(Current fiction & past quality fiction)
Any novel that purports to flirt with schizophrenia, nurtures synesthesia and embraces obsessive-compulsive disorder simply has got to be recommended by Examiner. As you know, the medical profession’s definition of that odd word is: Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.
That alone should compel an intelligent reader to dive into the pages of “The Bone Clocks” (Random House) by David Mitchell. According to the Amazon review by Brooklyn’s own Matt Hausig, “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.”
Hausig is far from alone in his appraisal; Observed The New York Times: “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 that no new media could begin to rival. (It’s no coincidence that it was the makers of ‘The Matrix’ who brought his previous epic, ‘Cloud Atlas,’ to the screen, in 2012, with limited success.) Mitchell sees the everyday with the startled freshness of a creature newly arrived from Epsilon Eridani, but amid all the glorious physical description — ‘The wood sounds like waves, with rooks tumbling about like black socks in a dryer’ — there’s always a trace of something metaphysical that lifts the roof off the contemporary novel and suggests there are many more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in our philosophies. You may not believe in telepathy, second sight or reincarnation, but if you enter Mitchell’s universe you can’t not believe in them either.”
David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of “The Bone Clocks,” “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet,” “Black Swan Green,” “Cloud Atlas,” “Number9Dream,” and “Ghostwritten.” Five of his six novels have been nominated for the Man Booker Prize. By the way, do not confuse Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas” with “The Cloud Atlas” by Liam Callanan; whole different ball game.
Concluded The New York Times: “Not many novelists could take on plausible Aboriginal speech, imagine a world after climate change has ravaged it and wonder whether whales suffer from unrequited love. One thinks of Holly quoting a wise elder: ‘Life’s a matter of Who Dares Wins.’ Other writers may be more moving, and some may push deeper, but very few excite the reader about both the visceral world and the visionary one as Mitchell does. Where ‘Black Swan Green’ introduced a typical English boy with a stammer who had to reinvent language to avoid words beginning with certain letters, ‘The Bone Clocks’ begins to suggest how a great writer ‘flirts with schizophrenia, nurtures synesthesia and embraces obsessive-compulsive disorder’ to give us an astonishing ventriloquism that regularly expands our lives.”
Examiner recommends “The Bone Clocks” based on a belief in the powers of the oblique that can be reached through a glass of good wine, listening to Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and consequently sharing synesthesia with the author.