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The New York Times bestseller by the author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas | Named One of the Best Books of the Year by San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, National Post, BookPage, and Kirkus ReviewsKeep your eyes peeled for a small black iron door. Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narroThe New York Times bestseller by the author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas | Named One of the Best Books of the Year by San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, National Post, BookPage, and Kirkus ReviewsKeep 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.Praise for Slade House“A fiendish delight . . . Mitchell is something of a magician.”—The Washington Post “Entertainingly eerie . . . We turn to [Mitchell] for brain-tickling puzzle palaces, for character studies and for language.”—Chicago Tribune “A ripping yarn . . . Like Shirley Jackson’s Hill House or the Overlook Hotel from Stephen King’s The Shining, [Slade House] is a thin sliver of hell designed to entrap the unwary. . . . As the Mitchellverse grows ever more expansive and connected, this short but powerful novel hints at still more marvels to come.”—San Francisco Chronicle“Like Stephen King in a fever . . . manically ingenious.”—The Guardian (U.K.) “A haunted house story that savors of Dickens, Stephen King, J. K. Rowling and H. P. Lovecraft, but possesses more psychic voltage than any of them.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Tightly crafted and suspenseful yet warmly human . . . the ultimate spooky nursery tale for adults.”—The Huffington Post “Diabolically entertaining . . . dark, thrilling, and fun . . . a thoroughly entertaining ride full of mind games, unexpected twists, and even a few laughs.”—The Daily Beast“Plants died, milk curdled, and my children went slightly feral as I succumbed to the creepy magic of David Mitchell’s Slade House. It’s a wildly inventive, chilling, and—for all its otherworldliness—wonderfully human haunted house story. I plan to return to its clutches quite often.”—Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl and The Grownup “I gulped down this novel in a single evening....

Title : slade house
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ISBN : 24720036
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Number of Pages : 241 Pages
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slade house Reviews

  • karen
    2019-05-09 14:10

    so, whoopsie! i read this thinking it was a standalone book (inasmuch as any david mitchell books are standalones), but it actually takes place in the same world as The Bone Clocks, which i am already ashamed about not having read (yet) and am now re-shamed by this book's exposing me to creatures and situations without the context of The Bone Clocks under my belt. dammit.with this in mind, i can say that this holds its own as a self-contained supernatural/haunted house story. i didn't at any point feel lost or baffled. however, i suspect that those of you who have made better choices in life and have read The Bone Clocks will appreciate it on a whole other level. i have only read two other david mitchell books, but as a hardcore fan of both jonathan carroll and donald harington, i know that reading-shimmer that occurs when you encounter a character you did not expect to see, and how while their appearance might not impact the story in any crucial way, it's gratifying - a little nod to the fans who have been paying attention. so i missed out on that nod here, and i may have missed out on more. won't know until i finally read that book everybody's talking about…

