The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
narrated by Steven Crossley, Jessica Ball, Colin Mace, Laurel Lefkow, Anna Bentinck, & Leon Williams
Method of Consumption: Audiobook
Book Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Audio Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Bone Clocks is a supernatural sci-fi novel told in 6 parts, from the viewpoints of 5 different characters, about a group of humanistic beings who never age, and how their “lives” affect a group of mere mortals who fall into their paths. Each of the 5 main characters is highly flawed, and yet when you hear things from their points of view, you find yourself empathizing with even the basest of individuals, a testament to David Mitchell’s excellent writing and character development.
But while I enjoyed getting to know each of the characters, something in the story fell flat for me. The reader is left in the dark for much of the novel about how exactly this world works, until the fifth chapter when the answers are finally revealed. And yet this was the chapter in which I found my attention wandering most. I didn’t so much care about the world in which these people live, or the (super lame) battles they fight through, as I felt moved by their everyday struggles and encounters.
If David Mitchell had chosen to make this story a simple study of characters, more so than a supernatural saga, I think I would have enjoyed it more.
The Bone Clocks is a bit difficult to listen to because it seems to take place in our world, until something just slightly off happens, causing you to rewind and make sure you heard correctly. Spoiler alert: you probably did! Despite the novels oddities, each of the audiobook narrators did a superb job, and thus the audiobook gets 5 stars from me.
But I cannot finish this review without mentioning the random, apocalyptic final chapter that felt like it came from another book entirely. While I typically enjoy apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, I did not feel this was the place for it. Take it out and make it a story all on its own, and I’m in! But the way it was written left me feeling like I got 2 novels for the price of one.
“Men marry women hoping they’ll never change. Women marry men hoping they will.”