Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Bone Clocks

 tags: family, fantasy, science fiction, supernatural

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Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.
For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born.
A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

David Mitchell has yet to write a novel I couldn't love specially now that he has gone Haruki Murakami in Bone Clocks with elements of fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural themes. The supernatural good versus evil epic battle between super humans is worth the wait in Part 5 although these characters appear in parts 1 to 4. David Mitchell is a great story-teller and his prose is beautiful.

The 640-page genre-bending novel is divided into 6 parts, all bound to the main character Holly Sykes, and similar to Cloud Atlas, spans decades between 1984 and 2057. Although I have it in my Kindle, I borrowed the book from the library. I loved the feel of the book's smooth silky pages. It's a joy to read. Highly recommended

Books by David Mitchell I have read and also highly recommend:
Black Swan Green
Cloud Atlas
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet

Some characters in The Bone Clocks appeared in David Mitchell's previous books. My favorite is Dr. Marinus from The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet.

Might contain spoilers

from Wikipedia

Allusions/references to other works
The Bone Clocks contains characters from other works by Mitchell, following precedents set in his earlier novels. In interviews leading up to the release of this novel, Mitchell described this shared universe as an "uber-novel".
  • Hugo Lamb, one of the novel's narrators, appears as a boy in Black Swan Green, in which he is the protagonist Jason Taylor's cousin. The character Alan Wall also appears in Black Swan Green.
  • There are mentions of Spyglass Magazine and the writer Felix Finch, both featured in Cloud Atlas.
  • Crispin Hershey, another of the novel's narrators, is ostensibly the author of The Voorman Problem, an excerpt from number9dream, as well as the writer of a work whose plot seems identical to The Siphoners, a short story written by David Mitchell, which in turns seems to be the same pre-apocalyptic universe described in the last section of the book.
  • The soul of Dr. Marinus from The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is revealed to be capable of reincarnation, and is another of the novel's narrators, mostly as Dr. Iris Fenby. This particular incarnation of Marinus actually appeared in David Mitchell's libretto for Michel Van der Aa's opera Sunken Garden, which David Mitchell said served as a "prologue" to the Bone Clocks.
  • Jonny Penhaligon is implied to be a descendant of Captain Penhaligon of the British frigate Phoebus in The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
  • Elijah D'Arnoq, another "Atemporal" like Dr. Marinus, is implied to be the same character as Mr. D'Arnoq of the Chatham Islands in the first segment of Cloud Atlas", though the Afterword which appears in the paperback version reveals that Elijah is Mr. D'Arnoq's son'.
  • Mo Muntervary, a physicist who first appeared in Ghostwritten, is a secondary character in the last of this novel's sections.

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