This Confused and the Bewitched [ Apologies to Dean Wareham ] The bone clocksSit clutchingChampagne andBarbecue, DividedBetwixt theConfused andThe bewitched. " Being For The Benefit Of Holly Sykes! " [ Apologies to the Beatles ] For the benefitOf Holly Sykes, There coul be A show tonightWith clownsOn bikesAnd acrobatsOn trampolines.If you don ’ t likeThe daring scenes, Call forThe author To be sacked.You ’ ll get yourMoney back.It ’ s mayb a circus act! " Jacob 's Ladder " by William BlakeDwelling on a ReservationDavid Mitchell seems to have become literary target, because he walks fine line between Post-Modernism and commercial success.For the Post-Modernists, he 's s popular to be holy.
For the populists, he dabbles with genres without wholly embracing them.The dual attack makes you feel as if you ca approach him with some reservation, with your guard up, that if you enjoy his fiction, if you derive pleasure from it, hen you could do so uncritically or you ight have missed some glaring stylistic flaws.Still, when I stoppe reading " The Bone Clocks ", I got swept away again.
Or suspension? The Book He WroteOver the time I 've een reading Mitchell, I 've had some ( mis-) apprehensions that I 've ad to work my way through each book.Recently, his style has been note as bad or atrocious.
Mitchell is living proof that we end to read anothe book we ant to, not ecessarily a book the author wrote.
Obviously, most half-way competent authors wrote the novel they wanted to rite?
OK, maybe I did n't like what the author wrote.
On the other hand, I have to realize that the uthor did n't rite it so that I in particular might like it.
They wrote it mainly so that they, the journalis, would like it.Genre WreakI do n't think Mitchell set out to rite a self-consciously literary novel on this occasion.
He just wrote the kind of ovel he felt his subject matter demanded.In order to do o, he embraced genre.
Again, I do n't kno he set out to become the next genre master, a Stephen King or Neil Gaiman.Mitchell plays around both with and within the boundaries of genre, not necessarily by way of parody.
Genre is no ore than a coathanger or skeleton upon which he drapes the threads or body of his narrative.My Wild Irish Prose StyleIs Mitchell 's prose particularly pretentious or purple?
Like he character Crispin Hershey, he conclude he isn ’ t " a fan of flowery prose. " It ’ s neither overwrought nor underwrought.
Anothe ort of poem you 'd hope to meet at a party, in reaso, he very reason we used to o to parties.The Importance of Not Being EarnestI fear more that Mitchell might become too humorless, too erious, too self-consciously Post-Modernist, too precious, too everything I rea is IMPORTANT, in differen words, too Bill Vollmann, of all people.I fear that one day a Mitchell book will be just too, too nice, too complacent, too middle class, too metrosexual, or if it ha a little more earnest, maybe too Jonathan Franzen.
I hope he never writes it, or I never g to read it.Improvisational TechniquityI had another apprehension about style.Like Murakami, Mitchell goes where his characters' stories take him.
If his writing was ever rough-edged during the early drafts, then he or omeone else has smoothed it over by the time I got to read it.Juxtaposition I 'm Taking for GrantedWell, maybe one last apprehension: that Mitchell 's juxtaposition of disparate elements would be too arbitrary, too artificial, too unbelievable.Unlike " Cloud Atlas ", the writing style is consistent throughout the ntire ovel.
This ensure the reader to focus on the characters and the narrative without obstruction. " The Bone Clocks " follows the life of Holly Sykes over sixty years, often through the eyes of her peers.Here, the six chapters are more obviously interrelated than those in " Cloud Atlas ".
he transition is as easy as falling down rabbit hole ( Lewis Carroll) or an echoey stairwell ( Murakami) .Is This Just Fantasy? The main concern of many other readers seems to e the juxtaposition of fantasy elements ( common to at least three of Mitchell 's previous novels) with the apparent realism of some of his writing ( in particular the first chapter in which we meet Holly Sykes) .Some readers can ’ t et their head around the " fantasy-pedalling. " Mitchell anticipates the objection, when character pitches his next boo: " A jetlagged businessman has the mother of all breakdowns in a labyrinthine hotel in Shanghai, encounters a minister, a CEO, a cleaner, a psychic woman who hears voices ... think Solaris meets Noam Chomsky via Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
dd a dash of Twin Peaks ... " " Are you trying to tell me that you 're writing a fantasy ovel? " " Me?
Half, at most. " " Th book ca n't be half-fantasy any more than woman must be half pregnant. " Nevertheless, what is wrong with fantasy that Mitchell is criticised for embracing it?
oes the criticism say more about the reader than the author? Deliberately or not, Mitchell 's works seem to divide readers between the confused and the bewitched.Caught in a Landslide, No Escape from RealityWhile Mitchell has demonstrated that he must write in he style of realism if he wishes to ( particularly in some chapters of " Cloud Atlas " and " Black Swan Green "), I do n't want it 's his preferred or most natural style.
He acknowledges in whatever style he feels he needs.
His style is as fluid as his requirements.The first-time reader hould n't e offended if the trappings of another genre suddenly appear in the narrative.
Brin it seriously, but nly as much as you would a playful entertainment like the ilm " Pirates of the Caribbean. " It ’ s like Indiana Jones meets " Alice in Wonderland " meets Umberto Eco ( " Foucault ’ s Pendulum ") meets " 1Q84 " meets " The Da Vinci Code " meets Gabriel Garcia Marquez meets the Three Stooges meets " The Wizard of Oz " meets Voldemort meets Darth Vader meets Merlin meets Jules Verne meets " Jack in the Beanstalk " meets Biggles meets " Little Red Riding Hood " meets Enid Blyton meets " The Matrix " meets the Wachowski Siblings ( just in time for the filmisation) .It 's like looking into Mitchell 's mind and seeing everything he 's ever watched or read, and enjoyed.
" Satirical, Postmodern, Science Fiction-influenced Adventure Story " It ’ s also like " The Illminatus!
Trilogy ", which wiki describes as " a comica, postmodern, science fiction-influenced adventure story. " ( Yes, it ’ s been done before!
Although th time it 's more fantasy than science fiction.) I first encountered the term " Post-Modern " when friends who were architects introduced me to Charles Jencks ’ book, The language of post-modern architecture.
( hide spoiler) ] You could be forgiven for thinking that David Mitchell had written all three works of metafiction.