The Bone Clocks
Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality u...more
Here is the review that this book deserves: please read this and not mine. My review is not worth reading.
I'm such a drama queen.
This is all planned out: I imagined a ceremonious return to goodreads, where I shock the masses with a derisive and scathing critique of one of my favorite authors, and the goodreads community would all be astir. "What happened to him?" "Didn't he just love David Mitchell?" "He wouldn't shut up about him!" And then t ...more
Dear James Wood,
We read and love writers for very different reasons. I read Albert Camus and I read Jorge Luis Borges. I read Milan Kundera and I read Malcolm Lowry. I read Richard Ford and I read Doris Lessing. I read Lawrence Durrell and I read Saul Bellow. I read Samuel Beckett and I read Jim Harrison. I read Emily Bronte and I read Michel Tournier.
David Mitchell's dazzling gifts are not those of Karl Ove Knausgaard, yet I need them equally in the fabric of my life. They bring different qual ...more
The first chapter is by far the best of the book, after this, the author goes off on tangents using language, terms, and words that were completely foreign to me.
The story is all over the place and I was completely lost regarding character progression, relationships, and the overall stor ...more
“For one voyage to begin, another voyage must come to an end, sort of.”Your déjà-vu is real (or maybe you're a Prescient). Yes, you've seen something of this sort before. Six interconnected stories told in the first person, combined to create a novel, radiating like raindrop rings on water - or maybe the walls of a concentric maze leading to the elusive center - from a central overarching theme. You've seen it from David Mitchell not that long ago, in the hit-smash-success Cloud Atlas. You'll ...more
I have a briefer, spoiler-free, and very different, review here (different * rating, too): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show..., which is more about my feelings for the book. It also includes a selection of favourite quotes and links to interviews. The difference in star rating is deliberate: I couldn't decide.
LINKS AND THEMES
This book, per ...more
[Apologies to Dean Wareham]
The bone clocks
"Being For The Benefit Of Holly Sykes!"
[Apologies to the Beatles]
For the benefit
Of Holly Sykes,
There will be
A show tonight
If you don’t like
The daring scenes,
To be sacked.
You’ll get your
It’s just a circus act!
"Jacob's Ladder" by William Blake
Dwelling on a Reservation
With his newest effort, 2014's Bone Clocks, David Mitchell returns to form found in his earlier novels such as Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas with a wide-ranging epic spanning across multiple narrators and continents with aims at a universal message about power and the battle of good versus evil. Like Cloud Atlas, his newest effort harnesses various genres of fiction into a larger mosaic work that highlights the interconnectivity of humanity and the versatil ...more
My agent wisely advised me to split it up into two novellas.
I wish Mitchell's agent had given the same advice.
He or she didn't.
It's a tempting trap, this splicing together of novellas. I know, I've been caught in it myself. It makes the writer's job much easier. And it's clever, to boot. In the case of The Bone Clocks, however, this strategy backfired, creating a novel divided against itself.
I'll spare you the plot overview for three reasons: 1) othe ...more
Another genre-bending novel by David Mitchell also channels Stephen King and Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Did you just hear that? Yes, but Mitchell does nothing by mistake. It was evidently deliberate, and he mixes various castes of writing styles, although much less so than in CLOUD ATLAS and even THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET. Mitchell lures in mainstream readers, as well as his steadfast fans. I think he does one better, though, than the latter ...more
I don’t think that it’s important to have read all of Mitchell’s earlier books to enjoy this one. And I don’t think I’m saying that just to make myself feel better ...more
Two reviews allows two ratings, but by the time I'd finished this, I realised even with its faults, it's not 2*, so it will be 3* and 4* from me.
Narrative Str ...more
― David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks
It is hard to not like David Mitchell. He is literary, just not too literary. He is funky, just not too funky. He is hip, just not too hip. He is political, just not too political. He is spiritual, but also seems to leave room for a bit of humanist doubt. I can't think of another writer who captures the energy or direction of the slick, urban, cosmopolitan, ...more
After Holly's opening chapter, the narrative switches to Hugo who was an absolute pain to read,it's depressi ...more
But did I adore The Bone Clocks?
With great disappointment, I must confess that I did not (notwithstanding the fact that I devoured the novel over the course of just three of four days).
The Bone Clocks is fantastical dreck camouflaged as literature. Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against fantasy ...more
“My hero is a Cambridge student called Richard Cheeseman, working on a novel about a Cambridge student called Richard Cheeseman, working on a novel about a Cambridge student called Richard Cheeseman. No one’s ever tried anything like it.”
“Cool,” says Johnny Penhaligon. “That’s sounds like—“
“A frothy pint of piss,” I announce, and Cheeseman looks at me with death in his eyes until I add, “is what’s in my bladder right now. The book sounds incredible, Richard."
How can a novel so replete with cynic ...more
David Mitchell caught trying to sneak into the Frankfurt Book Fair for free. Why would he even try?
[On the red carpet outside the auditorium]
Haruki, would you mind autographing my book for me?
[Looks only briefly at the book, before opening it to the title page]
Hey, this isn't my book! What's going on?
It's my book. I told you it was my book.
[Recognising David Mitchell]
But you keep plagiarising my novels.
It shares the same basic concept of loosely-tied novellas with strange immortal creatures either living their lives among the humans or actively engaging in a far-ranging and explosive war with others a bit ...more
The hardback has a beautiful color and silky pages. :)
I'm putting all my thoughts behind a spoiler, in case details ruin your enjoyment of discovery. (view spoiler)[
The book is writt ...more
That scope you need to know, as the late b ...more
This had all the David Mitchell trademarks that I love so much. It tells of a hidden war taking place through time by two different ' immortal with terms and conditions' groups. I don't want to say any more really about the plot as part of the joy of a David Mitchell novel is actually working out what is going on and how it all relates.
The story is told through the viewpoint of several characters, each one at a jump of a few years. ...more
I REALLY REALLY liked this book. Like a lot. I loved how the stories connected and how intricate it was just AH lots of good things. Really loved Holly & every part she was in, and most of the other characters.
It lagged at points for me, which is the only reason for the 1/2 point off, but beyond that excellent excellent book.
There are certain Indian sweets which will hook you on the first bite itself. Before you know, you start gorging; soon, you feel nauseated as all the sugar goes to your head - yet you keep on eating as by that time you have become addicted. When you finish, you are left with a bloated tummy and a nagging headache - and a wish you had left well enough alone: yet the next time when the same dish is placed in front of you, you once again start g ...more
I'd also like to say that the ARC copy of this book is really beautiful, and when I eventually get a hardcover edition I hope it's just as pretty. But look at how nice this looks all by its ARC self:
I really liked The Bone Clocks, an ...more
I once read, in a friend's review of Cloud Atlas, that David Mitchell is a writer who loves to show off. I understand that statement now.
In terms of plot, The Bone Clocks is a pure fantasy novel, with its own factions of heroes and villains from a different realm locked in a centuries-old battle, complete with made-up words and psychic phenomena. Yet the novel is structured in a way that is completely anti-fantasy; like Mitchell deliberately wants to impede your understanding of his book. So whe ...more
So here's the deal with The Bone Clocks: It's well written, and I could have kept plugging away at it. Maybe I would have liked it in the end, but it felt like a chore to me. I wasn't terribly interested in what was happening in the story, and I didn't care about the characters in the slightest. The thought of try ...more
Does this happen with The Bone Clocks, Mitchell's latest foray into fantasy? To an extent, yes. And do we forgive him his excesses like ...more