Sceptre has announced
that David Mitchell will publish his new novel on 4 September 2014. The Bone Clocks
is Mitchell’s sixth novel, his first since 2010’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
A Dutch interview with Mitchell from earlier this year contained the assertion that The Sunken Garden
– his 2013 collaboration with English National Opera – acts as ‘a kind of prologue’ to the novel
Certainly, the blurb published by Sceptre makes it all sound like business as usual for Mitchell, with a time-hopping plot spanning decades and elements of genre on the fringes as it follows one Holly Sykes, a young runaway, from 1984 through to the mid 21st century, where the world’s climate collapses around her: ‘In between, Holly is encountered as a barmaid in a Swiss resort by an undergraduate sociopath in 1991; has a child with a foreign correspondent covering the Iraq War in 2003; and, widowed, becomes the confidante of a self-obsessed author of fading powers and reputation during the present decade.’
The novel also contains a detour into what sounds like something close to Stephen King territory
, with The Bookseller describing all this as taking place in the midst of ‘a slow-motion war between a cult of predatory soul-decanters and a band of vigilantes.’ Sceptre summates by calling it ‘The arc of a life, a social seismograph, a fantasy of shadows and an inquiry into aging, mortality and survival’ or, in other words, from the author of Cloud Atlas
Mitchell published his first novel, Ghostwritten
, in 1999. His following two novels – 2001’s number9dream
and 2004’s Cloud Atlas
– were both nominated for the Booker Prize, with the latter filmed by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer with Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent and Ben Whishaw in 2012. Earlier this year, he and his wife published an English translation of The Reason I Jump: One Boy’s Voice from the Silence of Autism
, a book by autistic Japanese teenager Naoki Higashida.