  • Cecily
    2019-05-06 10:00

    “Tonight feels like a board-game designed by M C Escher on a bender and Stephen King in a fever.” Rather like this book. David Mitchell is usually shelved and sold alongside other writers of "Literary Fiction" (a label I dislike). He's twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and his novels often bulge with beautifully crafted images.This is in a different mould; it's Mitchell having fun, and needs to be read as a much lighter confection in terms of style, though a rather darker one in terms of plot. Slade House started as an experimental short story called “The Right Sort”, picking up on the psychsoterical section of The Bone Clocks, and published in tweets ( It took on a life of its own, and Mitchell expanded it into four more sections, creating Slade House.Like many of his novels, this is a collection of connected short stories, with predacity as the underlying theme, here indicated by the Fox and Hounds (a chase game, a pub, a weapon, but most importantly, an analogy). In this case, there are five sections, nine years apart, starting in 1979, and ending TODAY - the day I finished reading it, and the day I am writing this review (31 October 2015)!Each section is narrated by a person who visits the eponymous house, and each has a distinctive voice (a strong feature of all Mitchell’s works). The plots are less distinctive, but that’s no accident. Instead, there's hypnotic repetition to lure the reader into this mysterious world, and build expectations of what will happen to each visitor. The title page of each section has an illustration of a talismanic object.1979, The Right Sort (small, black, iron door in a brick wall)The narrator is Nathan Bishop, thirteen years old, on the autistic spectrum (as is one of Mitchell’s sons), and a synaesthete (“it’s a maroon-coloured name”). He and his mother, Rita, have been invited by Lady Norah Grayer to a recital at Slade House, on the last Saturday of October.Nathan’s narrative style reminded me strongly of Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time: he mentions special numbers, describes his difficulty interpreting people, and his struggles to “act normal”. When he became preoccupied with a dead cat, I assumed a deliberate nod, though Schroedinger would also be apt. And then in the fourth chapter, “Grief is an amputation, but hope is incurable haemophilia… like Schroedinger’s Cat inside a box you can never open.”There is an air of magic as soon as the Bishops enter the garden of Slade House through a small, black, iron door in the wall. Rita goes into the house and Nathan stays outside with a boy called Jonah who may or may not be Lady Grayer’s son. They play Fox and Hound, but Nathan gets dizzy and disoriented. He assumes it’s his mother’s Valium playing tricks on him, but things get more confused. Standard creepy-house story fare: creaky stairs, a strange clock, an ethereal face at a window, oddly familiar portraits, disorientating visions, strangers who seem to know you, twins, a warning, a hypnotic candle… 1988, Shining Armour (a clock without hands)This opens in the nearby Fox and Hounds pub and is narrated by racist, wife-beating Detective Inspector Gordon Edmonds. The investigation into the Bishops’ disappearance has been reopened because a widow cleaner called Fred Pink has woken from a nine-year coma and remembers seeing them going in. More than once, it’s stressed that the police want him to feel he’s being taken seriously (why?), even though they don’t think he has much credibility. Nevertheless, it’s reason for DI Edmonds to visit Chloe Chetwynd at Slade House. It’s all sweetness and light… until it becomes disorienting (but rather familiar).1997, Oink Oink (Tiffany compact and mirror)A university ParaSoc (Paranormal Society) meet at the Fox and Hounds, before investigating the nearby Slade Alley vanishings. Cue justification for handy exposition and recap by Axel Hardwick, the group leader and nephew of Fred Pink. This is the central chapter, numerically and plot-wise, but the characters are a checklist of student stereotypes that I found shallow and annoying. Even when writing for fun, Mitchell can do better than this.The narrator is Sally Timms, born in 1979, a bulimic and insecure young woman, who was nicknamed “oink oink” by bullies at boarding school. She feels guilty about the fact her family’s money comes from oil, and is fond but jealous of her older sister, Freya, in New York. When Sally wanted to visit, Freya fobbed her off with a Tiffany compact.They find Slade House is accommodation for overseas students sponsored by the Erasmus Institute, and a Halloween party is in full swing, hosted by Kate Childs. It’s all good fun… until it becomes disorienting (but familiar), though Sally assumes it’s because someone switched the labels as to which brownies were doped.A pattern has been firmly developed, but (view spoiler)[Sally sees the ghost of DI Edmonds who gives her a weapon he “found in the cracks”: a sliver hairpin with a fox head. She finds Todd Cosgrove, who she fancies, and they try to escape. He knows a lot about the occult, and the peculiar features of Slade House, making magic symbols in the air, and talking of the orison, a lacuna, and the operandi. (hide spoiler)]2006, You Dark Horse (silver hairpin with fox head)Journalist Freya Timms (narrating) meets elderly Fred Pink at the Fox and Hounds, both feeling guilt for their family member who went missing nine years earlier. They share what they’ve found out. Fred knows a great deal about Norah and Jonah Grayer, telepathic twins in Edwardian/WW1 days, and about The Shaded Way, and other psychosoterica (cue for more, somewhat lazy exposition, causing (view spoiler)[Bond villains to come to mind (hide spoiler)]). Freya is sceptical but professional.This is the fourth chapter; I’d relaxed into the pattern and style of the story, (view spoiler)[but Fred leaves the pub, without Freya having gone to Slade House. Then time and reality start distorting, and we’re back in the attic room, with Nora and Jonah kneeling by the unflickering candle, and the narrator seeing herself between them; there’s some explanation, a bit of bickering between the twins, and then tentacles come to suck out her soul. So far, so familiar… except the forces are weakening. Freya sees Sally’s ghost use the fox-head hatpin to stab Jonah, allowing Freya to escape with her soul, though not her body.(hide spoiler)].2015, Astronauts (ancient Ninevite candlestick with runic markings)Norah Grayer is narrating, which is a bit of a surprise. She’s targeting Dr Iris Marinus, a Canadian psychologist who bought Fred Pink’s notebooks, and who is Engifted. Here, Mitchell lets rip with the psychsoterical mumbo-jumbo (see below) and plot fireworks too. I almost cheered at one point. But Mitchell never closes the doors behind him; there’s scope for much more in future books.The Ethics of Immortality“Did the pig whose smoked flesh you ate at breakfast ‘deserve’ her fate?”“What’s a metalife without a mission? It’s mere feeding.”The underlying situation in this world is, as in The Bone Clocks, two groups of immortals: The Anchorites who achieve it by killing, soul-stealing and hijacking bodies, and the Horologists, who are unwittingly reborn and ever on the trail of the evil Anchorites: “You murder for immorality… we are sentenced to it”.“Might is Right is nature’s way… from such an array of vultures… from feudal lords to slave traders to oligarchs to neocons to predators like you. All of you strangle your consciences, and ethically you strike yourselves dumb.”Occult JargonMitchell has fun here. Most of the jargon is familiar to anyone who has read The Bone Clocks, but if not, it’s explained as much as it needs to be in the book.“The orison’s imploding” … “Marinus, fast as thought, glyphed a concave mirrorfield”… “puts his left forefinger on our guest’s front chakra eye”… “a dying operandi… get the guest to the lacuna” … “psychovoltaic pauperdom”… and so on.Short Glossary (view spoiler)[• Lacuna: “a small space that’s immune from time” so the operandi can work.• Orison: “a reality bubble” that is “a live, 3D stage set, projected from inside this lacuna in time”, immune from photos and impenetrable by smartphones.• Aperture: “a portal into an orison”.• Operandi: the set up for getting psychovoltic energy from engifted souls.• Astronaut: an orison tourist.• Deep Stream: the good guys (Horologists).• Shaded Way: the bad guys (Anchorites). (hide spoiler)]Links to Other Mitchell BookMy reviews of all his books are on my mitchell-uber-book shelf: Mitchell publishes has links to some of his other books; they’re part of an uber-novel, and as it’s more of a web than a line, it doesn’t much matter where you start. Slade House is explicitly related to The Bone Clocks, especially the penultimate chapter of TBC, where the battle between two tribes of immortals peaks. Other connections to Mitchell’s oeuvre include:• Nathan is the same age as Jason Taylor in Black Swan Green and also a bit of misfit – though far more than Jason.• The clock with words instead of hands has a “pale-as-bone clock face”. • Chetwynd-Pitt is an unpleasant Cambridge friend of Hugo Lamb in The Bone Clocks. Norah Grayer uses the name Chetwynd in 1988.• The ghost of Rita Bishop mentions visiting Vyvyan Ayres (a composer in Cloud Atlas) in Zedelghem to DI Edmonds. • Fern Penhaligon (ParaSoc member) is the sister of Jonny Pehaligon who, supposedly, commits suicide by driving his car off a cliff in The Bone Clocks.• The blind mother of ParaSoc member, Todd Cosgrove, transcribes books into braille, including Crispin Hershey’s “Desiccated Embryos”, from The Bone Clocks. • I expect ParaSoc members Lance Hardwick and Angelica Gibbons will crop up elsewhere, otherwise it was hardly worth naming them here.• Freya Timms writes for Spyglass magazine, as did Luisa Rey in Cloud Atlas and Ed Brubeck (Holly’s husband) in The Bone Clocks.• The Grayer twins studied The Shaded Way under a descendant of Abbot Enomoto (amongst others) from Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zeut.• Norah Grayer will surely reappear: (view spoiler)[at the end, she somehow migrates into an unborn boy (who has an older brother called Adib and an unnamed older sister), as whom, she plans to kill Marinus one day (hide spoiler)].• “Might is Right” is quoted here and in Cloud Atlas.Rating 3.5*I think this is probably a pretty good book of its kind (4*), but it's not really my kind of book, and I found much of the exposition too crass for my taste, even for light fiction. My 3* rating reflects my enjoyment, rather than anything more objective. Quotes• “Time is… Time was… Time is not.” On the clock without hands.• “My body is dead but my soul is saved.”• “Strangers are ‘They’, a lover is first a ‘You’ and then a ‘We’, but [twin] is one half of ‘I’.”• “I hate her; but how far short it falls, this petty, neutered verb. Hatred is a thing one hosts; the lust I feel to harm, maim, wreck and kill this woman is less an emotion I hold than what I am now become.”• “All the supernatural yarns need a realistic explanation and a supernatural one.”(Mitchell only delivers the former, which is fine.)UPDATE from November 2015Mitchell has just won the World Fantasy award for The Bone Clocks. Handy timing for promoting this. Thanks to Apatt for sending me this link about the award and Mitchell's views about crossing genres: Notes from January 2015A new David Mitchell due out barely a year after The Bone Clocks, and set in the same universe. However, when TBC was published, he said the third of the Marinus trilogy was outlined, but wouldn't be published for a few years, so this may not be any closer to TBC than any of his others. Or not. Who knows?It turns out that his 2,000 word Twitter story evolved, “scenes grew, bred and sprouted new scenes until ‘The Right Sort’ passed the 6,000 word mark and announced itself as part one of a five-part novel”. It's due out in time for Halloween: is the Twitter version, though I think I'd rather read the full novel first and then look back to see its source:

  • Warwick
    2019-05-17 12:09

    David Mitchell does his usual thing of writing a few short stories, gluing them together, and calling it a novel. He gets away with it because he is just so extravagantly readable, and Slade House is no different – a hugely enjoyable ghost story which (I infer) seems to build on various conventions established in The Bone Clocks, which I haven't yet read.The first story here is set in 1979, and subsequent chapters advance in nine-year intervals until we reach October 2015 – all of them first-person narratives which follow the same essential pattern and which involve the same creepy house in a run-down corner of London. I thought the first few sections were fantastic; after that, the penultimate chapter is really just a shameless infodump and the ending is – like most mysteries, I find – inevitably a little anticlimactic. But although I rarely find myself underlining Mitchell's sentences in aesthetic delight, I do love how wonderfully English his prose is, at a time when so many British authors seem to write with a kind of transatlantic blandness designed (or so I've cynically concluded) to be inoffensive to a US market. Here instead we have people that smell like Pritt-Stick and the sounds of the ‘Have I Got News For You’ theme tune.This is really just a kind of literary amuse-bouche, and avid fans may find its slightness disappointing or unambitious. Personally, after what I've been reading recently, it was just a joy to have something brief and compelling that I could tear through in a day's commuting, and that had me stealing glimpses at my e-reader all day long at my desk.

