Wednesday, April 08, 2009
The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan
Book 3 for my World War II Reading Challenge, and April's selection for my book club. Louis Belk, a soldier who has recently completed a bomb disposal course, is sent to Alaska on a secret mission: the Japanese are making bombs and sending them out in balloons, hoping that they will reach the US and explode here. I had never heard of these balloon bombs before; maybe because the news media cooperated with the US government in a policy of silence in order to reduce the chance of panic among Americans and to deny the Japanese information about the success or failure of their program. The story is told by Belk, who after the war becomes a priest and returns to Alaska. The story goes back and forth between past and present. This seems to be a very popular way of telling a story these days; several of the books I've read recently have used this method. It was quite effective for this story. I rate this book 4 out of 5.