By the New York Times best-selling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas comes a Publishers Weekly literary fiction top 10 pick for Fall 2015.
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.
©2015 David Mitchell (P)2015 Random House Audio
"Painstakingly imagined and crackling with narrative velocity, it's a Dracula for the new millennium, a 'Hansel and Gretel' for grownups." (Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize)
"Sharp, fast, flat-out spooky, Slade House is such a hypnotic read that you are likely to miss your subway stop in order to keep reading. And by you, I mean me." (Daniel Handler, New York Times best-selling author of the Lemony Snicket series)
"Fans of Mitchell's The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas will recognize the interlocking narrative structure and literary-fantastical bent of this new work." (Library Journal)
I'm no fan of ghost stories or paranormal stuff, and the book freaked me out enough that I couldn't drive on the freeway while listening to it. If this sounds like a two-star review, well, it would be, but this is David Mitchell, people! He's just a fabulous writer, best I've encountered in the last ten years or more. I'm eagerly awaiting the end of his paranormal phase--hoping there will be one.
I inhaled this slim David Mitchell novel in just a few hours yesterday. I was so pleased by Cloud Atlas earlier this year that I nearly jumped for joy when I heard he was putting out a haunted house story just in time for Halloween. I hardly ever dabble in the horror genre, but I’m glad I made an exception. While this book was definitely creepy, it wasn’t overly scary. It propelled me to keep reading and find out what happened next, but it’s not the kind of thing that’ll give you nightmares or anything.
Just like Cloud Atlas, Slade House is told through a series of novellas, jumping time in-between each one. These are set 9 years apart, going from the 1970s to present day. The entrance to Slade House lies in one of the smallest alleys in England and the small metal door only shows itself to people it wants to come in. Over the decades, several people get lured to Slade Alley and find the door. I don’t want to say too much about the plot for fear that I’ll ruin the suspense for future readers.
I haven’t read most of Mitchell’s work, but I’d imagine that this is probably the most accessible novel he’s written. Definitely more accessible than Cloud Atlas anyway. It helps that at under 7 hours, it's quite short. His character work is spot on. When you’re working with a series of novellas, you really need the characters to jump off the page and be fully dimensional from the start or else nobody will care about your book. These character are beautifully rendered and feel more real than some characters from other books that I spent the entire novel with. The structure of shorter stories with time gaps really works for this foray into horror. Each time jump ratchets up the tension just a little bit more. I really admire Mitchell in that he’s managed to create a novel that feels rich and expansive even though it’s so short. Super impressive, crazily fun.
The narrators were pretty good. I usually hate it when British narrators do American accents, but these narrators managed to do a few without making me cringe. It couldn't have been easy narrating this book since there are so many characters of different genders from different classes and locations. Judd and Rodrigues were both really versatile though, so it worked.
I found "Slade House" just in time for Halloween.
This novel is my favorite of Mitchell's so far. This book is all horror, and it moves quickly, more concisely, and with a less complicated plot than his previous more lengthy novels. But his signature oddities and originality are in full force and enhanced by the narrators.
Don't expect happy endings or zombies from the apocalypse, but you can expect to step into a haunted house like no other.
Avid audiobook listener and reader. I work in the tech industry, but like to go outside my comfort zone with fiction and non-fiction.
I enjoyed some of the similarities to "The Bone Clocks" and the language that Mitchell invented to describe what the characters are doing. I didn't like how some of the characterizations became somewhat hard to follow or even a bit boring.
Delve deeper into the antagonist world - which is done in "The Bone Clocks". Add a few more surprises and twists.
No. Again, Mitchell's "The Bone Clocks" deals with the concept out much better.
Short and enjoyable work by David Mitchell. I'm a fan.
Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!
I haven't read 'Cloud Atlas' nor have I read anything by David Mitchell, but when I read the summary of 'Slade House' I immediately wanted to enjoy the audiobook. I love books about haunted houses and I hadn't read a spooky book for some time.
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised! I am going to order more of his books immediately.
If you find yourself in London, and you see a pub called 'Fox and Hounds' or a small plaque that reads 'Slade House' across the street from the pub, you may want to head in another direction. Any other direction.
Mitchell has a very poignant way of writing five large chapters that are really five novellas which link together, over time. We start out in the 70s and then every 9 years the two occupants of Slade House open their doors for guests. Guests can go in when invited, but they can never leave.
There are all kinds of rumors about that neighbourhood, which is sort of like a Bermuda Triangle, but substitute the planes for people. Every nine years there seems to be a missing person last seen in the same area as Slade House. The occupants have a knack for making their guests see things that aren't there. Anything more than that, would spoil the story- but I will say that each guest (each chapter) makes for very imaginative and intriguing reading.
Mitchell's writing reminds me of Clive Barker's 'Imajica' in a way with the creative worlds and sub-worlds, and the various descriptions of certain illusions. The story itself sort of reminded me of the movie 'Skeleton Key' as it has some of the same premise.
If you're looking for a quick, fascinating read- you won't be sorry with 'Slade House.' Brava Mr. Mitchell!
A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
A short, easy read and very enjoyable. It is not horror and not scary like some reviews make it out to be. You do not need to read The Bone Clocks first. Mitchell ties all of his books together in subtle ways, so you may miss a couple of references, but the book stands alone. A good example of Mitchell's superb writing. The story? Very simple: Twins Nora and Jonah live in a mansion off Slade Alley and need a little boost every nine years.
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
"Grief is an amputation, but hope is incurable hemophilia: you bleed and bleed. Like Schrödinger's cat* inside a box you can never open."
- David Mitchell, Slade House
I'm a David Mitchell completist again.
Basically, this book is a minor Mitchell. Another brick in the Bone Clocks wall/universe. It isn't as developed or complex as The Bone Clocks or Cloud Atlas, but still an interesting sequel to 'Bone Clocks'. I hate to say it kinda feels like Mitchell mailing it in, but it does read like one of those novels that is 'perfectly' timed by a marketing department for Halloween (released on October 27), built to be spooky, built to appeal to the 13-21 yo set. It is minor Mitchell, so it is geared towards those kids who would read Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book or Coraline. It is THAT kinda book. It also reminds me a bit of Mark Z. Danielewski's The Fifty Year Sword where style and funky book/cover/font design are dialed to 11, but the novel itself is only mediocre+. Still, I don't regret buying it, owning it, or reading it. My daughter (13) will get a kick out of it and THAT will hopefully salvage her from reading other trash this November.
* Look for the d-mn [Slade] alley cat.
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