Friday, January 15, 2016

Book Review: Slade House by David Mitchell

Slade House
Keep your eyes peeled for a small black iron door.

Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you’ll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the house’s residents—an odd brother and sister—extend a unique invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late. . . .

Spanning five decades, from the last days of the 1970s to the present, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story—as only David Mitchell could imagine it.
This is my first attempt at David Mitchell and I was quite pleased.  I'm still a little bit afraid to venture into his longer books, but I was quite impressed with the writing here.  I can't say it blew my mind in terms of literary value - it read like more literary than usual horror, which is what it's meant to be.  I liked the way it was told in linked short stories and appreciated the characters, although I felt like the last two chapters had a LOT of information packed in.

Entertainment Value
This is a great book that fits in well with my love of WTFery.  I had numerous "wait, what?" moments, which is always nice.  And I was thoroughly creeped out in more than one place.  It's a fast read, not very long at all, and it moves quickly form character to character.  I was surprised by the ending and was left guessing until the "big reveal"at the end.

I didn't realize before reading that this is set in the same world as The Bone Clocks.  You don't need to have read The Bone Clocks in order to enjoy this story, but apparently it helps some - I've seen other reviewers mention tidbits they picked up here and there that relate to the world of The Bone Clocks.  But again, you really don't need to have read that one to get a lot out of Slade House.  I'm glad I picked it up and recommend it to fans of literary horror and those who just enjoy a good dose of weird.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.

1 comment:

  1. David Mitchell is an author I've heard a lot of good things about in the past couple of years with a lot of his premises intriguing to me. It sounds like this was an enjoyable read.

    I've not seen this cover for this particular book before - I like it!

    Reading With Jade