reading: The Bone Clocks

November 30, 2015


I would recommend this book for avid readers of David Mitchell's books. But, if you are new to David Mitchell's writing, I would suggest reading Black Swan Green, an inventive coming of age story, or Cloud Atlas, an exploration of structure in which six stories are wrapped into each other like nesting dolls, before reading The Bone Clocks, which includes characters and motifs from other books by David Mitchell.

The Bone Clocks is a set of six intertwined stories focused on a fantastical battle between reincarnating beings called Horologists, and the vampiric evil of the human killing Anchorites. It also focuses on the character, Holly Sykes. The combination of the very mortal Holly, and the very surreal war being waged on the periphery of her life is disorienting. The blending of fantasy and realism left me cold. The infinite conflict made the finite experiences of the mortal characters seem to lack consequence.

The book raises interesting questions about the lengths that humans will go to live "forever", about the dichotomy of predator and prey in human nature, and about the interconnectedness of life. I also enjoyed the references to his other characters, the interesting spiritual world he weaves into all of his books, and the way the book echoes the structure of Cloud Atlas.  But, in the end, I found the book less enveloping and meaningful compared to Mitchell's other works that I have read.

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