Last week I had the pleasure of seeing David Mitchell at a reading during his tour for The Bone Clocks. While I'm still conflicted about the book, I'm still buzzing from his event: I've never seen an author so generous and thoughtful talk about his work. I feel like every writer talks of their novels by saying they've been living with these characters for so long that it's cathartic to get them into the hands of their readers, but Mitchell's version of that sentiment rang far more powerful. In a boldly sweeping statement, I'd say his book is essentially about the reincarnation of ideas, and he does just that with his characters. Much of the cast of The Bone Clocks is made up of tertiary players from his entire oeuvre, and he's given them a second life in The Bone Clocks, a second chance to consume him as an author, and a second opportunity to be released upon a hungry reading public. To listen to Mitchell try to formulate these ideas on stage, and realize he's not only revisiting lost loved ones but continuing to grow with them was a powerful experience. He nailed it, and afterwards graciously waded through the wordy slurry of aspiring writer Q&A, kindly plucking and reshaping questions from his petrified fans. It's wonderful to see that great writers can be great people as well.
I'm working on a review of The Bone Clocks for about.com which I'll probably post here once it's done. For those who have finished the book, I'm curious to know if you think the novel could function with the "Horologist's Labyrinth" entirely excised.
Similar to the limited edition UK release of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, a special edition of The Bone Clocks was announced by Sceptre at the beginning of the summer. I quickly placed a pre-order from The Book Depository (with one of their many %-off coupons) and got word that this shipped in early of September.
Slipcased with unique artwork, this edition features an embossed clock in yellow boards and a maze embossed on the back. Not a spectacular as The Thousand Autumns, it's still a lovely piece. The endpapers mirror the jacket of the UK edition. Like his last limited edition, there are only 500 copies of this available.
I asked Mitchell if he wouldn't mind personalizing these for me, despite them being already signed. He was thrilled to and seemed very pleased to see that these were in the hands of fans. He drew me a lovely scribble of clouds and birds (and a boat in my Thousand Autumns), and we talked a moment about his designers. I'm honored to have this in my library.
The Children Act by Ian McEwan
Currently listening to:
Oneohtrix Point Never, "Betrayed in the Octagon"