Clocking on

19 07 2015

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

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One drowsy summer’s day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for ‘asylum’. Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking . . .
The Bone Clocks follows the twists and turns of Holly’s life from a scarred adolescence in Gravesend to old age on Ireland’s Atlantic coast as Europe’s oil supply dries up – a life not so far out of the ordinary, yet punctuated by flashes of precognition, visits from people who emerge from thin air and brief lapses in the laws of reality. For Holly Sykes – daughter, sister, mother, guardian – is also an unwitting player in a murderous feud played out in the shadows and margins of our world, and may prove to be its decisive weapon.
Metaphysical thriller, meditation on mortality and chronicle of our self-devouring times, this kaleidoscopic novel crackles with the invention and wit that have made David Mitchell one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. Here is fiction at its most spellbinding and memorable best.

Do love David Mitchell’s writing and, although this one has not enjoyed universal acclaim, the Bone Clocks feels like classic Mitchell. Very much in similar vein to Cloud Atlas with its distinct but interwoven narratives this really does tick along fantastically well.

four stars





Remains

4 07 2015

The Remains of the Day by Kazoo Ishiguro

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The novel’s narrator, Stevens, is a perfect English butler who tries to give his narrow existence form and meaning through the self-effacing, almost mystical practice of his profession. In a career that spans the second world war, Stevens is oblivious of the real life that goes on around him–oblivious, for instance, of the fact that his aristocrat employer is a Nazi sympathizer. Still, there are even larger matters at stake in this heartbreaking, beautifully crafted novel– namely, Stevens’ own ability to allow some bit of life-affirming love into his tightly repressed existence.

A really outstanding novel this. It’s a book which I had unaccountably avoided reading for many years. Actually this is possibly because of it’s Booker prize winning status, film tie in and general popularity. So, unwarranted prejudice on my part. Anyway, having finally got round to it I realise what I was missing. Terrific and powerful.

 

four stars

 

 








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