Slade House

A Novel
Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (1,156 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best seller 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 Reviews 

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. 

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 [UK])

“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)

©2015 David Mitchell (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Diabolically entertaining...dark, thrilling, and fun... One needn’t have read any of Mitchell’s past books to enjoy Slade House. Those who do crack it open will find inside a thoroughly entertaining ride full of mind games, unexpected twists, and even a few laughs.”(The Daily Beast)

“A smart, spooky thrill ride... If you haven’t yet read Mitchell, choosing this novel just might make a believer of you.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

“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, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Gone Girl and The Grownup

What listeners say about Slade House

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gotta love David Mitchell

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.

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good, Not Great

Any additional comments?

An enjoyable listen. Easier to follow than Mitchell's longer works. Wish it were longer so the characters, ideas, and subplots could've been more numerous and even better developed.

3 people found this helpful

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Totally weird! couldn't stop listening!

scary, strange, kept you enthralled and left you wanting more. I would totally recommend Slade House.

7 people found this helpful

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Creepily Delicious

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.

12 people found this helpful

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Good read

I wish this was longer. Had so much potential to go so many places but it just kind of stopped. it was good, but i just wanted more.

2 people found this helpful

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Not enthralling

This story line started great then seem to become flat as it was predictable and I had a hard time finishing as it lost my interest.

2 people found this helpful

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Awsome book

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.

Great narration.

2 people found this helpful

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My Favorite David Mitchell


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.

7 people found this helpful

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Grief is an amputation

"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.

24 people found this helpful

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Entertaining but not epic

Not on the same level as his other work. Entertaining but not epic. Well acted though.

1 person found this helpful