The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell: Read This If


The Bone Clocks is an awesome trip of a novel. I really can’t stress this enough. I took forever to read it partially due to life busy-ness, and partially because I wanted to savor the story – even though it’s told in 6 different sections, each focusing on a different characters seemingly peripheral to the action (well, all but one, really). It’s one of those wonderfully genre-less novels, vibrant, real and impossibly believable. It’s also one of those stories where most of the action happens in the background, and we mostly see the behind the scenes goings-on, though this isn’t entirely the case. I heard (read) that characters from Mitchell’s past novels make an appearance, but I have only read Cloud Atlas and sadly couldn’t fully appreciate that or just simply didn’t notice. I don’t think it detracted from my enjoyment of the story in anyway.

Some seem to think Mitchell was trying to do too much with this not-so-quiet feat of a novel, but I disagree, or I don’t care. I loved it, for all it’s complications and reincarnations and made up phenomenons and supernatural out-there-ness. When I read it, I flew through it. When I wasn’t reading it, I wanted to be reading it.

So really, read this if:

  • You are looking for your next great read.
  • You loved Cloud Atlas.
  • You happily jump forward in time and all over in place.
  • Your suspension of disbelief muscles are all toned up.
  • You can’t get “Thriller” out of your head (but no zombies… that’s just the video interpretation – right?)

Don’t read this if:

  • You don’t want to be ruined for reading for a while. I haven’t been able to get into anything since I finished this a couple weeks ago.
  • The fantastical scares or irritates you (i.e., your suspension of disbelief muscles are over- or under-developed).
  • You can’t be bothered to read anything longer than 300 pages.
  • You hate jumping around between perspectives.
  • You’ve been listening to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on repeat. You likely need a different sort of book just now.
  • I loved this book!! My only regret is that it was the first David Mitchell I read because the others I’ve read since (Cloud Atlas and Ghostwritten) were good, but I missed the action.

    • Cat

      Cloud Atlas was my intro to Mitchell – I need to read the rest of his works! There’s never enough time to read all the great stuff out there – and I can’t wait to see what he writes next! And apparently we won’t have to wait long – Slade House comes out this fall already. Sheesh – wish I were that prolific.