The Bone Clocks Readalong Wrap up

Thoughts  tbcbydm by David Mitchell, Random House 2014, 624 pages

Narrated by Jessica Ball, Leon Williams, Colin Mace, Steven Crossley, Laurel Lefkow, Anna Bentinck; Recorded Books 2014, 24 hours 30 minutes

Challenge: boneclocksbtn
Genre: SciFi
Type/Source: Hardback AND Audio / Library and Audible
 Why I read this now: Melissa and I co-hosted the Readalong! (which I probably wouldn’t have agreed to if I had remembered that January and February are hot times to read the TOB books… But it worked out. Melissa did the heavy lifting. I basically just cheered along.)

MOTIVATION for READING: David Mitchell’s books are best read with friends, in my opinion but I have never tried one alone so I have no idea.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  I’m not going to tell what this is about because Melissa explains it so well at her wrap up post here. Go read that – and do know that it is full of spoilers assuming you’ve read the whole book!

I’m going to offer random thoughts for here on out…

  • I do have to agree with Melissa about Soleil – where did she come from and where did she go?!
  • I thought Hugo Lamb was a great lovable bad guy. And how sweet was he that he was still in love with Holly?!  aw… swoon.
  • Holly was great. However (in only one section) – the voice? I’m not sure which narrators narrated what, but in the Crispin section — the male attempting Holly’s voice was WRONG. Very distracting.
  • The above point was the only issue I had with the narration. Otherwise, I thought all the voices SPOT ON. I enjoyed the audiobook very much. I did also read (went back and forth) to the hardcover from the library.
  • I was impatient to find out about Jacko and was sad that XiLo-Jacko didn’t make it back. Nor Esther.
  • So the different kinds of Horologists…   Funny, huh? The 49-day reincarnators and the body-hoppers?  If they had a term, I missed it.
  • I did kind of like Crispin – that section was too long! But it made me appreciate David Mitchell’s character development skills. And I liked how that section included a Writer’s-How-To manual.
  • Did you catch that part when Mitchell made fun of himself; “Never trust a guy with two first names.”?  Ha.
  • Melissa and I disagree some on the last section. She sensed that she was being preached at concerning environmental issues but I was only fascinated by the  possible scenarios. The Chinese being the world’s caretakers? Young ladies hoping to marry so they could get such luxuries as regular meals and Wifi. And what about Iceland? I have always wanted to go to Iceland.
  • So. Crispin and Holly. Friends. Friends who both wondered “what if?” Both denied acting on a possible ‘extension’ to their friendship to other realms. One, because Crispin KNEW he didn’t deserve Holly; but Holly? She sensed his sensitivity, his intelligence, his success. She recognized his ego in decline? His vulnerability? Did she sense that he was so different from Ed? (Cuz, YEA.) That she was a one-guy-gal? It felt so TRUE to me! That they became friends and wanted more but both doubted it would work, that it would be complicated, ruin a nice friendship, or what? just true. I really was startled when Marinus stated that both wanted love together but failed to even recognize it within themselves! How much do we miss of ourselves and how do we capture/recognize/trust these obvious or not truths about ourselves? I wonder…
  • Ed. Let’s talk about Ed but let’s consider some movies that explore the same stuff that Ed was experiencing. I’m thinking Whiskey Tango Foxtrot starring Tina Fey. I watched this movie today; it was my second viewing and it was just as good. It is not a highly rated movie but it hits a lot of buttons I like in movies. Shrug. The part of about how Ed feels more alive when he is chasing a story in life-threatening situations… I dunno. It stopped me. Had to think about that. I felt for him AND Holly. Poor Holly. Holly was so cool.
  • And here we are, considering fictional characters as real people.
  • I had been waiting for the labyrinth. It was cool that she had a pendant created so she was able to study it. Probably not a hidden hint that the map was going to be important but I was impatient for it and an explanation for whatever happened to Jacko. All those little insertions of story points that we know are bound to be important – like Aunti Eilísh chatting with the not-quite-Jacko and telling Ed about it.

I’m honored you’re telling me all this, Eilísh, honestly – but why are you telling me all this?
I’m being told to.
Who . . . who by?
By the Script.
What script?

