Cloud Atlas (Random House), by the extravagantly gifted David Mitchell, traces the consequences of greed from the beginnings of imperialism far into the future and the end of civilization. It's a wild ride with a new generation's wunderkind. (The film, a science fiction drama based on the novel, is now playing at theaters.)
Read an excerpt from Cloud Atlas.
Note: This program was originally broadcast on January 20, 2005.