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The Bone Clocks: A Novel av David Mitchell
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The Bone Clocks: A Novel (utgåvan 2014)

av David Mitchell

Serier: Horologists (2)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
3,8202582,299 (3.82)1 / 452
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.… (mer)
Medlem:phronsiekeys
Titel:The Bone Clocks: A Novel
Författare:David Mitchell
Info:Random House (2014), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 640 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verkdetaljer

The Bone Clocks av David Mitchell

  1. 121
    Cloud Atlas av David Mitchell (jody)
    jody: Has that same clever connectivity that makes mitchells books so intriguing.
  2. 91
    Amerikanska gudar av Neil Gaiman (sturlington)
    sturlington: The Bone Clocks reminded me strongly of Neil Gaiman and David Mitchell has said that Gaiman was an influence.
  3. 81
    Oceanen vid vägens slut av Neil Gaiman (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Similar tone. Fantasy.
  4. 41
    1Q84 av Haruki Murakami (suniru)
  5. 30
    TransAtlantic av Colum McCann (zhejw)
    zhejw: Both books explore human connections made across multiple generations and across oceans while ultimately concluding in Ireland.
  6. 20
    Boken om märkliga nya ting av Michel Faber (hairball)
    hairball: The world falls apart...
  7. 20
    Neverwhere av Neil Gaiman (MsMaryAnn)
  8. 32
    Foucaults pendel av Umberto Eco (Tanya-dogearedcopy)
  9. 10
    Himlakroppar av Eleanor Catton (shurikt)
    shurikt: Fascinating character studies, and just enough (possibly) supernatural activity to bend genre.
  10. 10
    Slutet på mr Y av Scarlett Thomas (jonathankws)
  11. 00
    California av Edan Lepucki (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  12. 14
    Miss Peregrines hem för besynnerliga barn av Ransom Riggs (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Similar plot points.
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engelska (248)  nederländska (3)  tyska (1)  franska (1)  Alla språk (253)
Visa 1-5 av 253 (nästa | visa alla)
Well, it's an interesting read. I did not realize at the time that it's a sequel of sorts, or at least brings back some characters from other books. Liked the concept and much of the execution. Writing's excellent, and does an excellent job of painting the setting as it moves forward in time (six sections, each set in a different year range). The two issues I have with it are: 1. a number of the characters whose head we occupy are, to be frank, shitheads. 2. The issue suffered by all books with at least a part of it set in the near-future, but read well after said near-future becomes the Now, or even the recent past: actual big world events aren't mentioned (Brexit, Trump, etc) and you're momentarily surprised at that. While not enough to derail the story, it throws you out of the book for a minute. C'est la vie. On, the whole, yes, I enjoyed it. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Nov 17, 2020 |
I don’t really care for negative, depressing stories and I almost stopped reading this one, several times—but I continued only for the sake of giving it a chance. The first 400 pages describes the various main characters being sucked into a world of confusion and despair by some psychically powerful bad guys. David Mitchell is mildly entertaining with his British scenarios and idioms, but he gives us little, to no, hope of anything positive to come. For the next 150 pages we finally learn that there are good guys (who are reincarnated after death—and remember their former lives); and bad guys, who suck the souls out of gifted children to keep themselves alive—potentially forever. A spiritual/psychic battle ensues (and there’s never an explanation of how/why they developed/obtained the strange powers they have). The good guys lose, then they seem to win as they all die, for real.

You’d think the story would end there, but no. The next 100+ pages has the few survivors dealing with the devastatingly despairing end of civilization as a result of climate change. So we go from bad to good to bad and there are no more good guys….almost. The last good guy has been reincarnated and worked his way up to the point where he can rescue the granddaughter of one of the original characters—but not the rest of the family. This is such a pathetic ending that it completely fails to recompense me for the first 400 pages.

I give this book a 2.5 stars for being well written; and only 2.5 stars because the plot is so full of depressive negativity that I’ll never recommend the book whole-heartedly. However, I appreciate that there are those who are not put off by such sentiments and will enjoy it so much that I’ll raise my rating 3 stars—just for them. ( )
  majackson | Oct 24, 2020 |
The Short Version: do yourself a favour and read this book

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This is astonishingly good. The audiobook was twenty-four hours long and I enjoyed every minute of it.

