The Bone Clocks

The Bone Clocks

A Novel

Book - 2015
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"Following a fight with her mother about her boyfriend, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew as "the radio people," Holly has caught the attention of dangerous mystics - and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly's life, affecting all the people she loves - even the ones who are not yet born. A Cambridge scholar, an Iraq war reporter, a middle-aged writer exiled from the bestseller list - all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world."--Cover.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2015
Edition: Random House trade paperback edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780812976823
Branch Call Number: MITCHELL D
Characteristics: 634 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

Michael Colford Dec 24, 2014

David Mitchell hit the big time with his book, Cloud Atlas, and his latest tome, The Bone Clocks is the follow-up. It's a big sprawling novel that begins in the early 80's and unspools all the way to the mid-21st Century and the collapse of modern technology to a dystopian future. The Bone Clocks... Read More »

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Oct 19, 2018

This book was a bit of a disappointment for me. The first half was good, but then as another reader put it, "I liked it until I didn't like it." The fantasy aspect got a little too weird and things went off the rails. Unfortunate because I normally really like this author (Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green being my favs).

Jul 02, 2018

david Mitchell is so impressive . stumbled on to him and read Slade House and l then followed it with tThe Bone Clocks about similiar themes and a few recurrent characters
His breadth is amazing and extermely readable . The final section as someone said is long and a bit dragging but rewarding in all.
Ill read Mitchell whatever he wrires

Nov 12, 2017

Some great writing, but it could have been so much better with some great editing. One of those books with a series of first-person narrators, which are always bitty - especially in the later sections when minor characters have to carry things forward. An enjoyable read, but it could have been a classic.

SCL_Justin Aug 14, 2017

The Bone Clocks is David Mitchell’s novel about a woman named Holly Sykes and the strange life she gets caught up in living. It does the excellent David Mitchelly thing of having multiple sections which are their own stories in their own specific times (though this one, unlike Cloud Atlas, does keep marching into the future).

I liked the story as it built from a literary-feeling mundane story into a pretty gonzo sci-fi spectacle. Holly Sykes is in every part and she’s great, but she’s not the narrator or even a main character in many of the sections, which is kind of what I really liked about the novel. It bounces around with a bunch of different perspectives (which are not as extremely different as the different styles in number9dream) that to me make it feel like it’s trying to capture the multiplicity of life. The book’s always about Holly even if we’re in the heads of her less than immaculate friends and lovers.

There are a couple of things that I wasn’t a huge fan of, but they were more on the loose ends side of things. The final section was longer than it probably needed to be but it was also the most affecting part of the whole experience. That might be because it was the furthest into the future and the most sfnal. I can see how you could call it preachy, but I think that fits the narrator at that point.

So yes, I liked it. It’s a bit weirder than The Thousand Autumns of Jacon de Zoet, but Mitchell knows how to write characters you’ll really care for (in the midst of weird scifiishness).

DBRL_IdaF Jun 07, 2017

Similar in structure to Mitchell's book, "Cloud Atlas", "The Bone Clocks" bounces among multiple narrators and time periods. The time frame is not as vast as in "Cloud Atlas", since the story always returns to one character -- Holly Sykes.

The story begins with Holly as a 15-year-old runaway. Her inner narrative is extremely well-done and will evoke all sorts of nostalgic awkwardness in anyone who has ever been a teen. As she ponders her life, she thinks about the "radio people", voices she used to hear in her head, and one in particular who visited her in the form of a woman. Quickly enough we realize this is not schizophrenia, but something supernatural.

The story proceeds through the years of Holly's life and a fuller picture emerges of an ongoing war between supernatural forces, those who feed on humanity and those who work to protect the potential prey.

The supernatural elements are intense and thrilling, but even the parts of the story with everyday life as the rest of us know it were engaging enough to keep me reading.

May 01, 2017

Fifteen year old Holly Sykes leaves home in Gravesend one hot day in 1984 and finds her life, family and those she encounters psychically hijacked. It's both rewarding and confusing the standoff between the Horologists and Atemporals happens late and little because much of the novel reads in beautiful episodes of realistic interconnected events, right through the end in 2043. Mitchell knows how to mix in the supernatural and this one doesn't overdo it.

Feb 22, 2017

Whilst not being my normal reading style, I had recently read another David Mitchell book and this was recommended to me I did enjoy reading this fantasy crossover. It did wain a little at times but I enjoyed it enough to finish, which says a lot as its a decent size. The characters were enjoyable enough for me to want to know what happened to them certainly.

Dec 10, 2016

Not a terrible read but definitely not a page turner. As prior comments state, the start of the book is very different from the rest of the book. Definitely has it's own .. flavor.

Nov 03, 2016

I liked it until I didn't like it. I thought that the beginning was great, fascinating characters and plot, edgy literary urban fantasy appearance, but somewhere around the middle reading it just became a slog. Things took a fairly routine dystopian turn and my interest flagged. I went from "how could I have not read this before" to "gotta try hard to finish this."

Sep 24, 2016

I expected to like this book from all I heard of it, but it was not very well written. There were some nice scenes and interesting characters, but the story was too jumbled and the various pieces didn't come together into a compelling or engaging story. The magic system seemed poorly developed, and was not well described.

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Oct 29, 2014

Chapel_Hill_KenMc thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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