Book Review: The Bone Clocks

The Bone ClocksThe Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Let’s start with the outside of this book — the cover is enticing and the title is subtle and wonderfully descriptive. The whole package makes you wonder what is inside. The book is written in five sections spanning several decades from the late twentieth century to the mid-twenty-first century. Each section is written from the point of view of different characters.  The story begins with teenaged Holly Sykes, the protagonist of the novel, finding her boyfriend in bed with her best friend.  Holly makes an appearance in each section in the middle of the book with the last section also told from her point of view.

David Mitchell is a superb storyteller and can take the reader to the scene like no other writer. This is especially exciting and interesting for the reader when Mitchell invents a post-apocalytic world as in the final section of The Bone Clocks or in Cloud Atlas or when Mitchell invents a place that exists only in his imagination and then takes the reader there. His descriptions are vivid and detailed.

The Bone Clocks is not my favorite Mitchell novel. That position is still held by Cloud Atlas. Although The Bone Clocks is probably the best book I’ve read thus far in 2014, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and The Bone Clocks are tied for second place in my personal ranking of David Mitchell novels.

My only gripe about The Bone Clocks is Mitchell’s propensity for sharing his personal viewpoints through his novel. (Note: Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2007.)  For example, the reader can surely glean his feelings about religion from the last section.  Or can they?  Does Holly consider the horologists gods when she says a prayer asking for salvation for her two charges?  Is her prayer answered?  You can decide when you read The Bone Clocks.  It is worth your time and your effort at over 600 pages.

Book Details:  Published by Random House (September 4, 2014), 640 pages.

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The Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels of All Time

There was a time when I read a great deal of fantasy and science-fiction, but in recent years I focused more on historical fiction and thrillers.  Right now I am reading The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer and just love the way the story is written from the viewpoint of different characters.  A great way to write a spy novel!

Business Insider has posted a list of the Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels of All Time.  One of my favorite novels of all time regardless of genre is on the list.  Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell just might be my favorite book of all time, but is definitely in the top five.   Let me know if you have any favorites on the list by leaving a comment!

Book Review: Cloud Atlas

The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is a fantastic book!  Reading this book was more interesting that anything I’ve done in a while (no comments about my boring life, please!).  I could hardly put it down, and it has been awhile since I’ve read a book that held my interest that much.

Cloud Atlas isn’t like a normal novel.  It has chapters in the sense that it is divided into sections.  Each section takes place in different time period beginning in the 1800s and going far into man’s future.  These sections then begin going backward and the book ends in the same time period in which it began.  The sections are connected by objects and thoughts through the years.  I really enjoyed this book!

The book begins with Adam Ewing, a notary in the Chatham Isles, who contracts a brain parasite.  He is treated by his friend Dr. Goose.  The first section ends abruptly and we then find ourselves in Belgium in the early twentieth century.  Time marches on through the 1970’s in Buenas Yerbas, modern day England, a future Korean corpocracy, and post-nuclear Hawaii.  The stories are fascinating!

I also want to comment on David Mitchell’s beautiful use of the english language.  This book was shortlisted for a Man Booker Prize in 2004 and deservedly so.  Cloud Atlas is worth reading for the writing alone.

I highly recommend Cloud Atlas as you can see from my rarely given award of five hearts!  Enjoy!  If you have read Cloud Atlas leave a comment and let us know what you think….

Book Details: Published by Random House Trade Paperbacks (August 17, 2004), 528 pages, ISBN-10:  0375507256, ISBN-13: 978-0375507250