  • Mohammed Arabey
    2019-05-15 14:00

    A Cursed Eternity, Soul Eaters, Dark Cult, Gifted Characters & A Lacuna.You can clearly hear a X-Files Theme playing here..Five Stories, One House.A mysterious Black Iron door appears to you out of high brick walled alley, only on a certain day every 9 years..Step inside ,for your own good, with your totally free will..for a purpose you already planned days,if not years ago..Step inside, aha here you are, the back garden of this marble white beautiful house..every thing's vivid..You may eat something,like this ripe red beautiful cherry. Poor're gifted no doubt, that's why you're here in the first place, you know? But no matter what, you can't just resist eating or drinking something..Now you did, you'll start hallucinating, you'll feel being stuck in a bizarre situations.. Run, for God's sakes just Run..Oh poor poor you, you made run for your life….you made welcome welcome to;The Slade House..A Fun read,but I should,better, have read The Bone Clock first… may be that's why I canceled the 4th star rating, you know what it feels when you read a Batman story and when Batman almost save the day comes Superman to take all the credit? It's Horror that got its fine share of hallucinations and tricks, very sophisticated language and very dark myths of an occult.Or rather as the author described a night among the story ;“It feels like a board game co-designed by M. C. Escher on a bender and Stephen King in a fever.”I will try to rate each story till get to the final rate...yet with no spoiler as possible.. The Right Sort 1979 (2.5 Stars)**********************Our first Guest in this book is Nathan Bishop, a sweet smart yet autistic, 13 years old..and his mother, invited to the Slade House for a big break for the musician mother.I really loved Nathan, and how the author got into his mind, writing a story narrating by autistic was brilliant, and Nathan was really smart, and sweet.It was a bit hard for me to follow at first, I had to re-read many lines to get it.-add to that the very hard classical language for me-And when finally I used to his narrating...the story ends..weird starting yet full of mysteries to come.. but I didn't like the story much, seemed too bizarre specially the weird ending.Shining Armour 1988 (2 Stars)*******************Our second guest is a Detective investigating the re-open of the Bishops disappearance case, due to a witness who's awakened from a 9 years coma and last thing he remembers is seeing them in Slade Alley.The Inspector finds the Slade House when others never found it before, meets the owner, a pretty young widow..and involves with her in an affair..With almost the same techniques and theme of the previous story it's started to be a bit boring for me, some answers here but more questions as well.Oink Oink 1997 (3.5 Stars)*******************A group of 6 young collage students interested in the paranormal phenomenons “X-File-ers” with a leader related to the same witness of the Bishops in Slade Alley, gathered to investigate The Slade House Mystery.. and when they arrive there,they find out it just a House for students who's having a Halloween party..the narrator is a bit fat girl ‘Sally Timms’ who have some issues with her sister and loneliness. , I loved how the author makes you feel for her and enter her mind, her wanting to be loved, to be normal , to not be rejected..The story this time is a bit better, more bizarre scenes and more related to the previous stories.But that was lost to the predicted way of the story plot... I almost start to feel very bored with repeating the whole trick, or at least I already predicted it.And I have to say till this far of the novel the vocabulary is really really hard to follow, as someone referred here, it's so British, so sophisticated in every chapter.Specially when a big part of secret of the House and the Twins is revealed in this chapter, it gets more difficult -may be not that perfect in reading English novels that's why it was my first encounter with ‘Lacuna’-You Dark Horse You 2006 (4.5 Stars)*******************And that may have made all the novel deserves a higher rate… finally we get the full back story of the Twins and their extraordinary power, the Dark Secrets in Marrakesh and those dark cults.This back story completes what has started in the previous one. and it r's very good written.And also the Narrator here is very related to the previous story..and the other character here is the mostly connecting the all 3 stories.I won't spoil it for you but really this one is what made all the difference and the worth of the reading this part Sci-Fi part Myth story.. sorry , stories.. I really loved how they altered the same trick in more tricky way which was the most nightmarish of all to me.I just Love it...And then came the final story , or the one after the whole mystery died by the 4th story.Astronauts 2015 (3.5 Stars)*******************The ending story with a HUGE alternating to the plot, narrating and the tricks.I like it, but didn't appreciate it enough.. since here is where you feel ,I must have read The Bone Clock before.. many elements directly referred to the plot of the previous book, elements that totally necessarily to end the story I said about Batman story.That's why I felt a bit disappointed , I really don't mind that but may be a little alerting would have been better, I love when an author anyway try to make his different novels in one universe ,and funny that most of the reviews I read stated that they didn't read The Bone Clock too , but It's my very first read for Mr. David Mitchell...and won't be the last..And the most important point that the novel's morality is clear and fine and the ending main plot is perfect.Funny that I was intending to rate it plain 3, but when I thought more of it it's may be 3.5 , but while writing the review it's just 4...nostalgic may be, but I will make the 4 when I read The Bone Clock if it make it to 4 ‘or higher’..then Slade House will totally deserve its 4.and after all,as I said at the's a real fun read., just don't you dare enter any mysterious Black Iron Door in any high brick walled alleys...specially when it's only appearing in a certain time..Mohammed ArabeyFrom 8 February 2016To 13 February 2016 ______________________PS: -the pre-reviewThe beautiful House picture here is from “The Boy”, a movie I watched with Mom & Sis at the same day I began Slade House, Since Mom was missing watching English movies in the cinema & interested in this one. The Boy. well, it was fun,well plotted,decent twist,creepy doll boy AND ANOTHER CREEPY HOUSE.. It's my year of the Houses.. since I find out that the house in the movie played a big part too. As well as houses was at most of this year's reads so far..I'll be houses reviewer I guess :)My first and hopefully won't be last read for Mr. David Mitchell :) with my signed limited edition copy :))

  • Candi
    2019-05-14 14:50

    I picked up Slade House with the idea of reading something creepy and perhaps slightly unusual before Halloween. As it turned out, it was nightmarish and positively bizarre! I was mostly entertained while reading this, but as I now try to write my review, I realize that not much of this has stuck with me after a mere two weeks. Fortunately, this is not the kind of book that I want to examine too closely nor do I want to give much of it away to future readers. So, I’ll share just a few thoughts on this one.Slade House, located in Slade Alley, is definitely the stuff of freaky dreams and Mitchell masterfully sketches a place that I would shrink from passing by even in the light of day. As described by one of its unfortunate young visitors, "Slade Alley’s the narrowest alley I’ve ever seen. It slices between two houses, then vanishes left after thirty paces or so… There’s a small black iron door, set into the brick wall. It’s small all right… It has no handle, keyhole, or gaps around the edges. It’s black, nothing-black, like the gaps between stars."Every nine years, on the last day in October, one luckless guest will enter that door to find him or herself on the grounds of a stunning garden surrounding a grand mansion. What becomes of this guest… well, only the Grayer twins could tell you what really happens next. I found the characters to be very well-drawn for such a short novel, always a big plus for me with any book. I enjoyed the gradual unveiling of the mystery behind the house and its history. While I didn’t find it to be super scary, on the edge of your seat kind of horror, it did have an uncanny surreal feel to it that made me squirm at times. However, by the end I found it to be a bit predictable and I started to grow tired of the story and the Grayer twins. I’m not a big fan of the supernatural and this was a bit of a mixed bag for me - a fun way to pass a couple of cold, rainy days, but not anything mind-blowing.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-05-19 11:44

