Review: The Bone Clocks

The Bone Clocks
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

No writer should be expected to repeat tricks or jump through hoops, it is a shame then when writers do this to themselves.

Perhaps The Bone Clocks is set in the same world as Cloud Atlas but, even if so, it feels a book very far from its predecessor. In structure, in vocabulary, and in theme, The Bone Clocks is far looser and far less timeless than Cloud AtlasThe Bone Clocks has Justin Bieber references in it, making it…not exactly a classic.

Foregoing the populist approach and despite the enjoyable flights of fancy in character and wording that Mitchell takes, my main problem with The Bone Clocks is a lack of good editing. This lack shows in the way characters overshadow the rhythm of storytelling. When I can tell what’s coming and it doesn’t happen for 20 pages because of a flashback or a detour – especially near the end [which happens twice] – I just wish he’d get on with it. Of course, a good editor would have told him to and not given so much free reign.

That’s right, I am a writer bemoaning the lack of an editor in the 21st Century’s exponential rise of self-publishing. Perhaps I’m bemoaning the fact that I respect Mr Mitchell but this book is neither “genius” nor does it prove him a “consummate craftsman” as the reviews would have you believe.

I had no idea what to expect with this book, having only read Black Swan Green and a few of his short stories in the years after Cloud Atlas, but I found myself disappointed.

View all my reviews


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