C. G. McGinn


Ramblings about Books and Writing

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell is part of an ongoing mega novel by the author that was first brought to my attention with Cloud Atlas.

You may have seen or heard about Cloud Atlas from the movie version staring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Agent Smith, and directed by the Wachowski's. I've not seen the movie yet--though I plan to soon. I have read the book and it was not an easy read. I might have to read it again. It was very hard to follow.

Cloud Atlas deals with reincarnation and the traveling of a soul through time and people. The concept is easy enough to understand though I had a hard time seeing this in practice. Maybe after I watch the film and scour Wikipedia I'll be ready to take on the book again.

But this is about the Bone Clocks, which is a much easier read. The story is broken into six parts. Part One introduces us to the story's protagonist, Holly Sykes. The story advances from Sykes to different character perspectives who are loosely connected to her, each jumping forward in time, beginning in 1984 with Sykes, then to 1991, 2004, 2015, 2025, and finally ending in 2043 with a now 70 year old Holly Sykes.

The number of years covered in the the overall story is impressive and with each jump the reader is met with an entirely different set of rules as the culture and society has changed so dramatically. The POV characters are also vastly different from one another, making each new section a true story in and of itself.

The Bone Clocks is not part of a series, however, many, if not all of Mitchell's works are interconnected. I found the Bone Clocks the most accessible, so it may be a good starting point.