The Bone Clocks: A Novel

Hardcover | September 2, 2014

byDavid Mitchell

not yet rated|write a review

“The novelist who’s been showing us the future of fiction” (The Washington Post), David Mitchell delivers a kaleidoscopic, serpentine masterpiece that navigates between characters, eras, and realms of possibility to weave its astonishing spell.
 
An eloquent conjurer of intricate, interconnected tales, a genre-bending daredevil, and a master prose stylist—David Mitchell has outdone himself. The Bone Clocks is a hypnotic Rubik’s cube of a novel that begs to be taken apart and put back together long after the final piece is fit into place.
 
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 until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.
 
For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born.
 
A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence; a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from Occupied Iraq; a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list: all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$22.15 online
$34.00 list price (save 34%)
In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25
Prices may vary. why?
Please call ahead to confirm inventory.

From the Publisher

“The novelist who’s been showing us the future of fiction” (The Washington Post), David Mitchell delivers a kaleidoscopic, serpentine masterpiece that navigates between characters, eras, and realms of possibility to weave its astonishing spell. An eloquent conjurer of intricate, interconnected tales, a genre-bending daredevil, and a ma...

DAVID MITCHELL is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream and Ghostwritten. 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-tran...

other books by David Mitchell

Slade House
Slade House

Paperback|Jun 28 2016

$18.67 online$21.00list price(save 11%)
Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas

Hardcover|Nov 20 2012

$28.12 online$29.95list price(save 6%)
Cloud Atlas (movie Tie-in Edition)
Cloud Atlas (movie Tie-in Edition)

Paperback|Oct 2 2012

$17.72 online$22.95list price(save 22%)
see all books by David Mitchell
Format:HardcoverDimensions:640 pages, 9.53 × 6.59 × 1.43 inPublished:September 2, 2014Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0676979319

ISBN - 13:9780676979312

Look for similar items by category:

Best Books of 2014

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another brilliant book by David Mitchell Well that is two for two so far, and I am looking forward to reading more by this author. I love how Mitchell in this book, as in Cloud Atlas, uses music and other sensory information in intimate stories to convey and connect to the larger story that reveals itself over the course of the narrative. Bone clocks is at once a pejorative used against the ordinary characters in the story and, at the same time, a descriptor for mortality and the courage it takes to live with our knowledge of that mortality. The vision of the future is bleak in a very different way than in Cloud Atlas, but the human spirit and love (the love that leads us to sacrifice ourselves for the beloved, not the sappy sentimental love of possessing another) remain. I am not doing the story justice. If you love literature, read this book. Elegant prose, complex characters, and more. Stop reading this review and read the book instead. A much better use of your time.
Date published: 2015-10-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Climbing the labrynth A really interesting nested loop of stories - I really liked the Iraq piece, and the end of the world part. Less thrilled by the vegetarians vs carnivore part, but stilled dazzled by the pyrotechnics of Mitchell 's prose.
Date published: 2015-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sad to finish it. A bit of a slow start, but once you get used to the pace and writing style, this book became engrossing. It's not the most fast-paced, but the character development and writing style are truly amazing. The bits of surrealism only start to add up later in the book, which was a nice twist on the genre.
Date published: 2015-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Book you miss when you're done I got this book because I'm a Sci-Fi nut and was totally unprepared for its scope - it's a coming of age book; a scathing account of the Iraq War, an in-depth character study of a "one book wonder" author who plots to bring down his key critic (and has to live with his guilt when it works); and it's also a really different kind of Sci-Fi story. It's also a cautionary tale about the near future and the utter chaos when we run out of oil and sea levels rise. I'm into another book yet a pine for more David Mitchell - can't wait to get into Cloud Atlas and all his other books. I feel like I found a new friend.
Date published: 2015-05-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from weird but interesting I enjoyed this book exactly for the same reasons that others did not. It is weird..... I found the style of writing had me on the edge of my chair and not wanting to put it down.
Date published: 2015-03-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another win for Mitchell Another classic from a consistently brilliant writer. Mitchell has always been adept at jumping from perspective to perspective (and genre to genre) but this is one his strongest indications that all his parts are adding up to a whole that is sad and beautiful and achingly flawed.
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Requires Patience There's so much sidetracking filler in here that sometimes you wish it would just get to the point. There's some good stories in there if you can get through the overly prolonged, often pointless, back stories.
Date published: 2014-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book! Oh my God, this book is so good. I would recommend it to every reader out there. Happy reading to all people out there.
Date published: 2014-11-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Weird Love it. Hate it. The author seemed to showing off his vast vocabulary of words unheard. Totally unnecessary. Ridiculous names and too many of them. The good parts were good, but geezzzz, this book was work!!!!
Date published: 2014-09-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great doomsday read A lttle too dark but well written.
Date published: 2014-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Revolutionary ""Sweetheart, you'll be astounded by what you can live with." Life has taught me that she was right." Holly Sykes' metamorphosis from a girl navigating the waters of love and heartbreak, then as a mother with a writing career dealing with the fame and scrutiny of her unconventional abilities, to a grandmother who fights to keep what is left of what still matters to her alive, is a powerful journey. As she grows, so do we, with her, by her side, and amongst the people who play a role in her life. To our own minds, we can sometimes forget that we aren't the Sun we think we are where others orbit around; we too are the orbital planets around other Suns. "The Bone Clocks" captures that revolving notion so perfectly. Holly the Sun is told from the perspectives of her rotating figures, and we, the audience, are the moons to those planets - drawn to them, but always feeling the Sun's presence. "The Bone Clocks" is definitely one of my new favourites. While it doesn't go quite to the extreme ends, it is similar in vein to "Cloud Atlas." Be prepared for a tour de force, cross-genre story that weaves through time and dimensions through beautifully crafted prose and distinct voices that breathe magic into every page. His mentions of characters of the past like Luisa Rey and the reappearance of the moon-grey cat and Marinus from "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet" compelled the message of the cycle of life and loss. As "Cloud Atlas" is to a nesting doll and "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet" is to a paper fan, it is in the circle of life that keeps the "The Bone Clocks" ticking like a clock. This ringed labyrinth has no shortcuts to the ill pursuit of immortality, as we learn. Enjoying the beauty of a mortal life in our physical manifestation and making a mark on someone, somewhere, sometime, is what keeps us striving for more. Fleeting but if meaningful, that wheel keeps turning because "we live on, as long as there are people to live on in." We really do, just like how Holly Sykes will live on in me.
Date published: 2014-07-23

