On reading: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Time to read:

2 minutes

The Bone ClocksTitle: The Bone Clocks

Author: David Mitchell

From the back: Run away, one drowsy summer’s afternoon, with Holly Sykes: wayward teenager, broken-hearted rebel and unwitting pawn in a titanic, hidden conflict.

Over six decades, the consequences of a moment’s impulse unfold, drawing an ordinary woman into a world far beyond her imagining. And as life in the near future turns perilous, the pledge she made to a stranger may become the key to her family’s survival . . .

The gist: I loved Slade House (as you can read about here), and Mitchell didn’t disappoint with The Bone Clocks. It’s a similar setup in some ways, spread over lifetimes, telling different characters’ stories, ultimately coming together in a fantastical conclusion. And it was the characters that made the book for me – Mitchell’s dialogue reads so well it makes you think you’re there in the room meeting all these sometimes strange, sometimes devious, always interesting people.

It’s the strength of the book, and made the first half particularly strong for me. The second half, which seemed to focus more on the fantastical story elements, was fun but for me not quite as engaging. Which is only really saying that I could read Mitchell’s characters talking in bars for years, so when they stop it makes me a little bit sad, like losing touch with an old friend.

And what is a good book if it’s not something where you feel like you’re meeting new people and discovering new worlds?

Favourite line: Arkady is stroking his zits, content to let me talk

Read if: You fancy hanging out with a whole host of strange and wonderful characters.

Read with: An armchair and plenty of time to meet new people.

Get it: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell


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4 responses to “On reading: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell”

  1. I’ve recently finished & reviewed “The Bone Clocks” too but based on your review it looks like you enjoyed it much more than me. I’m a big fan of “Cloud Atlas” and would love to read more of Mitchell’s work, have you read and would recommend any of his other books? 📚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Certainly looks like I enjoyed it more than you! I preferred Slade House too (which I really enjoyed a lot), and it was interesting you mentioned the length of The Bone Clocks as maybe that’s part of it… I haven’t read any of his other work though so couldn’t really suggest another one. How did Cloud Atlas compare to Slade House for you?


      • I’m not sure I could choose between the two as they both offer such different things! I loved “Cloud Atlas” for its unique characters, peculiar vernaculars and vivid description of times and places. I think I enjoyed it a little more for its message and memorable quotes that took some time to truly understand. “Slade House” felt like a short quick thriller that kept me on my toes and I really didn’t want to put it down. I’ve been recommended “Black Swan Green” so if I can get my hands on a copy, I’ll give that one a read soon!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s interesting – going to be adding more Mitchell to my TBR pile but it’s already overflowing 🙂 Will look out for your review of Black Swan Green if you get hold of it 🙂


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