5 Reasons You Should Read The Bone Clocks

The Bone Clocks   The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell (2014)


I’m finding myself unable to write complete and coherent thoughts about this book. It’s so complex and detailed, and just one of those stories you need to experience for yourself to understand. The Bone Clocks is told in long sections from various view points, all of which orbit our main character, named Holly.  The story starts with Holly as a fifteen year old, and ends up in a dystopian-like near future, with Holly in her 70s. Click here for the Goodreads synopsis. I thought I’d treat this “review” a little bit different, and hopefully entice you to pick this up. Now, on to the 5 reasons you should read The Bone Clocks…


1.   It combines several different book genres into one glorious book – contemporary, science fiction, magical realism, dystopian, and so on. It scratches all those literary itches!


2.   I can truly say I’ve never read a book like this before, with its unique storytelling technique, relateable dialogue, and intricately woven plot.


3.   This is such a slow burn, yet a completely enthralling and compelling read. It’s nice to read a slowish, yet well-paced book sometimes, as there aren’t too many out there that do it this well.


4.   I’m a sucker for character development, and it is SO ON POINT in this book. Each section is from a different point of view, and each character’s back story, persona, and current state of things are so well described I found myself completely lost in each unique story. I was always a little disappointed at the end of each section because the time in that character’s mind had ended, only to be swept away again by the next!


5.   This is kind of a spin-off to the above point (is that cheating…?), but the subtle ways the characters were connected was just pristine.  None of it was in your face, like OOH REMEMBER THIS IT’S IMPORTANT IN THE FUTURE!!! It was up to you, the reader, to pay attention and make the connections. David Mitchell is a master at showing the reader the story, as opposed to telling it, and this reader, anyways, truly appreciated it!


Rating:   [4.5/5 stars]


Have you read this, or do you plan to? How do you think it will fare in the Tournament of Books?


| The Bone Clocks | Random House | 2014 | hardcover | library |



27 thoughts on “5 Reasons You Should Read The Bone Clocks

  1. I’m really looking forward to reading it. Mitchell is one of my favorite authors, so I’m not sure why I haven’t aleady. I’m planning on reading it in April.


    1. I really liked it, and it’s one of those books that I seem to like even more, the more I talk about it and think about it as time as passed. It’s the only one of Mitchell’s I’ve read, and I’m hoping to get to Cloud Atlas in May probably. Thanks for checking in and commenting, and I love your videos!


  2. I’m not quite sure what’s been holding me up from starting this, since I loved Cloud Atlas, but I think I need to get to it soon. I had it checked out form the library not too long ago and didn’t even have time to start it before it was due back (and, of course, someone else had a hold!). Thanks for pushing me a bit to jump on it soon!


    1. Yes! Do it! Let me know what you think, when you do. I haven’t read CLoud Atlas yet, and am hoping to in the next 2ish months or so. Thanks for checking out my blog! 🙂


  3. #6: Mitchell an artist, a trendsetter and a creator of literary speculative fiction. Take, for example, the concise, spot-on way that Mitchell delivers meaningful snippets of scenes. “There’s a moon sharp enough to cut your finger on,” he notes as Holly is discussing issues that will resonate throughout the novel with Ed (her future partner).

    #7: Deliving deep into the previous lives of the Horologists is an appealing way to give us the background on Horology and Anchorites necessary so that we can pick up the storyline again and move forward. Though the digressions are long, they are extremely engaging mini-novellettes. This is how the “info dump” should be done!

    We at FictionUnbound.com loved the book too: http://www.fictionunbound.com/blog/theboneclocks. Check it out for even more reasons to read The Bone Clocks.


    1. Excellent additions to my list, and I’m glad you liked it as well! I agree completely re: the non-info-dump way he wove all that into the story! Will go check it out, and thanks so much for commenting! 🙂


  4. I’m so glad I came across this review (and LOVING the original format, btw!). I’ve had this book on my shelf since it came out, but I have to admit to being more than a little intimidated. I’ve never read any of Mitchell’s books, but I’ve watched the movie of Cloud Atlas, and even the movie was so complex and multi-faceted that I had trouble keeping track. This has led to me feeling like the book (and other books by Mitchell) will be ridiculously far over my head! But this list has made me feel like the book is slightly more accessible, and that is immensely encouraging.


    1. I also was intimidated, and if not for the Tournament I probably wouldn’t have jumped in as quickly. I think I would have preferred to read Cloud Atlas first, but still immensely enjoyed The Bone Clocks. JUST DO IT, you won’t be sorry! It takes a minute to get into it and get used to the style (maybe 20ish pages or so…) but once you’re there, it’s smooth sailing. I’m planning to pick up Cloud Atlas in the near future! Let me know when you get to it, and hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!


      1. I’ve got Cloud Atlas, but watching the movie made me feel a bit “meh” towards it. I’ve had Black Swan Green and one of his other books recommended to me too, so I might start with a shorter one!


      2. I didn’t even know it was a movie until you mentioned it in your previous comment! If Cloud Atlas is anything like The Bone Clocks, I cant imagine it is portrayed as well on screen…


  5. As a movie Cloud Atlas was unique. It featured big name actors playing multiple roles with pretty intense make-up transformations. The plot was kind of all over the place and hard to follow. But it was beautifully shot, and the jumping around and multiple roles made it really interesting in terms of plot and character development. It’s long, though, and I found myself kind of exhausted by the end of it! If you like epic sci-fi, you’ll probably enjoy it.


      1. I’ll look forward to your comparison! Having only seen the movie, I’m a little nervous about the book, so I’d love to hear what you think. You know, like with every other book you’re reading, ever!


  6. I’ve read all of Mitchell’s novels and really disliked this one because it fell so far short of what he’s capable of writing. Since it sounds like you haven’t read Cloud Atlas or The Thousand Autumns of Jacob deZoet yet, well, hold onto your hat; in my opinion, they’re both far superior books (deZoet is one of my top favorite books ever).


    1. I’ve been hearing that most people who have read Mitchell were let down, but have also heard a few Mitchell fans rave about TBC. I’m excited to get to his other works, and will definitely be picking up Cloud Atlas next month! Thanks for commenting! 🙂


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