David Mitchell has managed to go toe-to-toe with modern fantasy writers in terms of creating supernatural beings and magical systems and a long struggle between darkness and light. Then he's raised the game by embedding the story in a vividly evoked past and a credible near-future and telling it all through the eyes of engaging, credible, memorable characters.

David Mitchell let me take up residence in the heads of people who were very different from each other and often only loosely associated with one another and I believed in each of them, even the ones I didn't like. In one case he let me occupy the head of the same person when they were in their teens and in their sixties and succeeded in showing me that they were and weren't the same person.

The book goes from the nineteen eighties to the twenty forties. Capturing the decades that I've already lived through so accurately meant his descriptions of the parts in the future felt real and prophetic.

I strongly recommend that you make the time to listen to this audiobook. It's exceptional.

The Longer Version - what reading 'The Bone Clocks' was like

This is such a long book and such a good book that I want to share the reactions I had to it as I went along.

In the beginning

I bought 'The Bone Clocks' in 2014 when it was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Maybe that was where things went wrong. I'd mentally shelved it as 'Literature' with a capital L for LONG (the audiobook is 24hours of listening) and didn't pick it up again, even when it won the 2015 World Fantasy Award. Now it's being hailed as an on-topic climate change book Anyway, I decided it had to go on my Read Or Throw list and I finally started it today.

WOW. I'm immediately and totally in Kent in the 1980s, following a fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes, who is leaving home after a row and I'm learning about the 'weird shit' in her history when she could hear 'the radio people' and I don't want to put this down.

Holly is engaging and believable and seeing 80s Gravesend through her eyes is like watching a huge UHD screen where no detail is lost.

At the end of Part 2

What stood out about Part 1, the Holly Sykes section of the book was the realism of the account. Holly sounds like a fifteen-year-old girl who has run away from home. All the details and the people are right. Which makes the supernatural stuff, when it finally arrives in a burst of violence, seem even more vivid. Lots of trailing of snippets of information about some kind of supernatural war, with comments from both sides, but not enough to do more than make me curious. The violence was graphic but believable.

Just as I was settling down in Holly's head, we skip forward from 1985 to 1991 and I find myself sitting in the mind of Hugo, a repugnant young man who is about to graduate from Cambridge. He's bright, slick, at least amoral and possibly evil and he embodies many of the reasons why I had no desire to go to Cambridge or Oxford. I'm already hoping something bad will happen to him, that I'll be there to watch and that it takes a while.

Mitchell knows how to press my buttons.

I liked the definition of power offered to Hugo by what he does not yet know is a supernatural entity. It's a clever definition and one that undermines the smug, short-term, fundamentally middle-class definition of power that Hugo offered (the ability to make people do things they don't want to do or not do things they do want to do). It pictures power as a virus or a parasite moving from host to host.

Power is lost or won, never created or destroyed. Power is a visitor to, not a possession of, those it empowers. The mad tend to crave it. Many of the sane crave it but the wise tend to worry about its long-term side-effects. Power is crack-cocaine for your ego and battery acid for your soul. Power's comings and goings from host to host, via war, marriage, ballot box, dictations and accident of birth are the plot of history. The empowered may serve justice, remodel the earth, transform lush nations into smoking battlefields and bring down skyscrapers but power itself is amoral.

I rather like this idea of power as a vampire, using and finally draining its hosts.

At the end of Part 3

With each part of the book, we move from one head to another, not just change the eyes that you're looking at the story through. Each Part is a novella conveying the personality, history and hopes of the person at its centre. It's as if the author is moving from body to body and sitting as an unnoticed passenger at the back of each character's mind, rather like the disembodied supernaturals at the edges of the story.

I've just finished the third novella. It's so vivid and real. A wonderful intercutting of a memory of being in Bagdad the week before as a war correspondent and the flatter reality of being at a family wedding. The pull of the addictive danger of a war zone is set against the love of his child and his wife. This was totally gripping and highly emotional and managed to balance the wedding and the war in terms of trauma.

At the end of the book

I got swept up in the story and didn't keep detailed notes as I went along but here's what stood out for me:

The change of tone as we follow the jaded Lit Fic author to bookish events around the world was astonishing. I was amazed to find myself feeling compassion for this dried out, successful but disappointed man. Inevitably, I wondered if he was Mitchell's portrait in the attic, the man he's hoping not to be. This was reinforced when the author suggests to his editor that he wants to write a fantasy novel that's also literary fiction. The editor believes this can't be done. It sounds a lot like a pitch for 'The Bone Clocks'.