    My favorite creepy horror novel! ... now if you know me, you know I don't do horror novels. In fact, I could probably count the number I've read on one hand (though I do read some horror short stories). But still! This was a really fascinating read without completely freaking me out. :)Final review, first posted at enigmatic Slade House mysteriously appears every nine years for a day, like a sinister Brigadoon, accessible only to certain people. And those who visit it are never seen again. Some of the characters were particularly heart-wrenching, especially young Nathan, who is on the autistic spectrum, and Sally, the overweight young woman who is so hopeful and, at the same time, so desolate.Although it seems at first like history is simply repeating itself every nine years, there are threads that tie each episode to the next, and a natural progression in the story line that moves the plot along and kept me tied to this book. Episodes that at first seem somewhat disconnected, if rather repetitive, begin to build on each other. Objects and characters creep in from prior episodes and echo prior appearances — a silver fox-head hairpin, a game of Fox and Hounds (distressingly apt) that also becomes a pub name — as well as from other Mitchell novels.I’m not much of a horror reader, but occasionally I get tempted into it, this time because I enjoyed David Mitchell’s experimental and thought-provoking writing in Cloud Atlas so much. Slade House really sucked me in; I finished it in one day, a lot faster than I would’ve guessed at first, especially given my prior struggles with The Bone Clocks (which I put aside after about 75 pages when it failed to engage me). Slade House is much more accessible and easier to digest, not to mention far shorter. It works fine as a stand-alone read, although reading The Bone Clocks first would certainly give the reader a good deal of helpful background and context, since it’s set in the same universe. Readers of The Bone Clocks and other Mitchell novels will be rewarded with recurring characters, concepts and themes, such as Dr. Iris Marinus and the Horologists.Even without that background knowledge, however, there’s enough explanation in Slade House that a reader new to this universe isn’t left feeling stranded. There’s a great deal of info-dumping in the 4th episode, which isn’t entirely successful in feeling like a natural part of the storyline, but it does provide the basic, necessary information about this universe that Mitchell has created.Mitchell playfully includes several tropes of the haunted house genre: the disturbing portraits (which, honestly, have no logical place in Slade House, other than to raise the anxiety level of the reader), a face in the window, a warning that goes unheeded, the feeling of utter helplessness, the villain who can’t resist the urge to Explain All to his victim. I think Mitchell was also making a bit of a tongue-in-cheek joke with the quirkily named “Banjax,” the food or drink that the victims must voluntarily ingest for the villains to accomplish their purpose. But David Mitchell’s gift with prose puts Slade House a clear cut above most horror novels. It might even tempt me to give The Bone Clocks another shot.Free copy of ebook received from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a review. Thanks!Earlier post: I did go do a little background reading in some other reviews so as to understand some of the odd terminology, like Horologists, Atemporals and the Shaded Way. Ian's review was particularly helpful in explaining the background and terminology; I highly recommend it. Even earlier post: Uh oh. NetGalley just approved me for this, and I barely realized that I really need to read The Bone Clocks first. I think it's finally time to go renew that expensive non-resident library card. I've got my October reading cut out for me. :p

  • Lyn
    2019-05-17 11:01

    Well played Mr. Mitchell, well played.Mitchell’s October 2015 publication (just in time and thematically relevant to Halloween) is a modern addition to a list of great October titles.Styling a series of first person connected but stand alone chapters into a seamless narrative, Mitchell has crafted a story that slowly grips the reader until the last few pages in this short novel fly by as the reader is unable to put the book down.Slade House is set in a quiet suburban neighborhood in England, albeit in a narrow and creepy alley, and provides some fun twists to an old haunted house theme. The “ghosts” in this paranormal horror / fantasy have some added occult significance provided by Mitchell, with a backstory that gets slowly delivered to the reader as the years and opportunities to haunt roll by.I have yet to read The Bone Clocks, but apparently this story follows that theme (and makes me want to read Mitchell’s 2014 publication). More Gaiman and Mieville than Bradbury, this is a postmodern and sophisticated fantasy with strong horror elements.An entertaining and engaging page turner.

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-05-18 14:07

    Magically (and creepily) delicious. Loved every minute of this one, just wish I has read it closer to Halloween. Not overtly scary, yet what is accomplished in this short novel did send a few shivers my way. So many lines can be taken in more than one way, little humorous tidbits scattered here and there. A haunted house but so much more, original and brilliant in its own way. Actually this will make a good book for re-reading, which is just what I will do.ARC from publisher.

  • Elyse
    2019-04-26 10:04

    I enjoyed the way this story started in the first chapter with 13 year old Nathan. He is sweet- sensitive- autistic --( the type of boy other kids would make fun of at school), Plus his mum is newly divorced, popping Valium like gum- drops. Then jumping ahead...Nathan's mother, Rita, find the house off Slade Alley. Rita, being a piano player, gets invited to performs for well-known guests including Yehudi Menuhin. It was a street personjust passing by who helped them through an iron door - finding the house of Lady Grayer. It gets spooky - when after October 1979 the mother and son were never seen again. Nine years later detective Gordon Edmonds enters the same way... He also is never seen again. Every Nine years there is another disappearance last Saturday in October. Yikes almighty ... This one-sitting read gets scary-creepy-and if you never believed in ghosts before... you might after you read "The Slade House". Thank You Random House, Netgalley, and David Mitchell for the opportunity to read this spine-tingling book.

  • Michael
    2019-05-03 14:58

    Quite a fun read, one that shouldn’t be spoiled by reading anything substantial about its contents. But it takes more than platitudes and blurbs to help a potential reader decide whether to pursue reading this book. If you are a Mitchell fan like me, you can gladly reach for it. I could hardly put it down. Many of you were disappointed in the break into fantasy- land at the end of “The Bone Clocks”. I would say that the apparent clash of genres won’t be a problem here. With this short novel (around 150 pages), you are consistently in a world where the dangers of the people known as the Atemporals are alive in each chapter. As you may not have read “The Bone Clocks” (and do not have to read that first), I won’t say what dangers to your soul or body you may be facing though characters. These are diverse and lively folk of contemporary London, chock full of personality (tragically so for some who meet a nasty fate). I can also say that Mitchell follows his frequent pattern of using narrative segments that skip through time. He also keeps with his affinity for structured variations along his narrative arc. Not so intricate this time on their paths. Instead his jazz of variation lies with the characters made to fit an apparently common form.Mitchell was such a genre chameleon in his fabulous “Cloud Atlas” that it made me dizzy. Here he plays with the tropes of gothic horror and fantasy with modern twists in the league of Gaiman and Mieville. It was delightful to me to be constantly feeling a kind of déjà vu, wondering what each particular situation reminded me of. He’s not stealing, as he uses indirect references to tune you in. Sometimes it feels like Poe with elements from Harry Potter, then somewhere between “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Truman Show”, but eventually I wondered whether the theme is from “The Picture of Dorian Gray” or the song “Hotel California” with Escher designing the layout. That sense of being on a stage with a script takes away from the scariness that classic horror tales try to evoke. But there was plenty of wrenching of my emotions and my mind. Is it all in good fun, or is there a serious world view here? A clock with no hands has a plaque with the lines: “Time is/Time was/Time is not.” Maybe reading this can help you figure that out for me. No, don’t tell me—I like to let it sit mystically like a Zen koan. Something to meditate on while I stay tuned to see how Mitchell will fulfill his expressed agenda of making all his books into parts of one big über-novel.This book was provided as a e-book loan through the Netgalley ARC program, due out around Halloween.

  • Christine
    2019-05-05 12:45

    2.5 starsI wish to thank Net Galley, Random House and author David Mitchell for the privilege of reading an ARC of Slade House in exchange for an unbiased review.This is my first David Mitchell read, and I will probably leave it at that. I basically had a hard time connecting with this book. If I hadn’t been involved in a buddy read with my good friend, I would have stopped after the first chapter. She encouraged me though, and I made it to the end. I did like some aspects of this read. The storyline was fairly interesting and there were a few surprises along the way. I liked that the 5 chapters were all presented as individual stories, each from a different first person narrator, with them all slowly coming together as the novel moved along. I also really liked a few of the characters.Furthermore, there was a spot of humor here and there, which I appreciated.On the flip side, there were bigger things I didn’t care for. The narrative lost me on several occasions. There were parts, especially in the first chapter, where I had no idea what the author was talking about. These sections were real flow stoppers for me. At other points, especially in chapter 3, it was tough knowing what was real and what wasn’t. I suppose a good number of readers would like this, but I found it confusing and led me to reread paragraphs—again interfering with the flow.At one point, I actually stopped to look up other books by Mr. Mitchell and found very mixed reviews. Some very intelligent reviewers found his writing convoluted and reading the book actual work, which made me feel better, though one Goodreads friend told me Slade House is less complex than some of his earlier books (which didn’t make me feel better).I was disappointed that it wasn’t all that creepy or suspenseful to me. There were some points of real unbelievability in this story. Yes, I know. This is horror/fantasy/science fiction, but even in those realms, you have to follow some rules. I never like to go into plot points in my reviews so those that like approaching books cold can still do so; therefore, no details from me. Suffice to say a major occurrence critical to the ending was hard to accept as was the very end itself. This is all, of course, only my humble opinion. Hey, my mind is sciency, and I guess it has its limits on what is acceptable in fantasy/science fiction and what crosses the line into total implausibility.I am clearly not a big fan of Slade House, BUT, and this is a big but—I do not want anyone to take my word on whether this book is for you or not. A lot of early readers have loved it, and I fully expect to be in the minority on this one. So if you are into this type of book, go for it, and I hope you enjoy. It was just not written for me.

