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review 2017-01-25 07:10
The Bone Clocks
The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell

This book was in the back row of one of my double-stacked book shelves. Out of sight, out of mind. I forgot I’d bought it some time ago (and paid extra for the prettiest cover), which is unfortunate, because Slade House would have made SO MUCH MORE SENSE from the start if I had read The Bone Clocks first.

 

Alas.

 

It was the use of the phrase “bone clock” in Slade House that reminded me I had this book. Better read late than never, I suppose, and Slade House was fresh enough in my mind that I was still able to connect a whole bunch of dots. Yay.

 

As for The Bone Clocks, I loved it. I still dislike present tense and Ed’s POV section seemed largely unnecessary, but those are my only complaints. I still love Mitchell’s storytelling, and I think he outdid himself here. Interesting characters with interesting stories (for the most part) tied together by an even more interesting string of events is something Mitchell does really well. In this case, the overarching story is a lot more cohesive than Cloud Atlas or even Slade House, and it builds slowly and almost sneakily to a pretty cool climax. As a bonus, there’s the usual smattering of book recs contained within the text, and while I’m looking for them at the library I might see if I can also discover the symbolism of birds on spades.

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review 2016-08-11 09:55
Epic waste of time.
The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell

This is a gimmick book, which in itself isn't a bad thing if there's a good story in there. Maybe there was a such thing in this, but unfortunately for me all that was buried under heaps of problems.

 

The first ninety pages were a positive surprise. A man writing a fifteen-year-old girl in first person voice can only end up in disaster, was my first thought and indeed it was too good to last. Because the first time jump and second part started the stalker trend.

 

Instead of continuing writing Holly's story from her perspective, Mitchell does everything in his power to reduce her into a pawn and object in the lives of men around her. Holly disappears into the background and is only shown through glimpses in the moments most important to her life and story.

 

A one night stand, a would be husband, the love of her adult life, and then the world saving or ending battle through an alien black woman. That's a bad description but it's the best I can do for the fifth narrator and point of view character. To add insult to the injury Mitchell uses POC to refer to a "Pear Occident Company" and reduces the immortals into small minded trans-phobics with a single line.

 

Fun times end with a second short part from Holly's point of view and with her aged voice, but it's too little too late. The story, its characters, and the author had already lost me for good.

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text 2016-08-11 05:54
Reading progress update: I've read 498 out of 560 pages.
The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell

How can you tell a book was written by a man?

 

"'I don't know,' I tell Holly the mother, sister, daughter, widow, writer, friend."

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review 2016-07-12 03:47
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (DNF at 33%)
The Bone Clocks: A Novel - David Mitchell

DNF at 33%, right after Hugo’s chapter.

 

Many of my friends loved or at least liked this book.  I just thought it was dull. In case you’re unaware, this book consists of a set of six novellas, loosely connected, all written in the present tense and first person by different POV characters. I got through two of the novellas, and gave up after reading the first few pages of the third because it wasn’t getting any better. I didn’t love the writing like those friends who loved the book, and I found that it devolved into run-on quasi-incoherence whenever any kind of action sequence occurred. It was downright annoying.

 

So I was annoyed or bored throughout each novella until the only somewhat interesting thing would happen. And then? That section would end, we’d jump ahead, switch characters, and I’d be bored again. Slog through a hundred pages and get nothing for it? Ugh. Plus I hated reading both Holly’s and Hugo’s novellas. Even the friends who liked the book wouldn’t tell me that I’d find something worthwhile or interesting if I kept reading, and they all felt that the book went downhill in the second half or so.

 

I hate not finishing books, but there’s usually something I want to find out about, like how it all turns out. Here the only thing I was somewhat curious about was what had happened to Holly’s little brother, and that wasn’t enough to propel me through another four hundred pages of dross.

 

I haven’t read Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, and after this, I’m not sure I’m even going to try.  I’m told it’s a better book but this was such a terrible read for me that I can’t imagine Cloud Atlas going much better.

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text 2016-06-21 00:42
Reading progress update: I've read 200 out of 597 pages (33%).
The Bone Clocks: A Novel - David Mitchell

I'm not sure I'll be picking this up again.  I may have to create a new shelf for abandoned books.

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