas was that the movie didn't get such good reviews. But the article I read about it in Newsweek must have sparked my curiosity, and I downloaded a sample of the book onto my Kindle.
When I started reading it, I felt disoriented - I didn't know what period the story was set in, nor if it was based in reality or complete science fiction. I didn't even know if it was set on Earth!
I very nearly didn't purchase the rest of the book - but by the end of the first chapter, I was committed (great marketing ploy, this "try a sample chapter for free"). And chapter after chapter, I got more and more hooked. I loved the stories, their connections, the structure of the book, and how it holds together. Hard to imagine how this can successfully be transferred to the big screen.
I strongly recommend to read the book before you watch the movie - it's a wonderful experience. And if the movie is good, that will be an added bonus - I've looked at the movie website, and it looks interesting, but maybe confusing - more connections than I can handle. But the score sounds wonderful! Will have to wait until BB has read the book before we watch it, though.