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

LONGLISTED 2014 – Man Booker PrizeFINALIST 2015 – Indies Choice Book Awards (Adult Fiction)LONGLISTED 2015 – International DUBLIN Literary Award“No writer alive seems to be having as much fun as Mitchell, who leaps between decades and points of view with seeming effortlessness in this, the story of one Holly Sykes, as told by her and those who know her.” —Jared Bland, The Globe and Mail“Chock full of twists that create the sensation of reading six books coiled up in one, this enthralling novel is a dazzling display of Mitchell’s virtuoso abilities.” —Chatelaine"Thrillingly entertaining.... Reading David Mitchell, beyond the obvious narrative delights, is like having that breath blowing across the back of your neck, discovering a mystic birthmark or opening wide your inner eye.” —Zsuzsi Gartner, National Post“The Bone Clock’s storytelling is all pleasure, fantastical in its fertility, its ceaseless inventiveness. Easy to consume, too, because it excites hunger while simultaneously satisfying it: we continuously want more.” —James Wood, The New Yorker“Is The Bone Clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque?...From gritty realism to far-out fantasy, each section has its own charm and surprises. With its wayward thoughts, chance meetings, and attention to detail, Mitchell’s…novel is a thing of beauty.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)“One of the most entertaining and thrilling novels I’ve read in a long time.”—Meg Wolitzer, NPR “Astonishing . . . No one, clearly, has ever told [David] Mitchell that the novel is dead. He writes with a furious intensity and slapped-awake vitality, with a delight in language and all the rabbit holes of experience. . . . In his sixth novel, he’s brought together the time-capsule density of his eyes-wide-open adventure in traditional realism with the death-defying ambitions of Cloud Atlasuntil all borders between pubby England and the machinations of the undead begin to blur. . . . Not many novelists could take on plausible Aboriginal speech, imagine a world after climate change has ravaged it and wonder whether whales suffer from unrequited love. . . . Very few [writers] excite the reader about both the visceral world and the visionary one as Mitchell does.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice) “Intensely compelling . . . fantastically witty . . . offers up a rich selection of domestic realism, gothic fantasy and apocalyptic speculation.”—The Washington Post “Sprawling yet disciplined, drunk on life but ever cognizant of its brevity and preciousness, this time-traveling, culture-crossing, genre-bending marvel of a novel by the highly regarded author of Cloud Atlas utterly beguiles.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Great fun . . . a tour de force . . . [Mitchell] channels his narrators with vivid expertise.”—San Francisco Chronicle “Mitchell is one of the most electric writers alive. To open a Mitchell book is to set forth on an adventure. . . . In his latest novel, The Bone Clocks, Mitchell has spun his most far-flung tale yet. . . . Strange and magical.”—The Boston Globe“Magical . . . [The Bone Clocks] perfectly illustrates the idea that we’re all the heroes of our own lives as well as single cogs in a much larger and more beautiful mechanism. [Grade:] A”—Entertainment Weekly“Transportingly great . . . If David Mitchell isn’t the most talented novelist of his generation, is there any doubt that he is the most multi-talented? He is, at his best, a superior writer to Jonathan Franzen, a better storyteller than Michael Chabon, more wickedly clever than Jennifer Egan, nearly as fluent as Junot Díaz in multiple dialects, and as gifted as Alice Munro. . . . The Bone Clocks affords its readers the singular gift of reading—the wish to stay put and to be nowhere else but here.”—The Atlantic “Mitchell’s mesmerizing saga is evidence of the power of story to transport us, and even to stop time entirely.”—Vanity Fair “[A] literary marvel . . . What we value defines us, The Bone Clocks tells us. Sometimes it’s life. Sometimes it’s love. It’s definitely this book.”—The Miami Herald “Mitchell’s wit, imagination and gorgeous prose make this a page-turner.”