The Bone Clocks

Overview

LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and 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 ...

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The Bone Clocks

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This item will be available on September 2, 2014.
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Overview

LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and 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 on the war in 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.
 
Rich with character and realms of possibility, The Bone Clocks is a kaleidoscopic novel that begs to be taken apart and put back together by a writer The Washington Post calls “the novelist who’s been showing us the future of fiction.”
 
An elegant conjurer of interconnected tales, a genre-bending daredevil, and master prose stylist, David Mitchell has become one of the leading literary voices of his generation. His hypnotic new novel, The Bone Clocks, crackles with invention and wit and sheer storytelling pleasure—it is fiction at its most spellbinding.

Named One of the Season’s Top 10 Works of Literary Fiction by Publishers Weekly
 
“Mitchell returns to the genre-skipping, globe-trotting, techno-spiritual ambitions of his astonishing Cloud Atlas, taking even greater risks at even greater length.”New York
 
“[The Bone Clocks] grounds Mitchell’s vast intellectual ambition in real heart and character.”Vogue

“If you can imagine the austere literary prowess of Ian McEwan married to the storytelling gifts of J.K. Rowling, you will begin to approximate David Mitchell. There’s no real argument: he’s the best novelist of his generation—and the most fun. The Bone Clocks is a stunning work of invention, incident, and character. The levels of awesome in this book are off the charts.”—Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box

“Curiouser and curiouser . . . mind-bending, interlocking tales that are reminiscent of a (very) adult version of Alice in Wonderland . . . [The Bone Clocks] won’t disappoint.”Library Journal (Editor’s Pick)

“A globe-trotting, time-bending epic . . . Is The Bone Clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque? . . . From gritty realism to far-out fantasy, each section has its own charm and surprises. With its wayward thoughts, chance meetings, and attention to detail, [David] Mitchell’s novel is a thing of beauty. . . . The less said about the plot the better, but fans of Mitchell’s books will be thrilled.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 06/02/2014
Is The Bone Clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque? We begin in the punk years with a teenage Talking Heads–obsessed runaway from Gravesend, England, named Holly Sykes. She becomes a pawn in a spiritual war between the mysterious "Radio People" and the benevolent Horologists, led by the body-shifting immortal Marinus. Many more characters and places soon find themselves worked into Marinus's "Script" across the book's six sections: there's Hugo Lamb, a cunning, amoral Cambridge student spending Christmas 1991 in Switzerland, where he encounters an older Holly tending bar; then it's the height of the Bush/Blair years, and our narrator is Holly's husband, Edmund Brubeck, a war reporter dispatched to Baghdad. Another flash-forward lands us in the present day, where the middling novelist Crispin Hershey weathers a succession of literary feuds, becomes confidante of a New Agey Holly and her daughter, then has his own unsettling encounter with the Radio People. In the penultimate section, Marinus reveals the nature of the Script—the secret conflict lurking just beneath mortal affairs—and how Holly may be the key to a resolution whose repercussions won't be known until 2043, when the aged Holly rides out a curiously sedate end-time in rural Ireland. From gritty realism to far-out fantasy, each section has its own charm and surprises. With its wayward thoughts, chance meetings, and attention to detail, Mitchell's (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet) novel is a thing of beauty. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
Named One of the Season’s Top 10 Works of Literary Fiction by Publishers Weekly

Named One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2014 by The Millions

“Mitchell returns to the genre-skipping, globe-trotting, techno-spiritual ambitions of his astonishing Cloud Atlas, taking even greater risks at even greater length.”New York

“[The Bone Clocks] grounds Mitchell’s vast intellectual ambition in real heart and character.”Vogue

“If you can imagine the austere literary prowess of Ian McEwan married to the storytelling gifts of J.K. Rowling, you will begin to approximate David Mitchell. There’s no real argument: he’s the best novelist of his generation—and the most fun. The Bone Clocks is a stunning work of invention, incident, and character. The levels of awesome in this book are off the charts.”—Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box

“Curiouser and curiouser . . . mind-bending, interlocking tales that are reminiscent of a (very) adult version of Alice in Wonderland . . . [The Bone Clocks] won’t disappoint.”Library Journal (Editor’s Pick)

