Hello! I love David Mitchell. Sometimes I don’t understand David Mitchell. Recently I learned he’s only 52, i.e., a couple of months *younger* than me, and so much younger than he was in my head, and was all, “You bastard!” But what has any of that to do with The Bone Clocks? Why, nothing at all!
The Bone Clocks is somewhat similar in structure to Cloud Atlas, though not as complicated…structurally. It’s plenty complicated. There are immortals among us! There are good immortals and bad ones! Our main character had some possibly psychic moments as a small child, which will come back to haunt as well as aid & abet her and our plot later. There are six sections and I THINK Holly is the only constant. We meet her first as a teenager in 1984, and finally as an 80-something in 2043.
In 1984, Holly is a jackass, though not irredeemably so. She makes dumb decisions and is caught up in boy turmoil. Like I said, a teenager. This whole part read like a fever dream. Literally, because it’s hot; figuratively because she doesn’t know what the fuck she’s doing and then hey! supernatural stuff, and it’s in the form of some kind of battle for/against…what?
1991 ft. Hugo Lam: a privileged, but not as rich as he wants to be morally bankrupt shit person who meets Holly in Switzerland. He just really sucks but somehow develops/discovers some real feelings for Holly. They hook up. He has a Rubicon moment when he’s overcome by the siren song of the evildoer immortals and bounces, knowing he’ll never see Holly again. Turns out he’s also never exactly going to be human again, but you know, whatever. Lordy, does this shitbag want to be part of the cool kids club or what?
In 2004, Holly is married and has a kid. She ended up with a guy from 1984. There’s a little psychic action from Holly which may just be a set-up for the fact that she eventually writes a book.This whole section feels like a way to explain the time lapse from 1991 to
2015. Here comes Crispin Hershey, a probably washed-up writer who’s dismissive and jealous of not washed-up people, even those he deems beneath him. Which is basically everyone. Holly is all popular and famous because she wrote a damn psychic book. So obv he hates her, but meets her and can’t help but like her. This section was entertaining and also self-indulgent. I don’t know if David Mitchell had a particular agenda re publishing industry or just can’t believe how incredibly interesting it is.
2025, oooh the labyrinth. Have you ever been to an aquarium or zoo where you can be UNDER an exhibit and pop your head up into a plexiglass dome thing and kinda be in the action? That’s how I felt in the battle royale between the Horologists and the Anchorites people. Honestly this section is somehow almost as tedious as it is interesting. And it’s wildly interesting.
2043 hurt my heart and head and also doesn’t make any sense but neither does the rest of this. You thought all that supernatural shit was bad? Hold my beer.
There are some really major things I should mention but don’t want to spoil them even a little bit. So that’s it.
While still engrossed in this, I proclaimed it my new favorite David Mitchell. Now, maybe not. Either way, feeling invested while reading, and looking forward to getting back to it, and kind of loving it meant a lot in Times Like These.