samedi 25 octobre 2014

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell




Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born.

A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder
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Spanning six decades and the entire world, The Bone Clocks is a mind-bending, genre-twisting epic that traces the effects of a cabal of immortal mystics on a single woman and the people who cross her path. From her adolescence in England in the 1980s, Holly Sykes finds herself encountering strange events and unexplained paranormal activity throughout her life. It is only as she reaches the end of her life, though, that she begins to uncover the true depths of the war she has stumbled upon and the impact she herself will have on the world... 

My first David Mitchell book was actually not written by him – last year I read The Reason I Jump, a memoir of autism written by a young Japanese man that Mitchell and his wife translated. I loved the translation, but I also enjoyed the beginning section where Mitchell explained his own experiences with autism (his son is on the spectrum). So when I heard about The Bone Clocks I jumped at the chance, not having any idea what I was letting myself in for. The Bone Clocks is an amazing novel, a true mind-twister that sprawls across time and space, bringing in elements of literary fiction, pulp genre novels and historical works, pulling together a huge cast of characters in a race against time to stop a cabal of soul vampires while exploring metaphysics, psychology, philosophy and environmentalism. I have rarely read a book that touched on so many things and yet Mitchell does a fantastic job of tying the whole thing together. A coming-of-age tale, a sci-fi thriller, an exploration of what it means to be human... The Bone Clocks is all of these things and more. Highly recommended! 

I gave The Bone Clocks 5 stars.

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