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The Bone Clocks (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

David Mitchell
3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

June 30

I fling open my bedroom curtains, and there’s the thirsty sky and the wide river full of ships and boats and stuff, but I’m already thinking of Vinny’s chocolaty eyes, shampoo down Vinny’s back, beads of sweat on Vinny’s shoulders, and Vinny’s sly laugh, and by now my heart’s going mental and, God, I wish I was waking up at Vinny’s place in Peacock Street and not in my own stupid bedroom. Last night, the words just said themselves, “Christ, I really love you, Vin,” and Vinny puffed out a cloud of smoke and did this Prince Charles voice, “One must say, one’s frightfully partial to spending time with you too, Holly Sykes,” and I nearly weed myself laughing, though I was a bit narked he didn’t say “I love you too” back. If I’m honest. Still, boyfriends act goofy to hide stuff, any magazine’ll tell you. Wish I could phone him right now. Wish they’d invent phones you can speak to anyone anywhere anytime on. He’ll be riding his Norton to work in Rochester right now, in his leather jacket with led zep spelled out in silver studs. Come September, when I turn sixteen, he’ll take me out on his Norton.

Someone slams a cupboard door, below.

Mam. No one else’d dare slam a door like that.

Suppose she’s found out? says a twisted voice.

No. We’ve been too careful, me and Vinny.

She’s menopausal, is Mam. That’ll be it.

Talking Heads’ Fear of Music is on my record player, so I lower the stylus. Vinny bought me this LP, the second Saturday we met at Magic Bus Records. It’s an amazing record. I like “Heaven” and “Memories Can’t Wait” but there’s not a weak track on it. Vinny’s been to New York and actually saw Talking Heads, live. His mate Dan was on security and got Vinny backstage after the gig, and he hung out with David Byrne and the band. If he goes back next year, he’s taking me. I get dressed, finding each love bite and wishing I could go to Vinny’s tonight, but he’s meeting a bunch of mates in Dover. Men hate it when women act jealous, so I pretend not to be. My best friend Stella’s gone to London to hunt for secondhand clothes at Camden Market. Mam says I’m still too young to go to London without an adult so Stella took Ali Jessop instead. My biggest thrill today’ll be hoovering the bar to earn my three ­pounds’ pocket money. Whoopy-­doo. Then I’ve got next week’s exams to revise for. But for two pins I’d hand in blank papers and tell school where to shove Pythagoras triangles and Lord of the Flies and their life cycles of worms. I might, too.

Yeah. I might just do that.

Down in the kitchen, the atmosphere’s like Antarctica. “Morning,” I say, but only Jacko looks up from the window-­seat where he’s drawing. Sharon’s through in the lounge part, watching a cartoon. Dad’s downstairs in the hallway, talking with the delivery guy—­the truck from the brewery’s grumbling away in front of the pub. Mam’s chopping cooking apples into cubes, giving me the silent treatment. I’m supposed to say, “What’s wrong, Mam, what have I done?” but sod that for a game of soldiers. Obviously she noticed I was back late last night, but I’ll let her raise the topic. I pour some milk over my Weetabix and take it to the table. Mam clangs the lid onto the pan and comes over. “Right. What have you got to say for yourself?”

“Good morning to you too, Mam. Another hot day.”

“What have you got to say for yourself, young lady?”

If in doubt, act innocent. “ ’Bout what exactly?”

Her eyes go all snaky. “What time did you get home?”

“Okay, okay, so I was a bit late, sorry.”

“Two hours isn’t ‘a bit late.’ Where were you?”

I munch my Weetabix. “Stella’s. Lost track of time.”

“Well, that’s peculiar, now, it really is. At ten o’clock I phoned Stella’s mam to find out where the hell you were, and guess what? You’d left before eight. So who’s the liar here, Holly? You or her?”

Shit. “After leaving Stella’s, I went for a walk.”

“And where did your walk take you to?”

I sharpen each word. “Along the river, all right?”

“Upstream or downstream, was it, this little walk?”

I let a silence go by. “What diff’rence does it make?”

There’re some cartoon explosions on the telly. Mam tells my sister, “Turn that thing off and shut the door behind you, Sharon.”

“That’s not fair! Holly’s the one getting told off.”

“Now, Sharon. And you too, Jacko, I want—” But Jacko’s already vanished. When Sharon’s left, Mam takes up the attack again: “All alone, were you, on your ‘walk’?”

