I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad). The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.
29/8 - The Bone Clocks didn't grab me to begin with, it took until page eight when Jacko went all spooky and prescient (coincidentally I'd just finished watching the Kubrick Shining, so weird little boys were already on my mind as an attractive plot device). I sped through the next 300 pages in less than a day eager to find clues to what the hell was going on. I had already started to slow down when I got to Hershey's chapter, but reading Hershey's chapter has become a bit like wading through thick, shoe-stealing mud. I didn't mind the lack of revelations, explanations, or even teensy tiny little clues through the previous narrator's chapters, but that was because I really enjoyed the different narrator's voices and I liked each narrator. Neither can be said for Crispin Hershey. I don't like him - cruel, arrogant sod that he is - and I am not enjoying listening to his internal monologue - I hate that he keeps referring to himself in the third person. To start with I was confused by his habit of referring to himself by his name and couldn't work out who the narrator was. I do have to give credit to Mitchell for always leaving me guessing. At the end of each narrator's chapters I have a theory about where the story's going to go, so far I've been nothing but way off base. I also like Mitchell's casual way of writing, frequently using possessive plurals and contractions that I've never seen in literature but hear in every day speech quite frequently (especially coming out of my mouth). Before I started Hershey's chapter this afternoon I was contemplating the possibility of actually finishing this rather large book in under 24 hours, but this current chapter has really slowed me down (as has the reality of life intruding - I needed to make kedgeree for dinner). I'm still hoping to have it finished soon, but with 40 mins to go before the end of Saturday it won't be within the 24 hour goal I unconsciously set myself once I realised how much I was enjoying it and how fast the pages were turning. To be continued...
30/8 - I can't decide how to shelve this book. There are supernatural/fantasy elements to it, but I don't feel like either of those genres were the driving force of the book. For me to shelve this as fantasy or sci-fi there'd have to be 'things' happening all the time, not just popping up every now and again. The ending was pretty dystopian, but that's only the final 70 pages. I think at its heart this book is literary fiction, the same sub-genre I put Austen and Twain in (though they're actually under classic literary fiction, while this has gone into contemporary literary fiction).
As I said yesterday, this book kept me guessing from beginning to end. With most books I can make a pretty close guess at some of the major plot points - who's going to die, who'll couple up, etc. - and I did this same guessing while I was reading The Bone Clocks, but I don't think I got a single guess right. Every twist and turn (and there were a lot) was a surprise. I do think the middle, mostly Hershey's section, could do with some work, it got very slow for me and I began to get a bit bored with the lack of answers coupled with having to listen to Crispin for what felt like a long time (longer than any of the other sections). Having to wait three quarters of the book before anything was explained was close to be to long a wait for me. Having Atemporals from either side show up to say things to the 'normal' characters wasn't helpful. As in the scene between Crispin and Hugo Lamb, Lamb interrogates Crispin, asking questions but they may as well be in Arabic for the amount of sense I can make of them. The questions give clues that make no sense until you get to the 'explaining scene' when Holly visits 119A and finally you can go "Oh, so that's what he was talking about." Mitchell's reticence did irritate me a little, and when I finally got to the 'explaining scene' I almost felt resentful that Mitchell held back these details, like he was being purposefully heartless to his readers just because he could.
I still don't understand why some of the details, especially from my least favourite narrator, Crispin Hershey, were included. Did we need to know all the background of Hershey's life? The more I read the more I disliked him. I suppose that could have been the point, but if it is the logicality of that point goes right over my head. Really looking forward to Cloud Atlas now, knowing kind of what type of book I'll be getting into.