  • Who wrote the Script??!??!?!?!  It did come up again, didn’t it? or is my memory faulty already?
  • I always rate good books higher when I’ve enjoyed a terrific readalong experience. This is no different. And I’m also going to rate this higher because of the many excellent pie references. MANY. LOTS. STRATEGIC. PLOT-PIVOTAL. Entertaining PIE REFERENCES. This David Mitchell guy might be studying Stephen King (#ifyouknowhatImean #butofcourseyoudon’tsoletmetellyou. King always has great pie quotes in his books.) I’ll just share ’em. Some are unpleasant but still awesome. Here they are!  The last one is AMAZING!
  • But wait — before I start the pie quotes, I want to disavow any hint I might have dropped that this isn’t a great book unless it has pie and was read as a readalong. I rate books by my reaction to them and so this is my rating. I do think it a really good book.
  • Who’s up for SLADE HOUSE? (Who has read this far?)


page 13 2.08% “I’ll make scones and plum pies and coffee cakes and Vinny’ll be all, “Jesus, Holly, how did I ever get by without you?”
page 17 2.72% “Mam’ll make me steaming shit pie, dripping in shit gravy, and sit there smug as hell watching me eat every shitty morsel, and from now until the end of time, if ever I’m anything less than yes – sir – no – sir – three – bags – full – sir, she’ll bring up the Vinny Costello Incident.”
page 40 6.41%American Pie” song
page 68 10.9% “Somewhere in the July 2 bit of the A Hot Spell chapter is a reference to a “pie in the sky“. Too busy walking two dogs listening to audiobook to clip/note.
page 149 23.88% “Chetwynd-Pitt, Quinn and Fitzimmons have eaten – – Günter’s daube, a beef stew, and a wedge of apple pie with cinnamon sauce – and have started on the cocktails which, thanks to my lost bet, I have the honor of buying for Chetwynd-Pitt.”
page 446 71.4% “Do you remember, Doctor, we grew rhubarb at Dawkins Hospital? I remember the pies,” I tell him.
page 540 86.5% “Holly drops the thing. ‘Rolling pin’. Where did you find a rolling pin in here? ‘I nicked it from your kitchen at 119A.’

RATING: Five slices of pie.





Copyright © 2007-2017. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

10 thoughts on “The Bone Clocks Readalong Wrap up

  1. I really don’t think it’s fair to suggest that the last chapters are at all preachy about the environment. Part of the point of predicting the future in fiction is always to allow readers to resolve to make the actual future different.

    1. Ya know, I can’t fault anyone for their own sense of how something they perceive is ‘felt’ or might come across regardless of intent. I do think that when I am uncomfortable in my reaction to something, it means I should take a step back and analyze/reflect – it is not necessarily a negative. I was only saying that I didn’t perceive it that way myself and that is OK.

      Honestly, it brings up a review I posted where someone accused me of obviously feeling guilty of something. I don’t think it was their place to tell me that. Perhaps a gentle suggestion of a possibly reaction that I might want to consider (and of course, it may have been intended that way) but I got mad and even MORE uncomfortable with my hard-to-pin down feelings. I actually unfriended that person, she made me so mad. She (obviously) was likely quite right in her assessment – but I couldn’t handle it, not from her – it changed my thoughts on her. I felt attacked. Shrug. Whatever.

      So, I like to bring these things up gently and I, too, may have failed. I just sometimes wonder if we (the planet) will go out in a big flame ball or just die of massive plague. It terrifies me and also makes me want to rush to be on the front line and get it over with. What’s the right response? What should be the right response? Can we change the minds of people already hellbent in their thinking? Fatalist or FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT? I can never make up my mind.

      Bringing it back to The Bone Clocks (with a quick assertion that I RECYCLE! I send money to people who fight these causes! I grow my own tomatoes!) is that the book prior to the last section on Sheep’s Head West Cork Ireland is that we didn’t get much of a conservation ‘where is the world heading’ vibe, so to have it thrust into that part seemed … sudden-dystopia. Maybe. Maybe that is what I meant. I think the Ed section foreshadows this, though, and how knows what was in THAT SCRIPT! I could read this book again. Maybe in 20 years.

      Ooooo – that would be a great post! What books in 20 years, do you or will you re-read?

      1. I believe it is related in some way, but I did not know that when I listened to it. I think I saw that there is some character overlap and mention of the horologists. However, I was able to get through the book without any problems. In fact, it made me want to go back and read The Bone Clocks and the one before that.

  2. Wow, your review makes me want to go back and re-read The Bone Clocks! I have forgotten so much. Did you think at all of Sweet Lamb of Heaven? Because I think they are both trying to tell a similar story, but I prefer Mitchell’s way of telling it for sure.

    I loved, loved, loved Hugo.

    I have Slade House. I bought it new and everything. And I haven’t read it yet! SOON.

    1. No! I don’t think I thought of Sweet Lamb at ALL?! Now I’m scrambling to try and find what you found… Interesting.

      I’ll probably get Slade House from the library. Let’s touch base after TOB and see if it should be in the ‘sooner’ tbr or the ‘later’.

      1. The parallels are in the idea that there is a script (the Bone Clocks) and a universal language (Sweet Lamb of Heaven). Both books intimate that there is a supernatural force just beyond human understanding that we sometimes can tap into. The force is, however, a neutral power. How it is harnessed (for good or evil) is key.

Welcome! I invite you to comment. If for some reason commenting is troublesome, pls send email to BkClubCare [at] Gmail

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s