‘The Bone Clocks’ Is the Must-Read Book of Fall 2014
If you are looking for your next great read, you will find it in the The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. Fans of Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and those who are reading him for the first time will find Bone Clocks is a literary maze from which you won’t want to escape, and we’re thrilled to announce it is our next official MashableReads selection.
In his 2004 masterpiece Cloud Atlas, Mitchell cemented himself as the kind of author who can propel innovation in fiction without sacrificing the readability of his novel. He replicates that success in Bone Clocks, a genre- and generation-spanning story that will see you racing through its 641 pages.
Like Cloud Atlas, Bone Clocks jumps across decades and narrators, introducing characters in one period of their lives only to bring them back many years later. There are multiple appearances of names and characters from Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, but a lack of familiarity with these characters will not impair the reading experience of the Mitchell novice.
Image: Mashable Tyler Tronson
Unlike Cloud Atlas, Bone Clocks has a clear protagonist, the precocious and charming Holly Sykes. When we meet Sykes at 15, she is undergoing a very teenage rebellion against her mother in 1984 Gravesend, England. Though Holly talks like every punk teenager and raves about the Talking Heads, there is something not entirely ordinary happening to her. The reader will realize early on Sykes’ connection to the supernatural, launching a mystery that simmers at the edges of the story from beginning to end.
When Holly runs away from home, it will have implications that ripple across generations and continents. Bone Clocks travels from Holly’s 1980s England to 2004 Baghdad and back to the United Kingdom to land in a post-“Endarkment” Ireland in 2043, suffering from the societal collapse wrought by Earth’s dwindled natural resources.
As Mitchell moves through different literary styles and narrators with ease, the novel hints at a not-entirely-human conspiracy lurking at the edges of the most human of trials: war, fame, loss and family. Mitchell’s skill as a writer keeps Bone Clocks from being confined to a single genre, and the result is something completely original, thought-provoking and thrilling to read.
Comparing Mitchell to another author is difficult. While comparisons to Nabokov and Calvino abound, The Bone Clocks can be comfortably compared to not only highly literary fiction, but also science fiction and fantasy classics. Mitchell has also experimented with the boundaries of literary form, producing a short story, one tweet at a time, to accompany his latest novel. In literature, Mitchell stands out as an original, seeing The Bone Clocks long-listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, Mitchell’s fifth work to receive that honor.
As part of the MashableReads program, we’re offering the chance to win a copy of Bone Clocks and to participate in a conversation with the author.
How to Enter the Challenge
Tag your short story tweets with the hashtag #MashReads.
Each short story must be contained in a single tweet. No story may be longer than 140 characters (including #MashReads).
You can submit up to five stories (five tweets). Any additional submissions will not be judged.
How to Join the MashableReads Social Book Club
Are you in New York City? Join our Meetup group for the chance to meet MashableReads authors in person. Interested in starting your own Meetup in your community? Message us on Facebook. MashableReads book clubs get exclusive access to new authors.
Throughout the month, we’ll be posting discussion questions, giveaways and more. Stay tuned for more about The Bone Clocks. Happy reading!
BONUS: Authors in Conversation with MashableReads