Why this nasty feeling she’s setting me up? “Yeah.”

“How far d’you get on your ‘walk,’ then, all alone?”

“What—­you want miles or kilometers?”

“Well, perhaps your little walk took you up Peacock Street, to a certain someone called Vincent Costello?” The kitchen sort of swirls, and through the window, on the Essex shore of the river, a tiny stick-­man’s lifting his bike off the ferry. “Lost for words all of a sudden? Let me jog your memory: ten o’clock last night, closing the blinds, front window, wearing a T-shirt and not a lot else.”

Yes, I did go downstairs to get Vinny a lager. Yes, I did lower the blind in the front room. Yes, someone did walk by. Relax, I’d told myself. What’s the chances of one stranger recognizing me? Mam’s expecting me to crumple, but I don’t. “You’re wasted as a barmaid, Mam. You ought to be handling supergrasses for MI5.”

Mam gives me the Kath Sykes Filthy Glare. “How old is he?”

Now I fold my arms. “None of your business.”

Mam’s eyes go slitty. “Twenty-­four, apparently.”

“If you already know, why’re you asking?”

“Because a twenty-­four-­year-­old man interfering with a fifteen-­year-­old schoolgirl is illegal. He could go to prison.”

“I’ll be sixteen in September, and I reckon the Kent police have bigger fish to fry. I’m old enough to make up my own mind about my relationships.”

Mam lights one of her Marlboro Reds. I’d kill for one. “When I tell your father, he’ll flay this Costello fella alive.”

Sure, Dad has to persuade piss-­artists off the premises from time to time, all landlords do, but he’s not the flaying-­anyone-­alive type. “Brendan was fifteen when he was going out with Mandy Fry, and if you think they were just holding hands on the swings, they weren’t. Don’t recall him getting the ‘You could go to prison’ treatment.”

She spells it out like I’m a moron: “It’s—­different—­for—­boys.”

I do an I-do-­not-­believe-­what-­I’m-hearing snort.

“I’m telling you now, Holly, you’ll be seeing this . . . car salesman again over my dead body.”

“Actually, Mam, I’ll bloody see who I bloody well want!”

“New rules.” Mam stubs out her fag. “I’m taking you to school and fetching you back in the van. You don’t set foot outside unless it’s with me, your father, Brendan, or Ruth. If I glimpse this cradle snatcher anywhere near here, I’ll be on the blower to the police to press charges—­yes, I will, so help me God. And—­and—­I’ll call his employer and let them know that he’s seducing underage schoolgirls.”

Big fat seconds ooze by while all of this sinks in.

My tear ducts start twitching but there’s no way I’m giving Mrs. Hitler the pleasure. “This isn’t Saudi Arabia! You can’t lock me up!”

“Live under our roof, you obey our rules. When I was your age—”

“Yeah yeah yeah, you had twenty brothers and thirty sisters and forty grandparents and fifty acres of spuds to dig ’cause that was how life was in Auld feckin’ Oireland but this is England, Mam, England! And it’s the 1980s and if life was so feckin’ glorious in that West Cork bog why did you feckin’ bother even coming to—”

Whack! Smack over the left side of my face.

We look at each other: me trembling with shock and Mam angrier than I’ve ever seen her, and—­I reckon—­knowing she’s just broken something that’ll never be mended. I leave the room without a word, as if I’ve just won an argument.

I only cry a bit, and it’s shocked crying, not boo-­hoo crying, and when I’m done I go to the mirror. My eyes’re a bit puffy, but a bit of eyeliner soon sorts that out . . . Dab of lippy, bit of blusher . . . Sorted. The girl in the mirror’s a woman, with her cropped black hair, her Quadrophenia T-shirt, her black jeans. “I’ve got news for you,” she says. “You’re moving in with Vinny today.” I start listing the reasons why I can’t, and stop. “Yes,” I agree, giddy and calm at once. I’m leaving school, as well. As from now. The summer holidays’ll be here before the truancy officer can fart, and I’m sixteen in September, and then it’s stuff you, Windmill Hill Comprehensive. Do I dare?

