David Mitchell - The Bone Clocks - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473604889
    • Publication date:02 Sep 2014
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    • ISBN:9780340921623
    • Publication date:18 Jun 2015

The Bone Clocks

By David Mitchell

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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.

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.

Biographical Notes

David Mitchell is one of the most acclaimed authors of his generation - 'Just about the most audacious, thrilling and, above all, entertaining young British novelist there is' (Observer). He has been shortlisted twice for the Man Booker Prize and longlisted four times, as well as won the John Llewellyn Rhys, Geoffrey Faber Memorial and South Bank Show Literature Prizes, and the Richard & Judy Best Read. He was also selected as one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and named by Time as one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2007. His previous novels are Ghostwritten, number9dream, Cloud Atlas, which was adapted for film in 2012, Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

In 2013, The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice From the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida was published in a translation from the Japanese by David Mitchell and KA Yoshida. It was an immediate bestseller in the UK and later in the US as well. The Bone Clocks is David Mitchell's sixth novel.

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  • ISBN: 9781848945043
  • Publication date: 02 Sep 2014
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  • Imprint: Sceptre
Dazzling. — New York Times
The overwhelming impression is of an author at the height of his powers precisely because of a deep and intuitive understanding and curiosity of what it is about to live a life as a human being. — Oxford Student
A globe-trotting, mind-bending, hair-raising triumph.
He is funny, hip and full of life. Which other writer could match his witty elision of fiction and science, of sense and nonsense? This beautiful explosion of adventurous ideas may well take him, finally, beyond the Booker shortlist.
If only real life were as elegant and generally encouraging as a Mitchell novel! He writes with scintillating verve and abundance.
Every page fizzes with energy and humour. Wildly imaginative and truly magical, this is a big, chunky feast of a book.
Intellectually rigorous and stunningly imaginative . . . a rich and dense, inventive and witty thriller which, if you enjoyed Cloud Atlas and Mitchell's other works will leave you completely spellbound
Dazzling.
Dazzling . . . Mitchell's heavy arsenal of talents is showcased in these pages: his symphonic imagination; his ventriloquist's ability to channel the voices of myriad characters from different time zones and cultures; his intuitive understanding of children and knack for capturing their solemnity and humor; and his ear for language - its rhythms, sounds and inflections.
For its experimentation, humour, hybrid energy, and sheer narrative pleasure, The Bone Clocks compels admiration.
No one, clearly, has ever told Mitchell that the novel is dead. He writes with a furious intensity and slapped-awake vitality, with a delight in language and all the rabbit holes of experience
Mitchell's mesmerizing saga is evidence of the power of story to transport us, and even to stop time entirely.
[The Bone Clocks] has finally descended incarnate from the mind of this divinely inventive author . . . This new novel offers up a rich selection of domestic realism, gothic fantasy and apocalyptic speculation, stretching around the world from the Margaret Thatcher era of the 1980s to the Endarkenment of 2043 . . . Some of these narrators are moving and sympathetic; others radiate the metastasizing creepiness of a Patricia Highsmith villain. Their stories evolve in subtly distinctive tones and forms
Mitchell is a consummate craftsman . . . For sci-fi fantasists, the imaginary world Mitchell creates might be a thing of wonder, a Dungeons and Dragons for literate grown-ups. For others, I suspect the flesh and blood anguish of a long life lived well against the odds will prove the greater pleasure.
With The Bone Clocks, Mitchell rises to meet and match the legacy of Cloud Atlas . . . interconnected lives stretch across time; human contact is both frightening and vital. This novel electrifyingly unites Mitchell's fictions into one universe while telling the story of Holly Sykes, an ordinary young woman whose chance encounters give her life meaning.
One of the most entertaining and thrilling novels I've read in a long time. Much of the entertainment comes from Mitchell's mastery over what feels like the entire world and all its inhabitants. Time keeps pulsing ahead in The Bone Clocks, and Mitchell pushes his cast of characters into the future, ending the book in a terrifying world. But for all the dystopia, and the mysticism, and the wild and clanging noise, and the flights of invention that have taken place in this extraordinary fun house of a novel, Mitchell's novel-writing rules allow him to retain his great sensitivity toward his main character from start to finish.
Mitchell's new novel almost manages to make the rest of his work look hidebound and provincial . . . Mitchell is writing about a mortal among immortals, and he never abandons the human half of the story: the fell swoop of first love, the labyrinth of silence where unhappy couples live, the clear cut inside a parent when a child goes missing, the chasm between frontline and home front in a nation at war . . . I was undone by the ending
Is The Bone Clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque? . . . From gritty realism to far-out fantasy, each section has its own charm and surprises. With its wayward thoughts, chance meetings, and attention to detail, Mitchell's novel is a thing of beauty.
Another exacting, challenging and deeply rewarding novel from logophile and time-travel master Mitchell . . . If Thatcher's 1984 is bleak, then get a load of what awaits us in 2030. Speculative, lyrical and unrelentingly dark - trademark Mitchell, in other words.
If David Mitchell isn't the most talented novelist of his generation, is there any doubt that he is the most multi-talented? He is, at his best, a superior writer to Jonathan Franzen, a better storyteller than Michael Chabon, more wickedly clever than Jennifer Egan, nearly as fluent as Junot Diaz in multiple dialects, and as gifted as Alice Munro . . . [The Bone Clocks] offers everything you could possibly want from a conjurer at the height of his powers - a ludicrously ambitious, unstoppably clever epic told through a chorus of diverse narrators that is both outrageous in scope and meticulous in execution . . . The Bone Clocks affords its readers the singular gift of reading - the wish to stay put and to be nowhere else but here.
With 600 pages of metafictional shenanigans in relentlessly brilliant prose, The Bone Clocks hits lots of hot buttons, from the horrors of the Iraq war to the Eternal Battle of Good and Evil to the near-future downfall of our civilisation . . . Death is at the heart of this novel. And there lies its depth and darkness, bravely concealed with all the wit and sleight of hand and ventriloquistic verbiage and tale-telling bravura of which Mitchell is a master . . . It's a whopper of a story.
I was completely blown away . . . Mitchell's first-class imagination delivers a complex and exciting premise that transcends into an incredibly explosive, surprising, intelligent, dark and magical story.
At once a gripping thriller and a far-out fantasy, a brilliant mash-up that pulsates with energy, satire and wit.
If I could file a review that consisted only of the word "wow" 900 times over, it still wouldn't quite capture my delirious response to David Mitchell's stunning, funny, sad, prophetic, fantastical, satirical, achingly real and gloriously fictitious new novel.
It's massively bold and ambitious, but also thoroughly readable, funny and moving.
Our most accomplished inventor of multitudinous worlds, which are filled with complex, vital people . . . The Bone Clocks features a gyre-works inventiveness that's well matched by (bizarrely) cerebral substance . . . his most sinewy, fine and full book to date, a Mobius strip-tripping great novel that will reward bleary-eyed rereading
The overwhelming impression is of an author at the height of his powers precisely because of a deep and intuitive understanding and curiosity of what it is about to live a life as a human being.
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