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June, 2016: Fantasy > The Bone Clocks - 3 Stars

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message 1: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments I have been staring at the computer for quite a while trying to write my review. The problem is I really don’t know what to say. It seems as if David Mitchell threw every thought, fantastical or otherwise, he ever had and threw it into a book with lots of characters, most of which you never get attached to because they never make another appearance. The plot line is convoluted and difficult to follow. The only thing I know for sure is that a young woman named Holly Sykes is the center around which the story revolves, and we spend a lifetime with her or her acquaintances. By far the best parts of this very long novel are those that focus on Holly, which are the first part and the final part. Although she is in all the other chapters she is mostly a peripheral player.

The quick description is that there is a war going on between Anchorites and Horologists. Anchorites are evil, they live forever by feeding off the souls of living people. Horologist don’t live forever, but they are reincarnated over and over, in an attempt to stop the Anchorites. Holly is connected to both of these groups but doesn’t really understand how until late in the book.

Honestly I never really understood that entire storyline, nor the war that occurs between the two groups. Nor did I really care; except when it involved Holly.

The final chapter of the book was perhaps the best of all, a dystopian world that seems all too possible. This is made very clear by a lecture by one of the characters (undoubtably channeling David Mitchell’s views) about how we humans are destroying the earth. True, but a little heavy handed. And as much as I liked the end chapter, I did not like the ending - although it was probably the most realistic.

In addition I had a problem with either dropped storylines (Hugo Lamb, one of Holly’s lovers, is the most obvious one but we spend one whole chapter with him and he never shows up again until the near end; the early death of Hugo’s friend seemed promising yet is never mentioned again).

I really loved The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, and I really like Slade House which I will probably reread since it has some of the characters from this book and it’s really short. But after reading this I don’t know if I can do Cloud Atlas or at least not for a long time.


message 2: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1545 comments You should try cloud atlas. I didn't love home clocks and I love David Mitchell. I think I gave it 3.5 stars for many of the reasons you mentioned. But cloud atlas is fantastic so don't let this deter you.


message 3: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1545 comments *bone clocks


message 4: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3065 comments Cloud Atlas was definitely the better book.


message 5: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments I just cannot see reading another 500+ page book by Mitchell anytime soon. Maybe in a year or two.


message 6: by Denizen (new)

Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments I just finished Cloud Atlas this morning during a 3 AM bout of insomnia. Strong 4 star literary fiction for me. It looks like The Bone Clocks won't be next on my slate. Perhaps Black Swan Green? Any opinions? It seems like I was once told his books are best read in order of publication.


message 7: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1545 comments I would read in order since there are connections across books but Ido t think it makes a huge difference. I love Ghostwritten too.


message 8: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments Jen wrote: "You should try cloud atlas. I didn't love home clocks and I love David Mitchell. I think I gave it 3.5 stars for many of the reasons you mentioned. But cloud atlas is fantastic so don't let this de..."

Maybe one day, but not now.


message 9: by Nicole D. (new)

Nicole D. | 1496 comments I loved Black Swan Green.

Linda, when you decide to tackle Cloud Atlas I recommend audio with print. I read it, and gave it 3 stars. Went back and did the audio with paper, and gave it 5 and a favorite. It's so much better than Bone Clocks. BC I liked, and i thought the end was good, but NOTHING compared to Cloud Atlas.


message 10: by Ladyslott (last edited Jul 02, 2016 11:08AM) (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments Nicole wrote: "I loved Black Swan Green.

Linda, when you decide to tackle Cloud Atlas I recommend audio with print. I read it, and gave it 3 stars. Went back and did the audio with paper, and gave it 5 and a fav..."


That's good to hear. I did Whispersync for Bone Clocks and the audio is the only thing that got me to persevere. The only chapter I had to read after listening was the Anchorite/Horologist war. And I still don't get it.

I will get to Black Swan Green at some point.


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