I dare. Pack, then. Pack what? Whatever’ll fit into my big duffel bag. Underwear, bras, T-shirts, my bomber jacket; makeup case and the Oxo tin with my bracelets and necklaces in. Toothbrush and a handful of tampons—­my period’s a bit late so it should start, like, any hour now. Money. I count up £13.85 saved in notes and coins. I’ve £80 more in my TSB bankbook. It’s not like Vinny’ll charge me rent, and I’ll look for a job next week. Babysitting, working in the market, waitressing: There’s loads of ways to earn a few quid. What about my LPs? I can’t lug the whole collection over to Peacock Street now, and Mam’s quite capable of dumping them at the Oxfam shop out of spite, so I just take Fear of Music, wrapping it carefully in my bomber jacket and putting it into my bag so it won’t get bent. I hide the others under the loose floorboard, just for now, but as I’m putting the carpet back, I get the fright of my life: Jacko’s watching me from the doorway. He’s still in his Thunderbirds pajamas and slippers.

I tell him, “Mister, you just gave me a heart attack.”

“You’re going.” Jacko’s got this not-­quite-­here voice.

“Just between us, yes, I am. But not far, don’t worry.”

“I’ve made you a souvenir, to remember me by.” Jacko hands me a circle of cardboard—­a flattened Dairylea cheese box with a maze drawn on. He’s mad about mazes, is Jacko; it’s all these Dungeons & Dragonsy books him and Sharon read. The one Jacko’s drawn’s actually dead simple by his standards, made of eight or nine circles inside each other. “Take it,” he tells me. “It’s diabolical.”

“It doesn’t look all that bad to me.”

“ ‘Diabolical’ means ‘satanic,’ sis.”

“Why’s your maze so satanic, then?”

“The Dusk follows you as you go through it. If it touches you, you cease to exist, so one wrong turn down a dead end, that’s the end of you. That’s why you have to learn the labyrinth by heart.”

Christ, I don’t half have a freaky little brother. “Right. Well, thanks, Jacko. Look, I’ve got a few things to—”

Jacko holds my wrist. “Learn this labyrinth, Holly. Indulge your freaky little brother. Please.”

That jolts me a bit. “Mister, you’re acting all weird.”

“Promise me you’ll memorize the path through it, so if you ever needed to, you could navigate it in the darkness. Please.”

My friends’ little brothers are all into Scalextric or BMX or Top Trumps—­why do I get one who does this and says words like “navigate” and “diabolical”? Christ only knows how he’ll survive in Gravesend if he’s gay. I muss his hair. “Okay, I promise to learn your maze off by heart.” Then Jacko hugs me, which is weird ’cause Jacko’s not a huggy kid. “Hey, I’m not going far . . . You’ll understand when you’re older, and—”

“You’re moving in with your boyfriend.”

By now I shouldn’t be surprised. “Yeah.”

“Take care of yourself, Holly.”

“Vinny’s nice. Once Mam’s got used to the idea, we’ll see each other—­I mean, we still saw Brendan after he married Ruth, yeah?”

But Jacko just puts the cardboard lid with his maze on deep into my duffel bag, gives me one last look, and disappears.

•••

Mam appears with a basket of bar rugs on the first-­floor landing, as if she wasn’t lying in wait. “I’m not bluffing. You’re grounded. Back upstairs. You’ve got exams next week. Time you knuckled down and got some proper revision done.”

I grip the banister. “ ‘Our roof, our rules,’ you said. Fine. I don’t want your rules, or your roof, or you hitting me whenever you lose your rag. You’d not put up with that. Would you?”

Mam’s face sort of twitches, and if she says the right thing now, we’ll negotiate. But no, she just takes in my duffel bag and sneers like she can’t believe how stupid I am. “You had a brain, once.”

So I carry on down the stairs to the ground floor.

Above me, her voice tightens. “What about school?”

“You go, then, if school’s so important!”

“I never had the bloody chance, Holly! I’ve always had the pub to run, and you and Brendan and Sharon and Jacko to feed, clothe, and send to school so you won’t have to spend your life mopping out toilets and emptying ashtrays and knackering your back and never having an early night.”

Water off a duck’s back. I carry on downstairs.

“But go on, then. Go. Learn the hard way. I’ll give you three days before Romeo turfs you out. It’s not a girl’s glittering personality that men’re interested in, Holly. It never bloody is.”