The battle between the dark and light supernatural forces was brilliantly conceived and executed. In any other book, this would have been the big bang finish. Not in this book though. In this book, we see the reality that the struggle never stops, regardless of the price paid.

The final portion of the book, which takes place in Sheep's Head in County Cork in 2043, was outstanding and disturbing. We return to Holly Sykes' head. She's now sixty-four and caring for her granddaughter and an adopted child. The world that's being evoked is one coming to terms with the reality of climate change. One where the young are turning their anger on the boomers who made the mess they must now live through, where the Church is again pushing for control of Ireland, where the Chinese are the only functioning super power. Holly calls this unravelling of the world she grew up in 'the Endarklement'. It's grim and very plausible. And yet the thing that struck me most was how I could see in this sixty-four year-old woman the fifteen year-old girl she had been and all the changes she'd lived through.



I strongly recommend the audiobook version which benefits from multiple narrators, all of whom do a great job. I see that there's a new audiobook being released this month which is only ten hours long but which isn't marked as abridged. I don't know how they're managing that. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear an extract from the version I listened to.

https://soundcloud.com/audibleuk/the-bone-clocks-by-david-mitchell
  MikeFinnFiction | Oct 8, 2020 |
This was a very slow read for me. I found the storytelling device engaging at first, but constantly getting engaged in a time/place/character and then having to leave them in the dust became vexing. It just brought the momentum to a screeching halt with each new decade. It was a story that could have been told in 200 fewer pages and been better for it.
  Chris.Bulin | Oct 1, 2020 |
Cloud Atlas is one of my favourite books ever written. I adore everything about it. So why am I so frustrated at this book, when they are so similar? Similar structure, similar themes, similar (i.e. same) universe, so why don't I like i that much?

Because it's so depressing.

There's this thick layer of malaise over the entire book that makes reading it, for me, like swimming in syrup. Two (and sorta three, you can guess which if you've read it) are seemingly just there to punch your gut over and over again. These gut punches are effective, but without a counterpoint (which Cloud Atlas did oh-so well) it becomes a routine. Oh this horrible tragedy happened. Oh this one too. Maybe if you need a good cry I'll suggest this book, but this is just not for me.

Oh well. I'm just here waiting for Mitchell to go full weird SF on us. A comparison I kept making in my head is that he's the post-modern Stephen King, and if that's right I want to see his Dark Tower. See you then. ( )
  Raykoda3 | Sep 25, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 253 (nästa | visa alla)
Mitchell's plotting is as intricate as ever, and he indulges in many familiar tricks. Themes, characters and images recur in different configurations, as in a complex musical work; characters from earlier Mitchell books make guest appearances; there are sly references to Mitchell's literary reputation, as well as to the works of other writers....

Mitchell is a writer who will always do his own thing, and the question to ask about his work isn't how profound it is, or what category it belongs to, but how much fun it is to read. And on that measure, The Bone Clocks scores highly.
tillagd av zhejw | ändraThe Guardian, William Skidelsky (Sep 7, 2014)
 
In fact, Holly’s emergence from “The Bone Clocks” as the most memorable and affecting character Mr. Mitchell has yet created is a testament to his skills as an old-fashioned realist, which lurk beneath the razzle-dazzle postmodern surface of his fiction, and which, in this case, manage to transcend the supernatural nonsense in this arresting but bloated novel.
tillagd av ozzer | ändraNEW YORK TIMES, MICHIKO KAKUTANI (Aug 26, 2014)
 
Another exacting, challenging and deeply rewarding novel from logophile and time-travel master Mitchell
tillagd av sturlington | ändraKirkus Reviews (Jul 1, 2014)
 

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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 in Vinny's place in Peacock Street and not in my own stupid bedroom.
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The fantasy subplot clashes so violently with the State of the World pretensions, I cannot bear to look.
What surer sign is there that the creative aquifers are dry than a writer creating a writer character?
My hero is a Cambridge student called Richard Cheeseman, working on a novel about a Cambridge student called Richard Cheeseman, working on a novel about a Cambridge student called Richard Cheeseman. No one’s ever tried anything like it.
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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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