—People “Mind-bendingly ambitious . . . The force of [Mitchell’s] storytelling makes The Bone Clocks a joy.”—Time “A tour de force of the imagination, rewarding the attentive reader with both the intricate richness of its plot and the beauty of its language.”—The Plain Dealer “Told with the skill and nuance of a gifted ventriloquist.”—USA Today “Mitchell rises to meet and match the legacy of Cloud Atlas.”—Los Angeles Times“Reading a David Mitchell novel is a little like wandering through a multiplex during that September sweet spot when the best summer blockbusters are screened alongside autumn’s more serious fare. The Bone Clocks is no exception. Mitchell’s generous imagination saturates every sentence, character, and setting to create a story as thrilling in its language as in its plot. It’s my favorite novel I’ve read this year, and the only one I’ve already reread.”—Anthony Marra “Great story, great words, all good.”—Stephen King“A hell of a great read . . . wild, funny, terrifying . . . a slipstream masterpiece all its own . . . Mitchell is a genre-bending, time-leaping, world-traveling, puzzle-making, literary magician, and The Bone Clocks is one of his best books.”—Esquire“Relentlessly brilliant . . . [The Bone Clocks contains] depth and darkness, bravely concealed with all the wit and sleight of hand and ventriloquistic verbiage and tale-telling bravura of which Mitchell is a master.”—Ursula K. Le Guin, The Guardian“You could call Mitchell a global writer, I suppose, but that does not quite capture what he is doing. It is closer to say that he is a pangaeic writer, a supercontinental writer.”—New York “With The Bone Clocks [Mitchell] has brought off his most sinewy, fine and full book to date, a Möbius strip–tripping great novel that will reward bleary-eyed rereading until he writes his next one.”—Financial Times“Dazzling . . . Mitchell’s heavy arsenal of talents is showcased in these pages: his symphonic imagination; his ventriloquist’s ability to channel the voices of myriad characters from different time zones and cultures; his intuitive understanding of children and knack for capturing their solemnity and humor; and his ear for language—its rhythms, sounds and inflections.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “As you might expect from a David Mitchell novel, [The Bone Clocks is] big, ambitious, and pretty. But it’s very much the story of one woman: Holly Sykes. Her tiny human life is the thread that holds the various stories of The Bone Clockstogether, and ultimately it is what gives the book a deep sense of meaning, and its lasting joys and sorrows.”—The Millions“[The Bone Clocks] might just become the 1984 of the climate change movement. It dramatizes the consequences of our improvident modern economy in the way George Orwell’s novel awakened people to the ‘Big Brother’ mentality of Soviet communism.”—David Ignatius, The Washington Post“[The Bone Clocks] enthralls, soars, and crackles.”—The Daily Beast“Mitchell is back and as genre-bendy as ever. Describing the breadth of his latest epic as ‘sprawling’ wouldn’t quite do it justice.”—The Huffington Post “Deeply meaningful . . . The Bone Clocks has everything you might expect to find in a David Mitchell novel: Great characters in settings far-flung over space and time, all tied together by ambitious ideas and gorgeous writing.”—BuzzFeed“Mitchell may be the greatest novelist in the English language currently in his prime.”—The A.V. Club “A fascinating and moving book about time, technology and even the ‘State of the World.’”—The Dallas Morning News “Mitchell is a brilliant literary mesmerist. . . . He writes with scintillating verve and abundance. . . . [Mitchell’s is a] joyful, consoling world.”—The Telegraph “A fantastic, perilous journey over continents and decades. Fans of Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas will find this equally ambitious and mind-bending.”—Marie Claire“[A] beautiful explosion of adventurous ideas . . . As [Mitchell’s] oeuvre develops, he seems to be getting cleverer, braver and delightfully madder.”—The Times “Fantastical, ambitious, bold and exuberant.”—The Observer“A sweeping epic . . . that, like Cloud Atlas, spans the ages and tinkers with the hidden gears of human history.”—GQ “A cautionary metaphysical thriller that grounds its ambition in its heroine’s human charm.”—Vogue