Review: The Bone Clocks

The Bone Clocks
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Our most lusted-after gong, the Brittan Prize, has—scandalously—eluded his grasp so far, but many believe that 2015 could finally be his year.” Alas, as the nearly-prophetic David Mitchell transcribes, this year, just shy of 2015, is not his year, either. Mere days ago that prize eluded him once more.

The week has been bitter-sweet, though. Three days into sales and Mitchell’s THE BONE CLOCKS has been seizing top rankings from New York’s finest newspaper. Rightfully so, performing better than his self-created reflective characters. Congrats, Sir Mitchell.

I’m sour mostly because in both CLOUD ATLAS and now in THE BONE CLOCKS the character authors are my favorite. They seem to connect me with near- intimacy to the genius author’s mind. Yes, pieces of Mitchell lie scattered about: a stammer mention, a reference to Tom Hanks, but the most provocative and drawing are the inmost thoughts of the penmen. Take for instance:

“A writer flirts with schizophrenia, nurtures synesthesia, and embraces obsessive-compulsive disorder. Your art feeds on you, your soul, and, yes, to a degree, your sanity. Writing novels worth reading will bugger up your mind, jeopardize your relationships, and distend your life. You have been warned.”

Sigh. Perhaps his craftsmanship is too great for the prize. The first chapter of CLOUD ATLAS could not be read without an accompanying dictionary; each layer of time withdrew a complexity of articulation. The opening of THE BONE CLOCKS drops us into a teenage mind during the era of Cyndi Lauper. Judging by the ease of reading and the warmth of character, I would dare say the craft of writing was no less of a task—rather far more difficult—making effort seem without.

That’s okay, because I still enjoyed this book immensely. It played my emotions, it toyed with my thoughts, and it danced in my heart. What else does a good book need?

I conclude with another self-prophesizing quote from THE BONE CLOCKS, “He was doing quite well until the last sentence, but if you bare your arse to a vengeful unicorn, the number of possible outcomes dwindles to one.” That outcome for me resulted in deep appreciation. Wonderful.

Thank you Random House for sending this to me for review.

Fly here and be hooked by this book’s preview and other reviews: The Bone Clocks: A Novel



6 thoughts on “Review: The Bone Clocks

  1. kmn04books

    I’m so glad you loved this book! I loved Crispin Hershey’s POV too. Did you notice how the POV in that part would switch from first person to third? Do you think that’s because it’s echoing the quote you shared? (“A writer flirts with schizophrenia, nurtures synesthesia, and embraces obsessive-compulsive disorder…”) That was something I couldn’t help but wonder when reading his part.

    1. ryandejonghe Post author

      I think that is a large part of it, and also testament to MItchell’s genius: a person speaking the first person, whilst referring to himself in the third. Loved it!

      We’ve been blessed with two great books in as many weeks: colorless and bone clocks. Do you have another on the horizon?

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons I Love the Fall Season | Ryan's Book Review

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