I suppose this is technically fantasy because all of Mitchell’s books take place in a fantasy, loosely Buddhist universe, which you may only realise by reading his other stuff. Hence the character of Marinus in The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is either a well-drawn irascible supporting character, or the latest incarnation of a body-hopping immortal entity and combatant on the good side in an eons-long war fought between good souls and evil vampiric spiritual beings. The story works either way. In this book young Jason is cousin to Hugo Lamb, one of the villains of The Bone Clocks (a well drawn, vulnerable slimeball who redeems himself for lurve, here seen in his larval form) and other characters from other books also appear at earlier or later stages of their lives. But the actual story? Well … not a lot happens but it’s fun reading about it. I think it might be vaguely autobiographical on Mitchell’s part: a young lad growing up in the Cotswolds in the 80s, trying hard to hide the fact that he has a stutter, trying to make sense of life, and too young to realise that the adults themselves are tiptoeing through an emotional minefield, just like him, only they have the necessary mechanisms in place to hide the fact.