The Bone Clocks: A Novel

Hardcover | September 2, 2014

byDavid Mitchell

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“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.

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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 master prose stylist—David Mitchell has outdone himself. The Bone...

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-translated from the Japanese the international bestselling memoir, The Reason I Jump. H...

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Paperback|Apr 4 2002


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

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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