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The Bone Clocksby David Mitchell
With the sweeping global vision and ability to sum up whole eras of time that he's become known for, along with a fascinating dose of fantasy, The Bone Clocks is David Mitchell's most enthralling and illuminating novel yet. Gorgeously written, bracingly intelligent, poignant, and occasionally very funny, The Bone Clocks is one of my favorite novels this year.
Even if The Bone Clocks isn't number one on my personal canon of David Mitchell books, it still sent me reeling through space and time as I devoured each chapter. No other book this year kept me quite as totally rapt, and after finishing the last page, I wanted to dive into Mitchell's back catalog again and rediscover the characters therein.
Synopses & Reviews
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
An elegant conjurer of interconnected tales, a genre-bending daredevil, and master prose stylist, David Mitchell has become one of the leading literary voices of his generation. His hypnotic new novel, The Bone Clocks, crackles with invention and wit — it is fiction at its most spellbinding and memorable.
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 on the war in 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.
Rich with character and realms of possibility, The Bone Clocks is a kaleidoscopic novel that begs to be taken apart and put back together by a writer The Washington Post calls “the novelist who’s been showing us the future of fiction.”
Named One of the Season’s Top 10 Works of Literary Fiction by Publishers Weekly
"Is The Bone Clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque? We begin in the punk years with a teenage Talking Heads — obsessed runaway from Gravesend, England, named Holly Sykes. She becomes a pawn in a spiritual war between the mysterious 'Radio People' and the benevolent Horologists, led by the body-shifting immortal Marinus. Many more characters and places soon find themselves worked into Marinus's 'Script' across the book's six sections: there's Hugo Lamb, a cunning, amoral Cambridge student spending Christmas 1991 in Switzerland, where he encounters an older Holly tending bar; then it's the height of the Bush/Blair years, and our narrator is Holly's husband, Edmund Brubeck, a war reporter dispatched to Baghdad. Another flash-forward lands us in the present day, where the middling novelist Crispin Hershey weathers a succession of literary feuds, becomes confidante of a New Agey Holly and her daughter, then has his own unsettling encounter with the Radio People. In the penultimate section, Marinus reveals the nature of the Script — the secret conflict lurking just beneath mortal affairs — and how Holly may be the key to a resolution whose repercussions won't be known until 2043, when the aged Holly rides out a curiously sedate end-time in rural Ireland. 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 (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet) novel is a thing of beauty. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Mitchell returns to the genre-skipping, globe-trotting, techno-spiritual ambitions of his astonishing Cloud Atlas, taking even greater risks at even greater length.” New York
“[The Bone Clocks] grounds Mitchell’s vast intellectual ambition in real heart and character.” Vogue
“If you can imagine the austere literary prowess of Ian McEwan married to the storytelling gifts of J.K. Rowling, you will begin to approximate David Mitchell. There’s no real argument: he’s the best novelist of his generation — and the most fun. The Bone Clocks is a stunning work of invention, incident, and character. The levels of awesome in this book are off the charts.” Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box
“Curiouser and curiouser...mind-bending, interlocking tales that are reminiscent of a (very) adult version of Alice in Wonderland....[The Bone Clocks] won’t disappoint.” Library Journal (Editor’s Pick)
“Trademark Mitchell...another exacting, challenging and deeply rewarding novel from [the] logophile and time-travel master.” Kirkus Reviews, (starred review)
The Bone Clocks is the stunning new novel from David Mitchell, the prizewinning author of Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
About the Author
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 in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.
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