  • Robin
    2019-05-07 09:43

    4.5 stars...I'd scream if I could but I can't my chest's full of molten panic it's choking me choking it's wolves it's winter it's bones it's cartilage skin liver lungs it's Hunger it's Hunger it's Hunger and Run!A delightful romp into the creepy, ghostly, occult world of David Mitchell.Slade House, a ghostly entity/vision/trap which is manned by malicious, parasitic twins, is open one day every nine years, to a special "guest" who is lured into this hologram world, constructed in order to attract and entice until the twin spiders have their juicy prey caught in their web. Each prey is a very well developed, believable character, brought to the house in different ways, for varying reasons. As you learn more about the ways of Slade House, you want to scream warnings, but in vain - suddenly you remember it's a book and it will go along its inevitable course. Each chapter is nine years apart from the next. The tension mounts with every layer.I hear this is "diet David Mitchell" fare, much less complex than his other books. I loved it though, and I'll seek out his other works now. Perhaps this book is a sort of Slade House: I have been brought in and now am helpless and at the mercy of his talent.

  • Violet wells
    2019-05-04 10:45

    Entertaining if a bit predictable. Basically a shorter version of The Bone Clocks starring the ubiquitous Dr Marinus and featuring various other characters from other Mitchell novels. For me this joke/motif is beginning to wear thin. Essentially this is light entertainment rather than literature. And begs the question, what has happened to Mitchell’s ambition? Has he already peaked with Cloud Atlas and The Thousand Autumns? This, rather like the Bone Clocks, felt like he was going through the motions, having fun but not challenging himself. Worryingly he’s prepared the terrain for a sequel. I’ve also heard there’s going to be a sequel to A Thousand Autumns, a serious book with an undertow of whimsy; you sense the sequel will be a whimsical book with an undertow of seriousness. Personally I’ve now had quite enough of the whimsy of Dr Marinus and the Horologists. I’ve never read Harry Potter but I suspect Rowling is much better at this stuff than Mitchell.

  • Ian
    2019-05-22 10:46

    Tweet! Tweet!"Slade House" grew out of David Mitchell's Oulipean project in which he wrote a short story, "The Right Sort", strictly in compliance with Twitter conventions that restrict each tweet to 140 characters (approximately 20 words per tweet).The restraints are so commonplace in a non-literary context that it's easy to overlook just how much this exercise constituted a work within the post-modern tradition.Superficially, it seems that the story grew, tweet by tweet, without any overarching design. Thus, apparently, David Mitchell entrusted himself to his sentences and tweets and wherever his story took him.Whatever the constraints, story (and therefore story-telling) prevailed and supplied the skeletal strength of the short story.Fresh from writing "The Bone Clocks" and still committed to the concept of an über-novel, it was perhaps inevitable that the story would intersect with the subject matter of the über-novel. As a result, when Mitchell decided to turn the Twitter project into a fully-fledged novel, he remained in the realm of "The Bone Clocks".Is This the Right Start? Is This Just Fantasy?For readers who are new to David Mitchell or who have read him only selectively, you could ask whether this short work is an appropriate place to start.It's certainly capable of being read as a stand-alone novel. However, I wouldn't recommend this, unless you don't really intend to read any earlier books, particularly "The Bone Clocks". If you're curious about the fantasy world that Mitchell is constructing, then this is a way to dip your toes into it, without making the investment of time that the longer "The Bone Clocks" would require (even though both books are very easy to read).If you've already read "The Bone Clocks" and didn't like the fantasy elements, then I'm tempted to recommend that you avoid "Slade House".David Mitchell in David Bowie make-up at the Brisbane Writers' Festival, May 20, 2015Wholly Unapologetic SubmersionMitchell is aware that many readers don't relate to the genre aspects of his über-verse.This novel, as the next in the sequence, might have been an opportunity to attract or placate such readers. However, instead, Mitchell wholly and unapologetically submerges himself and his readers in the same environment that worried some readers of "The Bone Clocks".If "The Bone Clocks" disappointed your expectations, then this novel confronts readers with the choice of changing their expectations, suspending disbelief, or jumping off the Mitchell train at this station.This is Mitchell's statement to us that he knows what he is doing and that he intends to do it that way. So what is it exactly that he is doing?Five Times NineOnce again, we get the juxtaposition of diverse chapters or stories. This time, there are five first person narratives, each separated from the next by nine years.Whereas sometimes it's been difficult to work out what links the stories, this time they're linked by Slade House itself. The five stories give us five perspectives on the significance of Slade House in the über-verse over a period of time.Atypically, one perspective belongs to an Atemporal - someone who has a limited capacity to free themselves from the dictates of time and achieve immortality by periodically killing engifted humans for spiritual sustenance (as opposed to Horologists, who are naturally immortal - get it?).Return to PsychosotericaNeedless to say, we have to get our heads around Mitchell's psychosoteric framework.It includes Lacunas (small spaces that are immune from time), Transversion (a form of astral projection that allows Atemporals to get a long way away from their body for a long time), Suasioning (which allows their soul to occupy another person's body for an extended period of time), and Orisons (reality bubbles in which the souls and psychovoltage of engifted humans can be removed immediately before their death, so that the modus operandi of Atemporals can be recharged).So, you can see we're squarely in the time and space of "The Bone Clocks"!I don't want to give anything away, except to say that we encounter one favoured Horologist, no Anchorites and two or three presumably evil Atemporals (who have eschewed the Shaded Way). By the end of the novel, the numbers have reduced a little (if not the diversity), but in a way that is clearly designed to permit a sequel, if not a prequel!A Portrait by the Artist of an AdventureFrom a literary point of view, this is not one of Mitchell's overtly lyrical novels. The language is economical, functional (including mandatory info-dumps - chill, sceptic!) and fun, apart from the last page, which sets the scene for the future in an evilly, eerily-romanticised style.Like "The Bone Clocks", the novel is an out and out adventure. The pace is rapid. You don't have to stop to think. All dialogue is plot-driven. It's in the tradition of boy's and girl's own adventures. In parts, it reminded me of a mash-up of Harry Potter and Enid Blyton. It comes complete with an "X-Files Six" composed of student science society nerds, one of whom is truly engifted.As with "The Bone Clocks", it's not intended to be taken too seriously. It's meant to be enjoyed with childish or teenaged enthusiasm. No sooner are you finished than you're ready for the next episode or instalment.We have the opportunity to read the über-novel chronologically according to the date of composition, not knowing where it's going. One day, when it's all finished and some of us have shuffled off this mortal coil, readers will be able to jump into the completed work, not caring about the order in which they read it. To them, it won't matter where the artist started their painting. Their eyes will be able to roam the completed canvas with delight. If you're open-minded enough, you can read like this now! Enjoy!SOUNDTRACK:(view spoiler)[The Who - "The Real Me" (from the album "Quadrophenia") Seekers - "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" - "Chant de l' alouette" N' Roses - "Sweet Child o' Mine" - "Sweet Child o' Mine" Floyd - "Another Brick In The Wall" (from the album "The Wall")"Which one's Pink?"Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody""Time Warp" (from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show") - "Novocaine For The Soul" - "Caught By The Fuzz"örk - "Hyperballad" Attack - "Safe From Harm" Orb - "Little Fluffy Clouds" Glass - "Truman Sleeps" (from "The Truman Show") Tracks (Slade is in the House!):Slade - "Goodbye to Jane (Gudbuy T'Jane)" - "Hear Me Calling (Live)" - "Darlin Be Home Soon" (with Lou Reed) - "Ride Into The Sun" Who - "Baba O'Riley (Teenage Wasteland)""Sally, take my handWe'll travel south cross landPut out the fireAnd don't look past my shoulder."The exodus is hereThe happy ones are nearLet's get togetherBefore we get much older." (hide spoiler)]Netgalley DisclosureThis is a review of an eBook that I accessed through Netgalley before publication.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Bradley
    2019-04-28 13:11

