The Bone Clocks

The Bone ClocksThe Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had been avoiding David Mitchell, or should I say I had thought I’d been avoiding David Mitchell, as I had actually read his Jacob de Zoet book a few years back and really liked it, I had just forgotten who the author was. Mitchell books just struck me as a bit heavy going fantasy, not really my cup of tea but I really liked the sound of his Slade House and as some of the characters from Slade House originated in The Bone Clocks, I thought I’d better read that first and I’m really glad I did. Yep The Bone Clocks is a bit heavy going fantasy but it’s very good heavy going fantasy. I’ve since read interviews with Mitchell and he has been quoted as saying that he likes writing in novellas and you can really see that with Bone Clocks. It starts off with teenage Holly in the 1980s, who has some pretty severe boyfriend trouble and then goes onto the thoroughly disreputable Hugo in the 1990s, then Ed, the war journalist in the 2000s, followed by Crispin the failing author, who we follow starting in the present day and into 2020 and who is pretty much the only character I didn’t like, so that section dragged a bit but he redeems himself in the end, then there’s a section which pretty much explains all the slightly weird stuff that’s been going on in the earlier sections, followed by a scarily realistic section set in 2043. The characters from each section cross over into each others lives and I particularly liked seeing Holly’s life story. There’s just so much I like about this book, from Mitchell’s use of words, to how believable most of the characters are, to how he’s created this whole mythology and the underlying message that we’re really screwing this planet up and gulp, the end was soooo sad in a very bittersweet sort of way.

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3 thoughts on “The Bone Clocks

  1. I recommend Black Swan Green although I suspect I get more out of it then others since its based on the village next to the town I grew up in…also 1982 is my childhood

    I also liked Cloud Atlas… but I can’t actually remember actively reading it !

    1. I will check out Black Swan Green, I thought Mitchell wrote the 80s pretty well in The Bone Clocks, although I don’t remember the early 80s that well, I thought his description of it really rang true.

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