I ignore her. From the hallway I see Sharon behind the bar by the fruit juice shelves. She’s helping Dad do the restocking, but I can see she heard. I give her a little wave and she gives me one back, nervous. Echoing up from the cellar trapdoor is Dad’s voice, crooning “Ferry ’Cross the Mersey.” Better leave him out of it. In front of Mam, he’ll side with her. In front of the regulars, it’ll be “It takes a bigger idiot than me to step between the pecking hens” and they’ll all nod and mumble, “Right enough there, Dave.” Plus I’d rather not be in the room when he finds out ’bout Vinny. Not that I’m ashamed, I’d just rather not be there. Newky’s snoozing in his basket. “You’re the smelliest dog in Kent,” I tell him to stop myself crying, “you old fleabag.” I pat his neck, unbolt the side door, and step into Marlow Alley. Behind me, the door goes clunk.

West Street’s too bright and too dark, like a TV with the contrast on the blink, so I put on my sunglasses and they turn the world all dreamish and vivider and more real. My throat aches and I’m shaking a bit. Nobody’s running after me from the pub. Good. A cement truck trundles by and its fumy gust makes the conker tree sway a bit and rustle. Breathe in warm tarmac, fried spuds, and week-­old rubbish spilling out of the bins—­the dustmen are on strike again.

Lots of little darting birds’re twirly-­whirlying like the tin-­whistlers on strings kids get at birthdays, or used to, and a gang of boys’re playing Kick the Can in the park round the church at Crooked Lane. Get him! Behind the tree! Set me free! Kids. Stella says older men make better lovers; with boys our age, she says, the ice cream melts once the cone’s in your hand. Only Stella knows ’bout Vinny—­she was there that first Saturday in the Magic Bus—­but she can keep a secret. When she was teaching me to smoke and I kept puking, she didn’t laugh or tell anyone, and she’s told me everything I need to know ’bout boys. Stella’s the coolest girl in our year at school, easy.

Crooked Lane veers up from the river, and from there I turn up Queen Street, where I’m nearly mown down by Julie Walcott pushing her pram. Her baby’s bawling its head off and she looks knackered. She left school when she got pregnant. Me and Vinny are dead careful, and we only had sex once without a condom, our first time, and it’s a scientific fact that virgins can’t get pregnant. Stella told me.

Revue de presse

Something truly fantastical: an epic in many voices featuring supernatural beings, rips in reality and a global battle between good and evil. Yet Mitchell's superlative prose makes this much more than a tall tale: the novel also takes in family love and loss, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and a horribly plausible near-future in which the end of oil is catapulting the world towards barbarism . . . It's a globe-trotting, mind-bending, hair-raising triumph, already sitting pretty on the Booker longlist. (Guardian)

As his oeuvre develops, he seems to be getting cleverer, braver and delightfully madder . . . In the wrong hands, magical storytelling like this would make you cringe. But in Mitchell's it thrills. He is funny, hip and full of life. Which other writer could match his witty elision of fiction and science, of sense and nonsense? This beautiful explosion of adventurous ideas may well take him, finally, beyond the Booker shortlist. (The Times)

If only real life were as elegant and generally encouraging as a Mitchell novel! He writes with scintillating verve and abundance. The joyful, consoling world of Mitchell is the world of childhood, where the parameters between reality and fantasy are fluid; the overall effect is like literary regression therapy for adults who have been whipped and abused by real life. (Daily Telegraph)

Mitchell has a vigorous, shape-shifting imagination, and his pen tracks his thoughts with extraordinary agility. Moving from place to place, time to time, he can summon up a setting in a line . . . for its experimentation, humour, hybrid energy, and sheer narrative pleasure, The Bone Clocks compels admiration. (Evening Standard)

If I could file a review that consisted only of the word "wow" 900 times over, it still wouldn't quite capture my delirious response to David Mitchell's stunning, funny, sad, prophetic, fantastical, satirical, achingly real and gloriously fictitious new novel. (Scotsman)

When a writer creates a world in which centuries-dead reincarnated souls are at war - and makes it entirely believable - you know you're in the hands of a master . . . Every page fizzes with energy and humour. Wildly imaginative and truly magical, this is a big, chunky feast of a book (Sunday Mirror)

With 600 pages of metafictional shenanigans in relentlessly brilliant prose, The Bone Clocks hits lots of hot buttons, from the horrors of the Iraq war to the Eternal Battle of Good and Evil to the near-future downfall of our civilisation . . . Death is at the heart of this novel. And there lies its depth and darkness, bravely concealed with all the wit and sleight of hand and ventriloquistic verbiage and tale-telling bravura of which Mitchell is a master . . . It's a whopper of a story. (Guardian - Ursula K Le Guin)

Intellectually rigorous and stunningly imaginative . . . a rich and dense, inventive and witty thriller which, if you enjoyed Cloud Atlas and Mitchell's other works will leave you completely spellbound (Daily Express)

