What’s worth working toward, if you won’t live to see it?

I’ve read Cloud Atlas twice already and expect I’ll re-read it again. It has become one of the Important Fictions of my life. Now that the film is getting mostly positive reviews, my anticipation for it is building.

It’s still difficult to describe what the book is all about, though, and what — aside from Mitchell’s wonderful writing — makes it so worthwhile. Film critic James Rocchi, writing for MSN, totally nails it:

[It’s] about moral choice and moral action in the face of amoral power and amoral cruelty, a laser-blasting and knife-fighting saga about how, with struggle and sacrifice, the workings of the world can turn, slowly, towards something like justice and something like peace, and just because we may not live to see them does not mean we should give up.

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