Slade House by David Mitchell: Review and Giveaway
Looking for a good Halloween read with a literary fiction slant? David Mitchell’s newest book, Slade House might be perfect for you!
Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from Random House (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.
Slade House by David Mitchell
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by: Jen
Pre-order (purchase after 10/27) here: Slide House
Although it works as a stand alone book, Slade House could be seen as a companion read to The Bone Clocks. It focuses on a specific type of supernatural character — the atemporals, who make their first appearance in The Bone Clocks. This book also includes a substantial role for one of The Bone Clocks’ central characters and structurally it is similar.
It is a five-part short novel (about 150 pages) that starts in 1979 and ends in 2015. Each of the five sections is told from the perspective of different characters including an awkward teenage boy, a police officer, a young woman who is a member her college’s paranormal society, a female reporter (who happens to be sister to the young woman), and a mystery character from his previous books — I’ll leave it to you to discover who. The house is also a character in the book: a sort of haunted house. All the actions center around the house as various characters are lured inside and struggle to break free. Getting into the house is fun. Trying to leave the house is a different matter. Part fantasy and part horror, Slade House is a creepy but fun read that may just be perfect for a Halloween read.
The concept for Slade House came out of Mitchell’s twitter project: a 280-tweet story that was originally titled The Right Sort. As the twitter story grew, it turned into the concept for this novel and The Right Sort became the first chapter.
I enjoyed this book, but it wasn’t my favorite of his works. Mitchell typically takes at least two years between books and Slade House was an exception, coming out only a year after The Bone Clocks. I think some of this shows (although perhaps it’s due to the original coming out as a twitter story). The book is shorter and there is less time dedicated to character development –the nature of the story impacts how much we get to know if each character. The chapters are interconnected, but in some ways they come across as independent short stories – the only recurring characters from each chapter are the house and the two people who live in the house. The story is less complex than his previous works and sticks primarily to a blend of fantasy and horror. Those of you who read The Bone Clocks and didn’t like the more fantastical/supernatural elements won’t love this book because those elements are the foundation of Slade House.
As you would expect from Mitchell, the writing is excellent and he does a good job capturing the voices of various types of characters. It is creepy and dark, but at times also funny. Fans of Mitchell will have fun seeing one of the recurring characters pop up again.
I wouldn’t recommend it as a place to start with his books because I don’t think it really completely captures who he is as an author but it’s an entertaining read that will appeal to most fans of Mitchell.
First sentence: Whatever Mum’s saying’s drowned out by the grimy roar of the bus pulling away, revealing a pub called The Fox and Hounds.
Last sentence: ???? I’ll leave that up to you to read it since it gives away some of the plot.
The book comes out October 26, 2015. If you are a fan of David Mitchell, it’s worth the investment. You can purchase (or pre-order) your copies here: Slade House
As a special treat, one of our lovely readers has kindly offered to donate a ARC (advanced reader’s copy) of this book for a giveaway on this blog. Want to enter to win? Just post a comment here stating you want to enter the giveaway. Sorry, this one is only open to U.S. readers unless you are willing to pay the international shipping costs. Comment by end of day Friday 24. Winner will be announced Saturday at noon Eastern Time.