I was completely blown away . . . Mitchell's first-class imagination delivers a complex and exciting premise that transcends into an incredibly explosive, surprising, intelligent, dark and magical story. (Stylist)

Mitchell's mesmerizing saga is evidence of the power of story to transport us, and even to stop time entirely. (Vanity Fair)

At once a gripping thriller and a far-out fantasy, a brilliant mash-up that pulsates with energy, satire and wit. (Tatler)

It's massively bold and ambitious, but also thoroughly readable, funny and moving. (Heat)

Mitchell is a consummate craftsman . . . For sci-fi fantasists, the imaginary world Mitchell creates might be a thing of wonder, a Dungeons and Dragons for literate grown-ups. For others, I suspect the flesh and blood anguish of a long life lived well against the odds will prove the greater pleasure. (Independent)

No one, clearly, has ever told Mitchell that the novel is dead. He writes with a furious intensity and slapped-awake vitality, with a delight in language and all the rabbit holes of experience . . . Very few [writers] excite the reader about both the visceral world and the visionary one as Mitchell does (New York Times Book Review)

Our most accomplished inventor of multitudinous worlds, which are filled with complex, vital people . . . The Bone Clocks features a gyre-works inventiveness that's well matched by (bizarrely) cerebral substance . . . his most sinewy, fine and full book to date, a Mobius strip-tripping great novel that will reward bleary-eyed rereading (Financial Times - Randy Boyagoda)

If David Mitchell isn't the most talented novelist of his generation, is there any doubt that he is the most multi-talented? He is, at his best, a superior writer to Jonathan Franzen, a better storyteller than Michael Chabon, more wickedly clever than Jennifer Egan, nearly as fluent as Junot Diaz in multiple dialects, and as gifted as Alice Munro . . . [The Bone Clocks] offers everything you could possibly want from a conjurer at the height of his powers - a ludicrously ambitious, unstoppably clever epic told through a chorus of diverse narrators that is both outrageous in scope and meticulous in execution . . . The Bone Clocks affords its readers the singular gift of reading - the wish to stay put and to be nowhere else but here. (The Atlantic)

Dazzling . . . Mitchell's heavy arsenal of talents is showcased in these pages: his symphonic imagination; his ventriloquist's ability to channel the voices of myriad characters from different time zones and cultures; his intuitive understanding of children and knack for capturing their solemnity and humor; and his ear for language - its rhythms, sounds and inflections. (New York Times - Michiko Kakutani)

With The Bone Clocks, Mitchell rises to meet and match the legacy of Cloud Atlas . . . interconnected lives stretch across time; human contact is both frightening and vital. This novel electrifyingly unites Mitchell's fictions into one universe while telling the story of Holly Sykes, an ordinary young woman whose chance encounters give her life meaning. (LA Times)

[The Bone Clocks] has finally descended incarnate from the mind of this divinely inventive author . . . This new novel offers up a rich selection of domestic realism, gothic fantasy and apocalyptic speculation, stretching around the world from the Margaret Thatcher era of the 1980s to the Endarkenment of 2043 . . . Some of these narrators are moving and sympathetic; others radiate the metastasizing creepiness of a Patricia Highsmith villain. Their stories evolve in subtly distinctive tones and forms (Washington Post)

Mitchell's new novel almost manages to make the rest of his work look hidebound and provincial . . . Mitchell is writing about a mortal among immortals, and he never abandons the human half of the story: the fell swoop of first love, the labyrinth of silence where unhappy couples live, the clear cut inside a parent when a child goes missing, the chasm between frontline and home front in a nation at war . . . I was undone by the ending (New York Magazine)

One of the most entertaining and thrilling novels I've read in a long time. Much of the entertainment comes from Mitchell's mastery over what feels like the entire world and all its inhabitants. Time keeps pulsing ahead in The Bone Clocks, and Mitchell pushes his cast of characters into the future, ending the book in a terrifying world. But for all the dystopia, and the mysticism, and the wild and clanging noise, and the flights of invention that have taken place in this extraordinary fun house of a novel, Mitchell's novel-writing rules allow him to retain his great sensitivity toward his main character from start to finish. (NPR)

Is The Bone Clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque? . . . From gritty realism to far-out fantasy, each section has its own charm and surprises. With its wayward thoughts, chance meetings, and attention to detail, Mitchell's novel is a thing of beauty. (Publishers Weekly)

