Chapter X: A treaty of offence and defence

This chapter is about making friends, and specifically, how to make friends when what you really want to do with your new friends is pretend to be enemies. It manages to illustrate this on several levels within not many pages, and it’s really quite clever. It’s also funny, which I think I missed when I was a child.

In the midst of all the love, I think it only fair to note that the children don’t always talk nicely to each other. Aside from “skip along, Roger”, which I think he quite likes at the moment (later books might hint at Roger’s adolescent rebellion), there’s a bit of “Peggy, you donkey”, and quite a lot of “shut up”. Telling one’s sibling to “shut up” is strongly discouraged in my household.

Strict and anachronistic parenting aside, though…

Continue reading “Chapter X: A treaty of offence and defence”


David Mitchell: The Bone Clocks

It is hot today. This post might make less sense than usual, as my brain has melted.

So. I read ‘Black Swan Green’ a while ago, and I remember it as very good urban realism. Then I heard about ‘Cloud Atlas’, and tried to watch a bit of the film, and it was quite weird and confusingly supernaturalish. Given the preponderance of Davids Mitchell in the world, I did wonder a bit whether they were actually by the same person, but am assured that they are. I’m now wondering whether I’ve mis-remembered ‘Black Swan Green’ quite a lot.

Mild spoilers under the cut. Continue reading “David Mitchell: The Bone Clocks”

Chapter IX: ‘Swallow has gone’

No cryptically whimisical title for this chapter. This is Serious Bizniss.

Poor John wakes up all of a muddle. I can’t quite tell whether he’s wishing that his story had stayed pottersome or hoping that it will turn into a thriller, and I’m not sure that he knows, either. So he goes for a swim (always good for clearing the head, I find), and imagines hitching a ride on a seagull. John has a tendency to come across as a bit grown-up and sensible, so it’s nice to see that he can be plenty fanciful when he’s on his own.

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