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Publisher's Summary

One summer's day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for 'asylum'. Decades will pass before Holly understands what sort of asylum the woman was seeking.…

The Bone Clocks follows Holly's life: not so far out of the ordinary, yet punctuated by flashes of precognition, visits from people who emerge from thin air, and brief lapses in the laws of reality.

©2014 David Mitchell (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"No other British novelist, to my mind, combines such a darkly futuristic intelligence with such polyphonic ease" ( Sunday Times)
"Open up Mitchell's head and a whole magical, ecstatic symphony of inventiveness and ideas will fly out as if from a benign and felicitous Pandora's box. Read him." ( The Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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What a lovely book

Such an amazing, heartbreaking, uplifting, and rememberable book. Definitely a story I will want to return to. Mitchell's books always have the same effect on me, in the beginning it takes a moment to get into the story but once it happens I don't wanna stop. He has a way of creating such wonderful and realistic characters. Recommended.

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"Loved it" is too minor a term

Beautifully poetic, intricately woven and delicately told. This was my first Mitchell book and will be buying all others in the hopes they can live up to this beautiful story. I'll keep Holly in my heart forever. Also a great "thank you" to the narrators, every single one was as good as the previous and they were perfectly cast to fit their persona. One always wants more from a story they love, but the closing words left me satisfied and joyful.

  • Overall

bloody brilliant

narration superb...story sublime...haunting images of apocalyptic earth sent my imagination wild...Mitchell is a master of literal teleporting

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loved it

loved every second of this book. and i really like how there are different narrators for each "part" of the book.

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  • mgn
  • london
  • 08-02-15

Disappointing final 20%

The last ten chapters lets it down. So boring. So long. The earlier chapters covering various Earthlings were wonderful. I looked forward to my daily walk so I could listen to the next part of the book. It held together, was interesting and well written. The last portion of the book had no pace. Impossible to get into. It's rare for the end of the book not to hold the reader engaged. This was it for me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great listen!

From the first to the last sentence - it was a joy to listen, and i wished it could go on for much longer.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy Parsons
  • 09-24-14

Sodding marvellous

It is the best four or five things I have ever heard. Six novellas with at least two over arching narratives. Another tour de force in form and execution, rather like the wonderful Cloud Atlas starting in the past and moving through time into the near then distant future.

Each of the episodes was compelling with vivid characters and a gripping story, I was so reluctant to turn it off every day as I got to work and on my return journey home.

Holly is a wonderful character and appears centrally in the first and last episodes. Her journey through a life that could only have been created in David Mitchell's kaleidoscopic imagination, turns her from nieve teenager to wise old woman by utterly believable yet fantastic degrees.

If. I have any criticism it is the problem that arises from Holly's voice, it is so different from reader to reader that it jars. Given the versatility of the readers I suspect that they could have made it a little more consistent had the producers worked at it a little more. That said the first and last episodes are in her voice and the readers do acheive believable continuity we could have done with throughout.

The themes are too numerous to count but I loved the exploration of ageing and the old living in and on and through the young. These themes and others are explored at many levels and through the book's endless layers, and you can enjoy it as just a series of witty gripping stories at the same time.

Don't hesitate it will be some of the best 24 hours of your life! I might be overselling it a bit but as you may have noticed I loved it!

50 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 05-01-15

started well, middle lost me, end was good

The first few chapters really sparked my interest, the interplay of characters kept me listening. However the middle section left much to be desired and i seriously considered stopping and sending it back. Holly's voice throughout the book was annoyingly very different as each reader attempted it, this actually hindered the continuity for me. overall it didn't inspire me to read anything else by David Mitchell

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura
  • 12-10-14

Beautifully Written.

Would you listen to The Bone Clocks again? Why?

I definitely would, though nothing would be as good as the first time listening. When newly read, you're constantly thinking about what's going to happen next and you'll get lost in all the knooks and crannies.

What did you like best about this story?

I can't quite put my finger on it. It was just so immersing. I loved how it was written, this book is so complicated but not once (rare for me) did I get confused.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

I really liked that each character had their own narrator, I felt a lot more empathy for each character because of it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were so many! The ending was very moving for me but I don't want to give the story away.

Any additional comments?

If you want a book that's going to pull you in and keep you there then I'd definitely give this a go.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • T
  • 09-10-14

Rich in invention and wit, another tour de force

David Mitchell's writing is amongst the very best of his generation and I love it. Those who are already fans should, like me, be delighted. New readers should find Bone Clocks easier to get into than the recently filmed Cloud Atlas. There are nods in this book to Black Swan Green and Thousand Autumns, also warmly recommended, as indeed are all his books in their unabridged forms. The 24+ hours of this audiobook have flown by for me and I have enjoyed all of it. very much

This epic starts in 1984 Kent and some sections/narratives follow the central character of Holly through to a dystopian 2140 Ireland. But Holly is not the only character to be given great depth of personality by the unfolding story. My favourite is perhaps Crispin, whose contribution to this literary roller-coaster ride is so rich in humour that I know I was missing some of it. We learn much about Crispin from his curmudgeonly ways, so the humour has purpose and there are wry observations to enjoy throughout the book.