Another exacting, challenging and deeply rewarding novel from logophile and time-travel master Mitchell . . . If Thatcher's 1984 is bleak, then get a load of what awaits us in 2030. Speculative, lyrical and unrelentingly dark - trademark Mitchell, in other words. (Kirkus Reviews)

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3001 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 609 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0340921609
  • Editeur : Sceptre (2 septembre 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00KG6L02A
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°16.143 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Passionnant et frustrant en égale mesure 9 novembre 2014
Par Armalite TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Eté 1984. Holly Sykes, une adolescente anglaise en fugue, rencontre une étrange vieille femme qui lui demande asile - et accepte sans comprendre à quoi elle s'engage. A compter de ce jour, elle est témoin d'événements violents et inexplicables dont elle ne se souvient pas toujours, et sujette à des flashs de précognition qui ressemblent à des crises d'épilepsie. Malgré elle, Holly est devenue un pion d'une importance capitale dans la guerre que se livrent, en marge de la société humaine, les Horologistes et les Anchorites: deux groupes de quasi-immortels aux origines et aux objectifs opposés...

Difficile de parler de ce roman foisonnant sans gâcher les nombreuses surprises qu'il recèle. "The bone clocks" se compose de six sections qui se focalisent chacune sur un narrateur différent à une époque différente. Après Holly Sykes - le fil rouge de toute l'histoire - en 1984, nous suivons Hugo Lamb, étudiant dénué de conscience qui sera brièvement son amant, en 1991, puis Ed Brubeck, reporter de guerre accro à l'adrénaline avec qui elle a eu une petite fille, en 2004, puis Crispin Hershey, écrivain arrogant et lâche qui deviendra pourtant son ami, entre 2015 et 2020, puis le Dr Iris Fenby qui l'a déjà soignée à deux reprises et sous deux identités différentes, en 2025 alors que se prépare l'affrontement final entre Horologistes et Anchorites, et de nouveau Holly Sykes en 2043, dans un monde ravagé par la pénurie de ressources naturelles et les accidents nucléaires.
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2.0 étoiles sur 5 Misleading & dishonest 15 novembre 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
How can the first two thirds of a novel be so very good and the last one so ridiculous ? It’s a mystery to me. During the first two thirds, you find yourself uprooted in 1980s middle-class England, or to 1990s Cambridge University or to 2000s Iraq war, etc., each time with a very realistic and well-researched background, and only few supernatural moments, which you think may in the end resolve in something rational -- or at least only slightly irrational. Then the last third thrust you in a totally grotesque fight between two sorts of “immortals”, i.e. of course, in a typically US-mimicked black & white way, the Good and the Evil, doing all sorts of impossible acts, with an appropriate absurd neo-vocabulary (“subsay, subwarn” etc.). I don’t despise science-fiction, I can enjoy it, but what I disliked was this misleading novel structure. I got the impression that I was being conned by a somehow dishonest novelist.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Tighter "Cloud Atlas" 30 juillet 2014
Par Roger Brunyate - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Six connected novellas: sound familiar? It was what David Mitchell did in CLOUD ATLAS, and what (for a while at least) it looks like he is doing here. In the earlier book, he gave us the first part of six different stories, ranging from the nineteenth century to the post-apocalyptic future, then reversed the process to give us the six conclusions in the opposite order. There were titillating connections between the stories, but each stood largely on its own, with different characters and exemplifying different genres. Whatever else Mitchell may be, he is a superb storyteller, and the hundred-page length seems ideal for him. I am not sure that the book entirely worked as a whole, but it was a fascinating reading experience.

His latest novel, though, DOES work. It seems to have been constructed on much the same principles. Once again, there are six 100-page sections, moving forward in time, each apparently with a different protagonist. The first, in 1984, introduces us to Holly Skyes, a 15-year-old runaway, leaving her home in North Kent after a row with her mother and a betrayal by her boyfriend. Holly is a plucky character with a marvelous voice; we have her in our hearts as she discovers the difficulties of life on the run as well as surprising acts of kindness. The second part, in 1991, has another protagonist, Hugo Lamb, a Cambridge undergraduate with a shady secret life, but the charm to carry it off. Holly reappears as a minor character at the end of his story too. Indeed, she will return in the next part, featuring an award-winning Iraq War journalist in 2004, and the one after that, in 2015, whose dubious hero is an egocentric once-famous novelist. [Why is it that, when writing about other members of their profession, authors turn to this kind of incestuous comedy? Here, and only here, I felt my interest wearing thin.]

