Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction, Yiddish Culture, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality historical novels are some of my Literary Interests

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell - 2014

The Bone Clocks is the first work by David Mitchell I have had the great pleasure of reading. For sure I hope it will not be the last.  It is a super creative amazing set of six interrelated narratives all connected by Holly Sikes and two duelling sets of immortals.  We first meet Holly when, age 15, she runs away from home to get away from her domineering mother.  Holly hears voices sometimes. The year is 1984.She has a 25 year old boyfriend and her plan is to move in with him.  Upon arrival at his house, she finds him in bed with her best friend.  She takes off for parts unknown. She encounters a strange old woman who asks her for asylum.  Holly takes her for mad but she is an immoral.  Her younger brother disappeared from home right after she left.  This disappearance has a key part in the narrative. 

There are five more narrative lines, one set in Cambridge in 1991.  The third section is about the trials and tribulations of a one time literary superstar now struggling with debt and writer’s block.  The fourth section is about a war correspondent. The fifth section is a really fun pure fantasy world narrative about the two battling groups of immortals. Both use humans, the Bone Clocks, to live on.  One is reborn over and over and the outer drains souls.  The final section is set in Ireland in 2043.  Holly Sikes, who became a famous writer, is trying to survive in a dystopian world brought on by climate change and political upheavals.

There are nit picking reviews online.  Ok I concede it is not perfect but it was a lot of fun, the fantasy element was intriguing, the people real, and there are lots of exquisite sentences and concepts.  All the narratives are tied together and it was exciting to see what develops.

David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, Ghostwritten and The Bone Clocks. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell co-translated from the Japanese the international bestselling memoir, The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children... from

I hope  to read Cloud Atlas this year.  

Mel u

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

I had to go looking for this one because I remember that you said you'd read it this year but I missed your review. We both enjoyed this novel so much more than many of the reviewers did. I'm not sure what they were looking for, but I found this novel and its many parts completely engaging. Holly grabbed me straight away, but as you know, that wouldn't be enough to carry a a reader through the rest of the book; he does something quite remarkable with the cast of characters, doesn't he?! Did you know that each of the books is somehow connected to something else he's written? I've taken quite a few notes to try to suss out some of the connections, but I know I missed a great deal because I would just get caught up in the stories and forget to take notes. I really loved Ghostwritten and Number9Dream and I think you will have a special connection with Thousand Autumns.