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.
What a journey!
My first attempt at a David Mitchell book has left me glowing, gloating & groaning.
Glowing – in the delight of having found a ‘new-to-me’ author – I now have a whole back list of books to look forward to. Glowing – from delight in finding such an absorbing, magical story that swept me across generations and times and worlds.
Gloating – that I was reading this year’s Booker winner (until the shortlist was announced & he was missing from it!)
Groaning – that now I’ve finished The Bone Clocks, I miss it terribly. I miss Holly. I miss being in Mitchell’s world. Groaning – about the Crispin chapter – what purpose? why? It didn’t seem to add anything new to the Script, except for a little romantic angle and a trip to Australia.
The Bone Clocks is about the purpose of life, relationships, good vs evil, freewill, doubt, time & timelessness, memory & the environment. All told with a hearty paranormal, science fiction twist.
The Bone Clocks also helped me to finally understand the purpose of twitter!
Sharing my favourite quotes with others reading the book at the same time added to my sense of journey & immersion in the story.
The Australian edition has an extra few pages of “In conversation with David Mitchell” that talks about the Australian settings in the book. He describes Rottnest Island as
an extraordinary location…that deep, burnished, glassy blue of the Indian Ocean, so unlike the ginger-beer-coloured English Channel of my childhood; the brain-broiling, skin-frying sun, drier and more dangerous than in Japan; and when a quokka lolloped across the road, I nearly fell off my rented bike.
Mitchell also talks about meeting Australian award-winning writer, Kim Scott, who is a Noongar Elder and his time back-packing around Australia. He believes that timelessness comes naturally to the Australian environment,
The quality of light at dawn, and the alien (to my ears) birdsong and, how, in Europe, you have to go a long way and look selectively to find a view where nothing tells you what century you’re in. In many regions of Australia, by contrast…, you can easily find a view containing no clues whatsoever about any century.
For one voyage to begin, another voyage must come to an end, sort of.
- Longlisted Man Booker Prize 2014
- Winner World Fantasy Award 2015