But the connections between the novellas are more pervasive than just the presence of Holly (who emerges as the undisputed heroine overall). Mitchell keeps on inserting sly references to his previous books, for instance in the name of a restaurant or a peripheral character, giving the sense that everything is connected in unseen ways. As though there were a layer beyond the one we see. And indeed we begin to catch brief glimpses of something paranormal, something inexplicable in everyday terms. Normally I am no fan of fantasy, but Mitchell held me from the start because, in each of these first four stories, the supernatural elements were no more than 5-10% of the whole, embedded in realistic writing peopled with characters who always engaged my interest.

With the fifth (and longest) part, though, everything changes. Set in 2024, this is outright fantasy adventure, the kind of thing Tolkien might have written if he had read a little Dan Brown or Stephen King and, determined to outdo them, had moved from his customary Middle Earth to Manhattan and thence to the Swiss Alps. The various supernormal figures we have glimpsed in the wings now take center stage as they prepare for a cataclysmic conflict. Not generally my thing at all, but I was held spellbound, largely because Mitchell's storytelling does not become any less textured and nuanced when writing about a world beyond our normal experience.

All the same, I was glad to get back to the humanity and simplicity of the last section, which is just about as straightforward as could be. Set in the southwest of Ireland in 2043, it is a vision of a rapidly collapsing future that is ecologically, politically, and socially all too believable. I had found the futuristic sections of CLOUD ATLAS hard to get into because they lacked sufficient connection to the world I knew. But here are characters we have come to care about, coping with the coming Endarkenment as best they know how, by keeping the fox out of the chicken run and caring for family and neighbors.

It must be something in the Zeitgeist, for there have been a number of big novels recently that have combined meticulous realism with some kind of otherworldly element. You could think of William Boyd's WAITING FOR SUNRISE, Kate Atkinson's LIFE AFTER LIFE, Marisha Pessl's NIGHT FILM, or (writing of a different century) Eleanor Catton's THE LUMINARIES. I have not liked all of these equally well, especially where I felt the non-realistic aspects eroding my sympathies. But Mitchell is brilliant here in the restraint with which he introduces them. And he is inspired in allowing his long and complex novel to come back to earth with those qualities that really matter: love, character, and the simple business of living.
101 internautes sur 112 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 After a Long and Winding Road, the Plot Delivers 20 août 2014
Par Ken C. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
With David Mitchell, it's never a case of will he be good enough to deliver, it's a case of will his talent get in his delivery's way. Meaning: Sometimes, when you are so effortlessly fluent and creative and imaginative, you can get lulled by your own writerly voice and go off on these long Huck Finn-like raft trips down tributaries of the Narrative Mississippi.

Does this happen with THE BONE CLOCKS, Mitchell's latest foray into fantasy? To an extent, yes. And do we forgive him his excesses like we would a favorite yet incorrigible son's? To an even greater extent, yes again. The book's first section, "A Hot Spell," leaps out of the starting blocks with an irresistibly beguiling lead, one Holly Sykes, and after the first 100 pages you feel like Holly's adventures with "the Radio People" and her brushes with paranormal beings will be the fastest read you've picked up in many a year.

Not quite. From here, in typical Mitchell fashion, we meet different lead characters in different sections marching forward in time -- sections where Holly surfaces to various degrees of importance -- and the new characters are not always as intriguing as Holly. Mitchell also finds side-narratives, like an extended one into Iraq where he can share his opinions about that war, George Bush, Tony Blair, etc., irresistible. Meanwhile, a fantasy is trying to be born and experiencing a prolonged labor. Will the baby be blue when it's finally delivered? That is the question as Mitchell stretches out the tease so deftly set during the fast start and the reader keeps saying, "Yes! I love the idea of a battle to the finish between two groups of warring paranormal beings with Holly in the middle, so take me there! Quickly! Let's go!"

Not so fast. Mitchell WILL get there in the penultimate section and it WILL be most satisfying, but he'll do it in his own desultory fashion. Meanwhile, with the plot on the back burner through the sizable middle parts, the reader is left to appreciate Mitchell's considerable writing talents. So yes, the 620 pages could use an editor but, unlike with beginning writers, the cutting room floor would not exactly be strewn with expendable prose if you took the shears to Mitchell's latest. In the end, despite having the climax before the last section and despite padding the book with a last 75 pages of "denouement," the reader sighs, shakes his head, forgives, and says, "Well done, David. Bravo! You may go overboard, but your brand of overboard is still more fun than many another current writer's precision-cut efforts, so there."

