Author(s): David Mitchell
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2014
One drowsy summer's day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for 'asylum'. Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking . . .
The Bone Clocks follows the twists and turns of Holly's life from a scarred adolescence in Gravesend to old age on Ireland's Atlantic coast as Europe's oil supply dries up - a life not so far out of the ordinary, yet punctuated by flashes of precognition, visits from people who emerge from thin air and brief lapses in the laws of reality. For Holly Sykes - daughter, sister, mother, guardian - is also an unwitting player in a murderous feud played out in the shadows and margins of our world, and may prove to be its decisive weapon.
Metaphysical thriller, meditation on mortality and chronicle of our self-devouring times, this kaleidoscopic novel crackles with the invention and wit that have made David Mitchell one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. Here is fiction at its most spellbinding and memorable best.
I’m a bit of a David Mitchell fan, and this has definitely encouraged me to go back and read some more of his earlier works. In proper epic fashion this spans decades and follows the superbly named Holly Sykes from her teenage years in the 1980s through to her later life in our future. There is a thread of magical realism throughout this, but for the most part it is about human stories in the real world. It’s structured like a series of novellas that are all linked by the character of Holly. There are different points of view and many of the characters are recognisable from Mitchell’s other books. A neat addition if you have read anything else written by him, but also a fantastic place to start with his works. All in all, don’t be afraid of its size: this would be a wonderful summer read. - Holly
Sometimes after reading a great book, I don’t want to start reading another one because I know it won’t quite measure up and I’m not quite willing to let the characters leave their prominent position in my mind. David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, has been one such book.
It is written chronologically spanning over 60 years and covers past, present and the future. This has the reader reminiscing, considering current events, and experiencing a very plausible future. The book is divided in to five sections, narrated by different characters, with the main character being Holly Sikes. Each character is fascinating, some very likeable and others less so. It is a hugely thought-provoking book, delving in to a wide spectrum of issues. Without bluster or aplomb a supernatural element is introduced in the book which gives another dimension and enables expansion of ideas. The reality shifts, just as any reality shifts. This is not a book to be read quickly, its one to be savoured. I thoroughly recommend The Bone Clocks, it’s a brilliant read. - Sarah
The dazzling new novel from the author of Cloud Atlas, at once the kaleidoscopic story of an unusual woman's life, a metaphysical thriller and a profound meditation on mortality and survival.
Man Booker Longlist 2014
David Mitchell is the author of the novels Ghostwritten, number9dream, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. He has won the John Llewellyn Rhys, Geoffrey Faber Memorial and South Bank Show Literature Prizes, and been shortlisted twice for the Booker Prize. In 2003, David Mitchell was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists.