22 December, 2014
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell [Emma, Birkenhead Library]
Holly Sykes ties the story together, but narrates only at the beginning and end. Other characters who know her and narrate include a failing novelist, a corrupt and amoral university boy, a time-travelling reborn ageless doctor and Holly's own journalist husband. Through them we get the full picture of a world in which behind the human scenes, constantly reborn "Horologists" attempt to keep an increasing band of human-devouring "Anchorites" in check. These are the "Atemporals" - human-looking yet godlike in their powers of time travel, persuasion and sucking out of souls, as well as their memories of their previous incarnations.
It's not really full of weirdness - this stuff creeps up on you. It was not until the fourth of six sections that I consciously realised I was now reading sci-fi. Not my usual choice of genre but I admit this was a very exciting part of the story!
David Mitchell is one of my favourite authors ever, so I expected this book to be great. I savoured it, and enjoyed immensely, but, The Bone Clocks did not wow me to quite the same degree as Cloud Atlas or The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. I think perhaps that the contrasts between the sections, narrated by different characters, weren't distinct enough, and I struggled a bit (and let go) with the 'why' of the storyline. However - I am still seriously looking forward to his next book, hopefully to re-meet some of the characters again!
Title: The Bone Clocks
Author: David Mitchell
Published: London, Sceptre, 2014