Each section of the book has a different narrator, which overall works well in differentiating viewpoints as well as the passage of time and place. Quality of the narration is generally very good, though not without some typical errors of emphasis in sight-reading and a couple of excruciating mispronunciations . Frequent audiobook listeners will have learned to deal with such occasional irritations and should not be put off from a thoroughly enjoyable book from a master of his craft.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt Cape
  • 04-03-15

good stoey let down bt poor production standards

good story and most of the actors do a good job but the production standard is lousy. For example the accent of the lead character changes from posh Brit to esturine twang to posh Brit and back to cockney again depending on the narrator. Couldnt the actors have discussed this first or gotten guidance from the producer? kind of kills off any sense of continuity. Also there were a few mistakes in pronunciation which really grate, although maybe I am too picky. An Oxford graduate would surely know how to pronounce "die ziet" and "Michaelmas"... Seems like a rushed production.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • 10-19-14

Loved it

I loved this book. I am not a particular fan of science fiction type books, and some parts of the book remain a mystery to me, but the characters were so engaging that i could not stop listening. Very well written. Several weeks since I finished the book I am still missing Holly Sykes. As for the 'meaning of 'Bone Clock' - such a clever description, I think that will always stay with me.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Hunt
  • 09-09-15

Too many different readers

Any additional comments?

Good story.

Too many readers. All with different styles for reading the same characters. One lead goes from quite posh to working class to middle class to working class. At least gather the readers together to emphasize an overall style of reading!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Bookish
  • 11-30-14

A fascinating blend of styles.

Would you listen to The Bone Clocks again? Why?

Modern fiction, science fiction and futuristic dystopia. David Mitchell weaves a vast and complex tale held together by strongly drawn individual characters. Each section is told by a different narrator.

What did you like best about this story?

The unfolding plot held my attention all the way through, complex but never confusing. I loved the science fiction concept of a hidden war being carried out under our noses.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration was mostly excellent, my only criticism was that the narrators didn't keep continuity in the way some characters spoke. Holly Sykes, one of the key characters, is an Essex girl of high intelligence and one of the male narrators makes her sound like an hysterical fishwife, her accent is different with each narrator and her character gets lost in some of the sections because of this.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I didn't manage one sitting but when I found myself at home with a cold I listened to the second half without stopping.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 03-21-16

Not for me

Can't quite put my finger on why I disliked this book so much. All the themes were exactly my normal kind of thing - and some really great new ideas. Well written, if occasionally a bit slow. But I think there were just too many gaping holes in this for me. My book club gave it a definite thumbs down - and turned to me expecting me to disagree (I'm always the odd one out because of my love of Sci-Fi and fantasy), but unfortunately, I agreed with them this time.

Almost a year after reading this, the one thing that has stuck with me is that solar panels will be the most sought after resource come the apocalypse when the rest of the world stops functioning and we have run out of the normal fuels. And then it'll be a case of "he who has the biggest gun will get the most panels"! Given the theme of the book, I'm not sure that was supposed to be my take-away.....so there you have it. Not particularly successful for me.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-28-16

brilliant

Any additional comments?

Love the way David Mitchell writes. the way the stories are weaved is great, sometimes takes a while to get your head round changes of direction.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jocelyn
  • 08-30-15

Interesting and captivating!

This was a very cleverly written book so interesting and intertwined over the space of time. I thoroughly enjoyed how the characters personalities came to life especially Holly Sykes and how clues were given in small doses so the listener can enjoy the 'ah ha!' moment throughout the book. A definite good book to listen to on the way to work, I found myself listening in the garage at times when I just didn't want the chapter to end!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachael
  • 08-21-15

Addictively brilliant!

A really wonderful book... With each change of narrator I felt a pang of loss but soon became so engrossed with the next! After a bit of a slow start all I really warmed to all the narrators. My husband and I would deliberately drive home the long way so we could listen to more

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 02-09-18

Another winner from David Mitchell

I had enjoyed the Cloud Atlas so much that I had to get this one as well. This one is just as good and I must admit it kept me up all night with the twists and turns of plot

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  • Patrick
  • 01-19-18

Should have done more homework...

Proof that literary enjoyment is - like art - highly subjective. Some might like this book. For me it was 24 hours of my life I can’t get back.

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  • Claudia
  • 09-17-17

unique storyline

An interesting premise with just enough strangeness to keep it going but some of the sub-stories dragged on far longer than necessary and some backplots got quite confusing

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  • Craig
  • 03-13-17

Excellent story

This is excellent story spanning a life span with a well directed story.

Have listened twice and still getting a different perspective for the story.

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  • Megan
  • 01-03-17

Excellent, excellent, excellent

I loved this book. Each narrator was perfect for their part. Great, unexpected story. I highy recommend The Bone Clocks.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-23-16

Great Book

One of my favourites for 2016!!
Highly recommended
David Mitchell at his best
Please enjoy

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  • Tonyo
  • 08-26-16

an improved Cloud Atlas

This another set of short stories but this time there is a designed link to the set making for a more 'single novel' feel

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  • jeemusu
  • 08-19-16

Audio books detract from the book

Audio books detract from the book. There needs to be a different voice actor or at least a convincing portrayal for each character.