An elegant conjurer of interconnected tales, a genre-bending daredevil, and master prose stylist, David Mitchell's new novel, The Bone Clocks, crackles with invention and wit.
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 witit 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 mysticsand 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 loveseven 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 listall 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."
I fling open my bedroom curtains, and there's the thirsty sky and the wide river full of ships and boats and stuff, but I'm already thinking of Vinny's chocolaty eyes, shampoo down Vinny's back, beads of sweat on Vinny's shoulders, and Vinny's sly laugh, and by now my heart's going mental and, God, I wish I was waking up at Vinny's place in Peacock Street and not in my own stupid bedroom. Last night, the words just said themselves, "Christ, I really love you, Vin," and Vinny puffed out a cloud of smoke and did this Prince Charles voice, "One must say, one's frightfully partial to spending time with you too, Holly Sykes," and I nearly weed myself laughing, though I was a bit narked he didn't say "I love you too" back. If I'm honest. Still, boyfriends act goofy to hide stuff, any magazine'll tell you. Wish I could phone him right now. Wish they'd invent phones you can speak to anyone anywhere anytime on. He'll be riding his Norton to work ...
The Bone Clocks is a powerful reflection on the ravages of time, be they on our own bodies (our bone clocks) or on the larger things that mold us into shape: family, friends, the environment. Life, one realizes, might be the stage where our drama unfolds, but the end result reminds us about what truly matters.
(Reviewed by Poornima Apte).
Full Review (871 words).
In the fight between the Atemporals and the Anchorites, The Bone Clocks frequently references the Cathars.
The Cathars were members of a religious sect of Christianity that flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries in southern France and northern Italy. They believed in a dualistic theory of religion, with good and evil on opposing sides, and attributed all the wrongdoings in the Old Testament to the evil God. Believing the material world was bad, they believed in asceticism as a path to God. Since not everyone can follow the strict principles of asceticism, adherents to the Cathari way of life were divided into regular believers and a higher order of men and women who renounced all material goods but still performed basic services. ...
If you liked The Bone Clocks, try these:
Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its mix of entertainment and literary bravado.
Margaret Atwood puts the human heart to the ultimate test in an utterly brilliant new novel that is as visionary as The Handmaid's Tale and as richly imagined as The Blind Assassin.
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