Overall, then, a fantasy that tries and then comforts your patience. The plot will reward, you just have to take the long and winding road and enjoy the journey. If you're a Mitchell fan, you'll even be rewarded with cameos by past characters from previous books. Such are the indulgences a talent like Mitchell can take. Such are the indulgences a genre like fantasy allow. Eureka, as they used to say. I have found another good, if not great, David Mitchell book!
81 internautes sur 93 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Beautifully written characters mixed with magic and science fiction 11 août 2014
Par Matt Hausig - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
David Mitchell's latest novel sits somewhere between Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green. It is broken into distinct chapters, each covering one POV character and progressing about a decade between each. Throughout,it combines the mundane and the magical, immersing the reader in the personality of the character and their environment even when that environment turns jarringly unreal. At the center is Holly Sykes, who starts the novel as runaway teenager and plays a pivotal role in the lives of the central character in each of the following chapters.

It is the vividness of each character that really brings this book to life. They are captured so well that the slowly unfolding plot arc that ties them together is secondary. The arc does eventually take precedence in the last third of the book, but the structure of the novel is such that it doesn't lose steam but merely transitions in nature to more of a romp.

What I love about David Mitchell's books is that he has this fantastic ability to write characters and can then take them and put them in a great adventure story. Here, the story embraces all sorts of magical and sci-fi elements. Its something that I personally love and its great to see such great writing in what could be considered genre fiction if it came from a different author or imprint.

Not surprisingly, readers of Mitchell's past books will note many recurring names and hints to past books, however, unlike the past fleeting references, a few of the connections here are substantive enough to merit a reread.

In summary, this is a great read in every way. It's my favorite of David Mitchell's books so far. Very highly recommended
78 internautes sur 90 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 No Cloud Atlas - Some Great sections with a lot of fluff 2 septembre 2014
Par Rigden - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Having received an advance copy of this new book, I was actually quite surprised when I read all the rave reviews from critics. I am a huge David Mitchell fan, especially of Cloud Atlas, which I believe will be read 50 years from now the way James Joyce is read at present.

This book is no Cloud Atlas. The first section has a wonderful voice in the protagonist of Holly, and the last section has an amazing narrative of a post climate change future. In between, Mitchell creates a cosmology of warring psychological factions possessing hosts, and a struggling writer doing something or not doing something as his career ages, that each lack real coherence or meaning for me. Also, while the final future setting is intriguing, the steps leading up to it demonstrate no subtleties of science fiction.

As a writer, my feeling is this book suffered mightily from a lack of an editor who could speak truth to a powerful literary voice, because middle portions of this book failed to deliver the goods.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Lots of potential with too much fluff 16 septembre 2014
Par Allie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Cloud Atlas let me down in a big way, but it had such potential that I decided to give The Bone Clocks a try. Mild spoilers ahead since it's hard to review this book without them.

The book-within-a-book structure is back; fortunately, they are more directly connected to each other than they were in Cloud Atlas. In order, they are narrated by Holly Sykes, Hugo Lamb, Crispin Hershey, Ed Brubeck, Marinus, and Holly again. In a nutshell, the book chronicles the role of an average British woman in a war between immortals with psychic powers. Holly is a reluctant psychic herself, and a kindly Dr. Marinus cures her affliction of hearing voices she calls "the radio people" when she is young. However, when she runs away at age 15, her psychic potential causes her to get caught in a battle between good and evil. This day is also the day when she loses her little brother forever, but it's not until the penultimate section of the book that the mystery is revealed. So, each novella chronicles the story of a different narrator whose life overlaps, to some degree, with Holly's. Crispin's and Ed's sections are almost entirely pointless as to the larger plot. The final novella was amazing- truly some of the best science fiction I ever read, but it's really a different story entirely that just so happens to involve Holly. It would have been equally poignant with characters we never met before, and one deus ex machina is easily substituted by another. Mitchell is a gifted writer with brilliant ideas and fully realized characters, but the way he can ramble on about the minutiae of a character's mundane life for dozens of pages without moving the plot forward is annoying. All in all, what could have been one of the best books I've ever read is instead just "pretty good", making it disappointing but not a total waste of time. Recommended with reservations.
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