“Human cruelty can be infinite. Human generosity can be boundless.”

20819685What is this book about?

As we already mentioned earlier, the Goodreads summary is kind of strange for this one. But after reading it I would describe this book as being about Holly Sykes, a young girl who hears voices and sees people that others can’t. These people are the subject of the book, called Horologists and Anchorites. They  are people who are somewhat immortal, being able to pass on to a different body after they die or to stay young and in the same body by consuming other people’s souls. The Bone Clocks follows many different people, all anchored around Holly Sykes’ life, who turns out to be much more important than she ever realized.

Why is it boring?

This book is not necessarily boring. I would sooner call it confusing, long-winded and maybe just a bit self-satisfying?

Who would you recommend it to?

If you love David Mitchell, then you’ve probably already read this book and you’re hating my guts for not praising it into the high heavens. The book is a mixture of fantasy and literature, but for me the fantasy was a bit underplayed, so keep that in mind. I would recommend this book to people who liked The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August or people who loathed that book, but liked the idea. The Bone Clocks is the much better version of that book, dealing with similar subjects.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

I’m still in doubt about this book. It was by no means perfect, it was way too long and it is clear that Mitchell’s editors have given the writer free reign. So much of this story could have been cut and the fact that it wasn’t made the book come across as smug. Like it knows that the David Mitchell audience will read anything he puts on paper, so why even bother? That said, the story was very interesting and you know, he’s still a good writer. I liked the fantasy bits much more than the more dramatic parts and I got annoyed that, especially in the start we got maybe 5 pages of fantasy for every 50 pages of drama. I think it didn’t help that I listened to the audiobook version of this novel. The readers all do an amazing job, but the story might just be too complicated to listen to. Often I felt like I needed to skip back to see who was who and what had happened, but you can’t really do that with an audiobook. The Bone Clocks did make me curious about Mitchell’s other work, so I’ll definitely give that a shot now, but only because I’ve heard that those might be better than this one.

Rating: 3/5

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Author

Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She's one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

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