“A globe-trotting, time-bending epic that touches down in, among other places, England, Switzerland, Iraq, and Australia . . . Is The Bone Clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque? . . . From gritty realism to far-out fantasy, each section has its own charm and surprises. With its wayward thoughts, chance meetings, and attention to detail, [David] Mitchell’s novel is a thing of beauty. . . . The less said about the plot the better, but fans of Mitchell’s books will be thrilled, and may even bump into a few characters they’ve met before.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Trademark Mitchell . . . another exacting, challenging and deeply rewarding novel from [the] logophile and time-travel master.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

From the Publisher
Named One of the Season’s Top 10 Works of Literary Fiction by Publishers Weekly

Named One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2014 by The Millions

 
“Mitchell returns to the genre-skipping, globe-trotting, techno-spiritual ambitions of his astonishing Cloud Atlas, taking even greater risks at even greater length.”New York

“If you can imagine the austere literary prowess of Ian McEwan married to the storytelling gifts of J.K. Rowling, you will begin to approximate David Mitchell. There’s no real argument: he’s the best novelist of his generation—and the most fun. The Bone Clocks is a stunning work of invention, incident, and character. The levels of awesome in this book are off the charts.”—Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box

“A globe-trotting, time-bending epic that touches down in, among other places, England, Switzerland, Iraq, and Australia . . . Is The Bone Clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque? . . . From gritty realism to far-out fantasy, each section has its own charm and surprises. With its wayward thoughts, chance meetings, and attention to detail, [David] Mitchell’s novel is a thing of beauty. . . . The less said about the plot the better, but fans of Mitchell’s books will be thrilled.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Trademark Mitchell . . . another exacting, challenging and deeply rewarding novel from [the] logophile and time-travel master.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-06-17
Mitchell’s latest could have been called The Rime of the Ancient Marinus—the “youthful ancient Marinus,” that is. Another exacting, challenging and deeply rewarding novel from logophile and time-travel master Mitchell (Cloud Atlas, 2004, etc.).As this long (but not too long) tale opens, we’re in the familiar territory of Mitchell’s Black Swan Green (2006)—Thatcher’s England, that is. A few dozen pages in, and Mitchell has subverted all that. At first it’s 1984, and Holly Sykes, a 15-year-old suburban runaway, is just beginning to suss out that it’s a scary, weird place, if with no shortage of goodwilled protectors. She wants nothing but to get away: “The Thames is riffled and muddy blue today, and I walk and walk and walk away from Gravesend towards the Kent marshes and before I know it, it’s 11:30 and the town’s a little model of itself, a long way behind me.” Farther down the road, Holly has her first inkling of a strange world in which “Horologists” bound up with one Yu Leon Marinus and, well, sort-of-neo-Cathars are having it out, invited into Holly’s reality thanks to a tear in her psychic fabric. Are they real? As one strange inhabitant of a “daymare” asks, “But why would two dying, fleeing incorporeals blunder their way to you, Holly Sykes?” Why indeed? The next 600 pages explain why in a course that moves back and forth among places (Iceland, Switzerland, Iraq, New York), times and states of reality: Holly finds modest success in midlife even as we bone clocks tick our way down to a society of her old age that will remind readers of the world of Sloosha’s Crossin’ from Cloud Atlas: The oil supply has dried up, the poles are melting, gangs roam the land, and the old days are a long way behind us. “We live on,” says an ever unreliable narrator by way of resigned closing, “as long as there are people to live on in.”If Thatcher’s 1984 is bleak, then get a load of what awaits us in 2030. Speculative, lyrical and unrelentingly dark—trademark Mitchell, in other words.
Library Journal
06/15/2014
Not surprisingly from the author of Cloud Atlas, Mitchell presents six different narratives, with characters from a psychic teen to a floundering middle-aged novelist and settings from medieval Switzerland to 19th-century Australia to a futurist Manhattan, to present the conflict between a group of soul-decanters and the vigilantes who are after them. With a ten-city tour to Boston; New York; Washington, DC; Chicago; Minneapolis; Kansas City, MO; Portland, OR; Seattle; San Francisco; and Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400065677
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 28,978
  • Product dimensions: 6.61 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.47 (d)

Meet the Author

David Mitchell

David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

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