    It's so fun to see what people think is traditional fiction these days. Even Goodreads categorizing this one as Horror is funny as hell. This was SF. I mean, how else can anyone classify closed time-like loops, telepathy? Oh, all right, eating a soul is primarily an occupational hazard of the horror genre, so I'll give *that* a pass. The narrative structure of sending his darlings into the roach motel, over and over and over is kind of a dead giveaway, too. Get it? Dead? Oh, nevermind...And yet, I'm still stunned that the world at large prefers to keep Mr. David Mitchell as a mainstream author while looking down their noses at all the other greats. This was actually a pretty standard fare among good SF, using heavy reliance on Clarke's Law to pull some rather cool tricks with the timestream while passing the rest of the novel off as a bogeyman story. I really enjoyed it. The characters were all stunningly well crafted and I loved seeing them all die. The end *was* a rather dues ex-machina, but the hint of the Bone Clocks tells me that this is part of much larger narrative structure and I'm definitely going to have to read his other books to understand exactly why this happened the way it happened. That's called baiting. Drug pushers do it all the time, Mr. Mitchell. You dangled your drug under the nose of some of the most addictive personalities in the universe, the so-called "readership", and now we're hooked.He's an evil man.Other than my entirely justified grievance, I was rather thrilled while reading to see so many wonderful similarities in the narrative to a certain Tim Powers. It was like dipping my toes in the cold cold waters of The Anubis Gates. I'm only talking about the feel, mind you. Lots of interesting ideas and odd directions eventually focusing in upon its eventual prey in a methodically imaginative pace. I loved it. Of course, now I have to read a lot more of BOTH of these authors, but that's okay because I'm not dead yet. I can't regret not picking up these other titles because I still have the chance.Am I excited? Yeah, I think I am. I might just be becoming a fanboy of Mr. Mitchell, despite my miasma of gripes. They're not directed at the man, himself, except inso that I want to hate him a little for not embracing his ACTUAL HERITAGE. *sigh*This was one hell of a good horror/SF, people. Enjoy it!

  • Dianne
    2019-04-27 11:48

    I received an Advance Reader copy of this book from NetGalley and Random House Publishing. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House. This review, however, is based on the hardcover version.What a fun, creepy, clever book! A great follow-up to "The Bone Clocks" and much easier to follow."Slade House" consists of 5 intertwined stories, starting in 1979. Each subsequent story occurs 9 years from the previous story, ending in 2015. The mysterious Slade House is a mansion hidden behind a small iron door in Slade Alley and it only appears to one chosen "guest" on one particular night every 9 years. It's great fun watching this story unfold. If you've never read Mitchell, you will still be able to follow it, but it will probably be much more accessible to those familiar with Mitchell's world. For Mitchell devotees, one character in the last story will be very familiar to you. The appearance made me smile and sit up in interest because I knew some serious comeuppance was about to be dealt. And I loved the ending, which promises more fun to come.This would be a great choice for a Halloween read. Loved it!

  • Karen
    2019-05-18 08:56

    I dragged this one out so I could finish it on Halloween. This was creepy but not too much. I liked it. Every nine years on the last Saturday of October, that black door to the gardens of Slade House opens to another victim.....perfect for Halloween :)

  • Maxwell
    2019-04-26 15:06

    Ok, this book was freakin' awesome! If you likedThe Bone Clocks you have to read this one. It's a companion novel that gives you another look at the paranormal/atemporal aspects of TBC in a more microcosmic way. It's a brief novel, only five chapters each told from a different perspective across 36 years. But Mitchell is a master at pacing, and, like TBC, it builds up to a wonderful and metaphysical conclusion that is so bizarre it just works. It is a solid 4 star read for me, but by the last 50 pages or so I was so engrossed and impressed with the world Mitchell creates and expands on that I can't help giving it 5 stars. I think I'll stick with 4.5 stars though because I didn't love it quite as much as TBC. But it's still a fun, spooky, read, perfect for Halloween (and it comes out October 27). So I highly recommend this one, but read The Bone Clocks first!

  • Carol
    2019-04-21 15:54

    Trust no one........DO NOT go down the alley........DO NOT pass though the gate, and NEVER enter SLADE HOUSE for you may NEVER leave.............SUPER WEIRD and filled with the mysterious, this twisty haunted house tale makes for a great Halloween read! The unique format of the individual, but related stories combined with the various "tricks" and "treats" of the evil presence kept me guessing between what was real and what was imaginary.This is my first David Mitchell novel, but NOT my last.

  • Phrynne
    2019-04-30 08:59

    What an absolute little treasure of a book! I could not put it down and read it in one totally enjoyable afternoon. I have already read a couple of this author's better known works and enjoyed them but this one was so short yet so packed full of mystery, fantasy and a touch of horror. Imagine a fabulous mansion which appears only once every nine years and two horrific vampire like residents who live forever by consuming human souls. Then follow the stories of each of those souls as they are tempted in and reach their really nasty ends.A clever, almost perfect little piece of entertainment. Loved it:)

  • Navidad Thelamour
    2019-04-30 10:06

    “To follow [the] trail of breadcrumbs you have to blindfold your own sanity…” Wow, what a ride! David Mitchell’s Slade House came running round the bend, no pun intended (well, maybe just a little for those who have read it), at full steam ahead with all of the mechanical makings and suspenseful trappings of a haunting psychological thrill ride. It had a rhythmic flow that you could fall into, but beware. That trap has thorns. And fangs.“…but as I watch, the running-boy shape gets fuzzier and becomes a growling darkness with darker eyes, eyes that know me, and fangs that’ll finish what they started and it’s pounding after me in sickening slow motion, big as a cantering horse and I’d scream if I could but I can’t my chest’s full of molten panic it’s choking me choking…if I fall it’ll have me, and I’ve only got moments left and I stumble up the steps and grip the doorknob turn please turn it’s stuck no no no…it’s ridged does it turn yes no yes no twist pull push pull turn twist I’m falling forwards…”Slade House is the tale of a mystical house in London, that can only be found if you know just where—and when—to look: just a skip from the ratty Fox and Hounds pub, down the alley too dark and narrow for “a properly fat person…[to] get past someone coming the other way.” There you’ll find a little iron door, so small you’d have to stoop to go through it, embedded in the side of the wall. You’ll wonder how you missed it when you first walked by. Was it there before? Are you imagining it now? Inside you’ll find a paradise to your liking: a beautiful woman, the career opportunity of a lifetime, a raging kegger, whatever you fancy. But once inside, there’s no turning back because, as we all know, the house always wins. The format worked well for this one, using a series of vignettes, all nine years apart, to weave together the haunting mystery of Slade House and the experiences of those who dared to enter those walls—all linked soul-to-soul if not hand-in-hand. Their experiences in Slade House overlap in the most disconcerting and sinister of ways. Each character is eventually and inevitably interlaced into the experiences of the other vignettes, and subtle sequences tie it all together with an eerie thread of déja vu like a finger down the spine of your back. Mitchell’s Slade House was Hill House meets The Skeleton Key, if you’ve ever seen that movie. An enchanted experience woven by a true magician, because now you see it; now you don’t. It was absolutely cinematic, and once the novel had you in its clutches, it was quite the thrill ride, building suspense in a way that made you grasp the pages and say, “No, that is not happening—oh, my God, is that about to happen!” (Well, it did for me, anyways. ;) The premise of this novel was divine and the execution of it near-perfect. However—oh yes, I’ve got to hit it with the “however—” I couldn’t give this one 5 stars.Of course, you’re asking, “Why’d you steal Slade’s star?” And the answer, simply put, is cop-out. I haven’t seen cop-out revelations like that since middle-school writing, at least, I’m sorry to say. The short explanatory monologues spoiled it for me a little, pulling me out of this world of ghostly mystique and foreboding just to dowse me in annoyance before inserting me back into the plot. I loathe when pro/antagonists practically leap out of character to deliver stilted, unrealistic dialogues amongst themselves, explaining things (to the reader) that they, themselves, would already know! Case in point, under what circumstance would it ever be okay to turn to your sister and say: (view spoiler)[“For fifty-four years, our souls have wandered that big wide world out there, possessing whatever bodies we want, living whatever lives we wish, while our fellow birth-Victorians are all dead or dying out…”? (hide spoiler)] Umm, no. Never! Never ever! Creative Writing 101—hell, Reader 101! That totally killed the mood of mounting suspense for me, and I was definitely peeved to find that I could expect this at the end of every. single. vignette. Then there were the annoying explanations that the narrator gave for why protagonists did what they did, such as, “Vodafone must have begun upgrading their network after Avril’s texts arrived” (to explain why a call didn’t go through at an eerie time, ect.) I’m basically positive that that’s why the page count is so low on this one—cop-out wrap-ups that didn’t require the time or word count to really flesh out these seemingly minor makings of the novel that can never go forgotten about, that can never be faked or rushed. So, think of Slade House as a thrill ride with bumpy turns. If those had been smoothed at the edges and fleshed out with the same brilliant strokes of writing as the kaleidoscope of fun-house horrors—the effortless illustration of Slade House and all of its haunting hallways and staircases, rose gardens and phantom occurrences—this definitely would have earned back its stolen star. Still, I’d definitely recommend this read for anyone who dares to stoop through that doorway and enter Slade House. The taste of the pros is definitely worth eating the cons—you know, like a good bag of popcorn or potato chips. But reader beware: this book has bite. 4 stars. ****To see more reviews, go to The Navi Review at and follow the book review blog on Twitter @thenavireview

