The Bone Clocks

  • by David Mitchell
  • Narrated by Jessica Ball, Leon Williams, Colin Mace, Steven Crossley, Laurel Lefkow, Anna Bentinck
  • 24 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

David Mitchell is an eloquent conjurer of interconnected tales, a genre-bending daredevil, and a master prose stylist. His hypnotic new novel, The Bone Clocks, crackles with invention and wit - it is fiction at its most spellbinding and memorable.
Following a scalding row with her mother, 15-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as "the radio people", Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life. For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics - and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly's life, affecting all the people Holly loves - even the ones who are not yet born. A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list - all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world.
From the medieval Swiss Alps to the 19th-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder. Rich with character and realms of possibility, The Bone Clocks is a kaleidoscopic novel that begs to be taken apart and put back together.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


The first couple of hours of this was a beautiful pleasure. I have never enjoyed the language of a book as much as I loved this writing. I often complain about overly descriptive language, but that is not what this is. Mitchell just has a way of speaking, of thinking that is unique to him. When other writers try this style of writing it always seems fake to me, but I truly believe this is how Mitchell thinks.

So, your wondering why the low rating. I enjoyed the first couple of hours and the female character. She seem like a fairly normal British teenager who just happens to hear RADIO PEOPLE. Oh yea, this is very British. The British English with the colorful language, can make it a little hard to understand at times. That was not the problem for me. For some reason we switched characters and I was bored by the male character. I listened for three more hours, hoping he would get more interesting or we would return to the girl, but I lost patience. For three hours Mitchell bored me and that is something I don't have to put up with. Slade House is a shorter work, so I might try it. The plot was also taking to long to come together.
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- Jim "The Impatient"


I'm not a David Mitchell fan; I got through Thousand Autumns, but gave up on Cloud Atlas. I might give Cloud Atlas another try. I tried this book because of Ursula K. LeGuin's review in The Guardian; Ursula's opinion carries a lot of weight with me. I found The Bone Clocks to be seriously uneven. The first three sections & characters I found compelling, interesting and well narrated. The fourth section was difficult because it seemed to go on for a LONG time and the character was just so unpleasant. This might have been an easier read than listen; audiobooks come to life to such a degree that sometimes it's great and sometimes it's a downside. I didn't want to spend any more time with Crispin Hershey . . . but I got through it. I felt section 5 was by far the weakest part of the book. It's where the supernatural elements are strongest, and I just didn't believe it. I'm happy to go along with any number of fantastic constructs and worlds, but I need them to be well constructed and prepared for. These were not; it seemed like Mitchell just came up with a bunch of cool-sounding words and threw them at us. If the psychic weaponry and war make sense to him, that's fine, but it needs to make sense to me as well, and it really, really didn't. The narrator for section 5 didn't really work for me, and constantly mispronounced "Poughkeepsie." A small thing, I know, but it really got on my nerves after the first few times.

I enjoyed the final section of the book.

Overall I feel like Mitchell came up with some really interesting characters and didn't do much of interest with them. He can certainly write, no question about that. But the book didn't move me, and the supernatural aspect of the story was so weak that I'm left with no idea why he wrote the book at all.
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- Bonny

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-02-2014
  • Publisher: Recorded Books