The New York Times bestseller by the author of Cloud Atlas • Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize • Named One of the Top Ten Fiction Books of the Year by Time, Entertainment Weekly, and O: The Oprah Magazine • A New York Times Notable Book • An American Library Association Notable Book • Winner of the World Fantasy Award
“With The Bone Clocks, [David] Mitchell rises to meet and match the legacy of Cloud Atlas.”—Los Angeles Times
Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and 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 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 a 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 to more than 20 year-end best of lists, including
NPR • San Francisco Chronicle • The Atlantic • The Guardian • Slate • BuzzFeed
“One of the most entertaining and thrilling novels I’ve read in a long time.”—Meg Wolitzer, NPR
“[Mitchell] writes with a furious intensity and slapped-awake vitality, with a delight in language and all the rabbit holes of experience.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Intensely compelling . . . fantastically witty . . . offers up a rich selection of domestic realism, gothic fantasy and apocalyptic speculation.”—The Washington Post
“[A] time-traveling, culture-crossing, genre-bending marvel of a novel.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Great fun . . . a tour de force . . . [Mitchell] channels his narrators with vivid expertise.”—San Francisco Chronicle
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Blending small human dramas, current events, big ideas, and supernatural mystique, The Bone Clocks is like nothing you’ve ever read before. This audacious novel by David Mitchell—the author of Cloud Atlas—follows a tempestuous teenager named Holly Sykes, who has a history of hearing voices and seeing specters. Spurned by her boyfriend and fueled by spite, Holly embarks on a journey into the Kentish countryside, where she unwittingly becomes a pawn in a violent battle between magical armies. Hurtling forward from its starting point in 1984 to 2043 (where Holly is a grandmother cherishing a simple life in Ireland), Mitchell’s story unveils colorful characters and unexpected twists at every turn.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The bone clocks
A truly gifted writer. Read cloud atlas first
Long and boring.
I'm not even close to finishing and I honestly feel like I won't. I kind of agree with the negative reviews, especially about the author trying to show off his extensive vocabulary. It takes away from the enjoyment of the book. Reading this book is like watching a long movie with a lot of slow scenes and all I want to do is fast forward to the good parts! I wish I could get my money back.
All of the negative reviews have errors
This book does require a high level of English language proficiency... I notice that all of the seething negative reviews have little spelling errors or weird grammar. I feel your frustration, and I think your reviews will help others who will need to wait for this story to be turned into a series on Prime Video or wherever.
This book deals with profound concepts and big stories, all with a high amount of class consciousness. I also think that some readers were offended that the author expected them to understand all of these bourgeois references from 3 decades ago in the 2nd part of the book... lol
Also, the 3rd part is so fascinating and well researched! I learned a lot about the Iraq war while being completely gripped by the story. Thank you for this great book, Mr. Mitchell.