I relax into my pillows on Monday night, settle the doona around my middle and open The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. I start reading.
I stop reading.
Flipping heck, I think, my voice in my head sounding just like Irene’s off Home and Away. The flipping book is written using first person, present tense.
I hate books written in first person, present tense.
I reach for the chocolate on my bedside table, ignoring the fact that I have already brushed my teeth.
I dither, as the square of Lindt extra-dark chocolate melts between my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Should I continue reading or not? This book has been on my To Be Read pile since I read the blurb in the Readings’ catalogue the Christmas before last.
I close the book and look at the cover. A maze, an apple, a broken clock and a cassette tape. The colours are pretty, but as a teenager of the 80’s it is the cassette tape that speaks to me. I re-open the book and get on with it. The Readings catalogue rarely lets me down.
A week later, I close the book. I think about the characters and the story, and think about how I’ll write my review for the blog. First person, present tense springs to mind. I choose a pen from the holder next to my recipe books and jot down some notes.
Main character, Holly. Teenager in the 80’s. Runs away from home for a few days after a fight with her mother over her boyfriend. While gone, Holly’s younger brother disappears and is never seen again. Just getting to know Holly when the time and point of view changes to Hugo’s. Holly is now a supporting character. Hugo is a psychopath, but I’m hopeful he will be redeemed by his love for Holly. Seventy pages on, it happens again and there is a new character telling the story, sometime in the future.
At about this point, I had started skimming.
The point of view kept changing, a new character, another time, still first person, present tense.
It finished in the future, with no oil left in the world and life more primitive than we know it. There was a weird, behind the scenes war going on between good and evil. I had no idea what was going on, probably because of the skimming.
I sigh and wish I’d stopped reading a week ago. I decide I won’t read anything else by David Mitchell.