  • Morgannah
    2019-04-25 14:45

    You Got Me Mr. Mitchell, YOU GOT ME!!!I thought I was smarter than you. I thought I knew where you were going with the story. I thought I was ahead of you and had it ALL figured out. I really believe you saw me coming because right when I thought I had caught you, you warbled and you wobbled and got away from me.Turns out, I wasn't even on the same path as you.I loved this book with all its twists and turns and surprises. I even loved when I was taken completely aback.If you take nothing else away from this literary masterpiece please remember this:DO NOT TRUST your friends who try to lure you to a haunted house:DO NOT TRUST anyone who provides too much information:DO NOT TRUST strangers you meet in the haunted house:I really hope you read this book if you haven't already. It will mesmerize you and spook you and leave you thinking about it long after you have read it. Always remember:

  • Ron Charles
    2019-05-03 10:50

    Enter if you dare!That’s more warning than victims get in David Mitchell’s devilishly fun new novel, which clawed its way to life from the ectoplasm of Twitter. Now, just in time for Halloween, “Slade House” opens its rusty door on a ghost story that dresses up all the dusty old tropes with Mitchell’s spirit and wit. His fans will need no enticement, but for the curious, too intimidated by “Cloud Atlas” or even last year’s “The Bone Clocks,” this little book will go down like fresh gummy worms.If you’ve found Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station, you’ll have no problem locating Slade House. It’s just a step to the left. Go down the narrowest, darkest alley you’ve ever seen. The owners of Slade House are. . . . To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post:

  • Perry
    2019-04-26 16:11

    Fun and Haunting Jaunt into DarknessNot Having Had Prior Pleasure of Reading Mitchell Novel, Regardless of Whether this was Drop Off for David M.If you, dear contemplating reader, haven't read a David Mitchell novel, you are in for a spectacular, albeit short, treat, so go ahead, DO IT....Step into the appealing aperture that's Slade House, only open a day or two every 9 years. Rest assured: what happens in Slade House, stays in Slade House. I pleasured in reading David Mitchell's short novel, that is as witty as it is chilling, about a house of horrors, the cerebral and vampiric twins in residence, and the never-ending nature of the battle between the forces of evil and good.If you're hesitating here, based on what I hear is the complex structure of some of Mitchell's prior novels, don't. The book has a straightforward structure and was so entertaining that I finished it in no time because I couldn't put her down.Highly Recommended for an entertaining expedition into the depths of evil.

  • Hugh
    2019-04-28 16:43

    I hate to be wholly negative but for me this book is further evidence that Mitchell has lost the plot. I was willing to give The Bone Clocks a curate's egg (good in parts) review because it did at least have quite lengthy sections which showed some insight into reality and had echoes of his best work, but this one (like the penultimate part of The Bone Clocks) is just too obsessed with the risible fantasy nonsense about immortal souls and psychic superpowers. Perhaps Mitchell finds the real world too depressing to write about in straighter ways, but I just can't swallow this stuff. To be fair the human characters are quite sympathetic and there is plenty of humour here, and it may well have been fun to write - perhaps I am just not the right audience for this...To put this rant into context - I have read all of Mitchell's novels, in the order they were written. Ghostwritten, Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green are still among my favourite books, though all of his linked story novels have some strong sections and some weaker ones, and there was always an element of fantasy there. As I have said several times on other threads, for me Mitchell's writing works best when it is most grounded in the real world.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2019-04-22 11:05

    I was lucky to snag a review copy from the publisher but would have purchased it regardless, as David Mitchell is one of my favorite authors.Slade House is the story of a hidden home, the site of a few disappearances over the years. What I have always loved about David Mitchell is his ability to shift into different genres, different styles, different characters. They are always different from one another and believable. This is a wonderful scary/ghost type story, more narrow in scope than some of his more complicated novels (Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks) but still with variances and the connection the his grand uber novel. I don't want to give much away because part of the pleasure of reading this one is the discovery of the connections to the other works, but even if you haven't read them, I think it stands on its own as a deliciously spooky novel. It comes out near Halloween, which is perfect.

  • Blair
    2019-05-13 14:12

    Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks may have been a disappointment for numerous reasons, a three-star book that really, if I was being completely honest, should have been two (as I've occasionally done, I gave it extra credit, so to speak, because of my affection for the author's other work), but that didn't stop me from being excited about Slade House. A (sort of) ghost story centred on one mysterious house was always going to be irresistible to me. Early reviews have compared it to classic ghost stories and horror movies, and it's often been referred to as 'a haunted house story'. That isn't quite the case, as anyone familiar with the premise of The Bone Clocks' more fantastical segments will likely guess, but Slade House certainly has the spirit (no pun intended) and suspense of one.Why am I mentioning The Bone Clocks anyway? Well: published hot on the heels of its predecessor, Slade House is a short novel with significant links to the world of The Bone Clocks; though it's been established that all Mitchell's novels are linked, this is arguably a follow-up rather than a wholly new story. (It's also partly based on a tale Mitchell originally 'published' in a series of tweets.) That said, you might initially wonder where exactly the similarities lie. This begins as a story about Nathan, a teenage boy who, with his mother, visits the eponymous house. It's hidden down Slade Alley, grey and narrow and and permanently rainy, and is accessed through a small iron door. What lies beyond this unprepossessing door is incongruous: a grand house, a beautiful, verdant garden, and a charming aristocratic host, Lady Norah Grayer. In what's become regarded as typical Mitchell style, the book doesn't stick with Nathan, but tells a number of short stories in different voices and different time periods, though they all have the same basic premise and structure: someone comes to visit Slade House and finds something they desire behind that door - something that's (needless to say) not what it seems. There are nuances of characterisation here that were (weirdly) absent from the much longer Bone Clocks: loveable but exasperating Nathan and his understandably agitated mother; swaggering copper Gordon, with an unexpected heart of gold; Sally - lovely, tragic Sally. The first two in particular are clever feats of subverted expectation: starting off as cliched character types, they turn out to be so much more fine-spun than that. Meanwhile, our villains are the ruthless Grayer twins - they're undoubtedly sinister and satisfyingly nasty, but there's an element of comedy in their bickering that smacks of sitcom banter. That prevents the repeating doomed scenario on which the plot hinges from making the whole thing too depressing, even though really, there's quite a lot of tragedy in this book, something that's particularly keenly felt because the characters are so well defined.Much shorter and tighter than The Bone Clocks, Slade House lacks the flabbiness of its predecessor; but towards the end, its links with the world of Bone Clocks become clearer, its fantasy element ramps up, and much of one chapter is devoted to belatedly explaining the Grayers' backstory. This is where it lost me a little. I know lots of people love the self-referential thing in Mitchell's books, but I'm finding it increasingly gimmicky; straining to recognise references or remember where you heard a name before can sometimes be detrimental to enjoyment, and gets a bit tiresome when repeated. And as much as I thought Bone Clocks was overlong, as much as I literally just said it was good that this was shorter, there were some other things I'd prefer to have been expanded and examined, instead of a rerun of all the Atemporal/orison/pyroblast stuff. (view spoiler)[For example, what was with the reappearing runner - was he trapped in time or just an 'echo'? Didn't his presence suggest the whole thing was a dream each time? And why did the Grayers willingly give away so much information to their prey, anyway? (This was explained, but I felt sure there was more to it.) And I wanted so much to know that what happened between Sally and Todd wasn't all a result of the Grayers manipulating her mind - although maybe it's better I don't have an answer for that. (hide spoiler)] I felt slightly deflated by the ending, though as with lots of enjoyable books, that might just have been because I wanted it to go on and on and on.The thing is that even with its flaws, I'd read this again, and I want to buy a physical copy. I loved the idea, the mystery of Slade House; the setup of each character's approach of the place; I ache to know more about some of them, maybe all of them; and the atmosphere of the whole book has really stuck with me. I think it benefits from the fact that it's definitively a horror story, and a great example of one. The late October publication date is perfect, not only because it coincides with events in the story, but because this is one of those ideal winter books, with its crawling sense of horror and rain-soaked, freezing settings. And it made me want to revisit The Bone Clocks, too. Who'd have thought? (NB: you can read this as a standalone novel. But there's a chance you may be a little confused by some of the explanation that's thrown at the reader at the end. If you're not already madly keen to read Bone Clocks, I wouldn't really recommend it, especially if you haven't read anything by Mitchell before; Ghostwritten is a better place to start, or Cloud Atlas.)---Lines to remember - not confirmed, as they're from the ARC (and most work better in context, but anyway):My question falls down a deep well with no bottom, and I forget what I've forgotten.The Valium's throbbing in my fingertips now, and the sunlight's a harpist.A slit of light opens its eye and becomes a long flame. Cold bright star white.The curtains were drawn, but the house sort of glowed like vanilla fudge in the evening light.I smell lavender and smoke and I get that off-road feeling you get when anything's possible.Her voice before was woolen, now it's a rusty jackknife. Slade Alley cuts through black shadow before turning sharp under a feeble lamp that pulses dim beige.I can't, won't, mustn't, don't. True, I only properly started talking with Todd half an hour ago, but every undying love was only half an hour young, once.Grief's an amputation, but hope's incurable haemophilia: you bleed and bleed and bleed.

  • Jan
    2019-04-22 13:56

    This is my first venture into the twisted and creative mind of David Mitchell. I didn't know what to expect, as it appears people either idolize Mitchell's work, or completely hate it. Perfect example: I read this with another goodreads buddy, and while I became a fan, her-not so much. Her reasons for not liking the book are actually the reasons that I did...she has more of a 'science mind', and some of the situations and scenarios were too hard for her to believe. For me, I felt if you are going to write a book about soul suckers, you need to go all out and I was able to overlook or forgive some of those unbelievable scenes. (And in the defense of my buddy, there are a lot of them)Another issue was Mitchell's writing style. This book was only 150 pages and told in 5 chapters. Each chapter is its own mini story with elements from the other chapters all woven together. Each mini story was pretty intricate with details and illusions, and you never knew what was real or fake until Mitchell finally allowed you to. I absolutely loved that about this book and really looked forward to where the author was going to take me in the next chapter. But I'm not sure all of Mitchell's work is for me...I had became so enthralled with what I was reading that I did some research on the author and his past works. The Cloud Atlas appears to be one of his most loved stories, so much so that there was a movie made about it a couple of years ago with some well known actors. I found it through my cable company and $2.99 later, I was watching it in my jammies. I think I made the right decision to watch versus read this as it was really confusing and I needed the help of good old Wikipedia to help me piece the plot line together. So love him or hate him, if you haven't read something of his yet- take a chance and see which side of the fence you fall. I'm certainly glad I did!!ARC from NetGalley

  • Emily
    2019-04-23 10:11

    BEST SURPRISE EVER!!! TWO DAVID MITCHELL BOOKS IN 2015 REQUIRES ALL THE CAPS!!!!!I FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS IN A MEETING, SO THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME TO THAT MEETING ANDREAS-------While this book still retains the status of "best surprise ever," I waffle over how much it actually brings to the table for people who aren't David Mitchell superfans. Thus, I present to you a scientific list of pros and cons.PRO: Made a meeting in early 2015 more fun than I expectedCON: Andreas no longer invites me to meetings :( PRO: The short stories tie together the Slade House theme in an authentically creepy way.CON: They're short stories, and Mitchell has to info dump pretty heavily in one of the later stories to create a consistent storyline.PRO: There are fun snippets in here for fans of The Bone Clocks (Crispin Hershey in translation!), but you could in theory read this book without having read any other David Mitchell works.CON: This relies too heavily on the (confusing) mythology and wording created in The Bone Clocks, and it's even clunkier when it isn't fully explained. It's possible to just read right through, but I do wonder how rewarding that is if you read this as a standalone novel.PRO: The David Mitchellesque writing is on point in this book. Nathan's first-person narration was a beautiful mess, and I especially loved the fox hunt he runs with Jonah. (view spoiler)[My favorite description in the book is the orison melting apart as Jonah struggles to hold onto it - everything turning black and white as the tree flies away. (hide spoiler)]CON: Some of the hallucinatory descriptions lost me, and I had to go back and read those passages a few times to get to 90% understanding. PRO: The list of people who blurbed this book is ridiculous. The entire inside of the front and back cover are full of glowing quotes from Pulitzer Prize winners and famed literary writers. Also, Dean Koontz.CON: No women blurbed this book. I offer Random House the full and unlicensed use of any of my "pros" to make up for this in the next edition. Suggested tagline for me: "Ambivalent Goodreads Reviewer"

  • Jason
    2019-05-22 16:55

    Geez, I guess it’s been awhile—nine months since my last review, in fact. I think the problem is this: the world has turned to shit. How can one allow himself the luxury of distraction when all the things that used to matter (e.g. facts, words, truth) no longer do? I feel as though disconnecting from reality, even temporarily, is akin to complicity. Remember when you were taught that witnessing an evil act but doing nothing to stop it made you just as guilty as the one committing the wrongdoing? Well, broaden that concept and that pretty much sums up my life. I can’t do anything without worrying what horrible things are happening that I don’t know about, and which of course I need to know about, and ultimately do something about or else I’m a failure, which is clearly a vicious cycle because it is something over which I have no actual control—this shit is way too big for me to do anything about on my own, except to stew and seethe and writhe and tweet. So a few pages of a book, or a few minutes of a sitcom, is about all I afford myself. And not becauses I don’t want more! It’s just that...the world might be falling apart (and likely IS FALLING APART!!!1) and here I am reading about a couple of soul-suckers luring prey into their orisons and lacunas, whatever those are? What kind of person willingly gives up everything that has ever mattered to him just to lose himself in a fucking daydream?Except that’s just it. I’m stuck in this hyper-vigilant, wide-awake world where it’s high-octane coffee allthefuckingtime or else Earth implodes on my watch, so I’d super better be watching.About a month ago I got into a fight with this asshole who tried to tell me that I was making too much of things, that “none of this really affects me.” Jesus. AYFKM? I didn’t even know how to respond, partly because I wondered if he were right. What if all this stress, this fear, this expectation of impending doom, is nothing more than a manifestation of my own self-righteousness? Well, you know what? It isn’t. This is my world and my country and my goddam life, and it matters to me so therefore it affects me. And somehow I found the opportunity to distract myself just enough to read this tiny book and you know what? I liked it. Maybe this reading thing could actually go somewhere.(Little victories.)