Slade House

Slade House

Book - 2015
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Random House, Inc.
By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas | 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 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.
 
Advance praise for Slade House
 
“I gulped down this novel in a single evening. Intricately connected to David Mitchell’s previous books, this compact fantasy burns with classic Mitchellian energy. Painstakingly imagined and crackling with narrative velocity, it’s aDracula for the new millennium, a ‘Hansel and Gretel’ for grownups, a reminder of how much fun fiction can be.”—Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize–winning author ofAll the Light We Cannot See

“David Mitchell’s Slade House is a deranged garden of forking paths, where all the flowers are poisonous, and every escape is choked with thorns. Mitchell has long been acknowledged as one of the finest literary minds—if not the finest—of his generation; but he’s also one of the most suspenseful, and he proves it in every gripping, vertiginous set piece. In some ways, the book is a little like Wes Craven hired Umberto Eco to reinventNightmare on Elm Street. But that doesn’t quite do justice to its white-hot intensity: I think five minutes inside of Slade House would leave Freddy Kreuger trembling and crying for mama.”—Joe Hill,New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Horns
 
“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 byyou, I mean me.”—Daniel Handler, New York Times bestselling author ofWe Are Pirates and the Lemony Snicket series

“David Mitchell doesn’t break rules so much as he proves them to be inhibitors to lively intelligent fiction.Slade House is a fractal offshoot crystallizing from his remarkable The Bone Clocks, an eerie haunted-house tale that takes as much from quantum mechanics as from traditional supernatural lore, a spellbinding chiller about an unnatural greed for life and the arrogance of power.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz
 
“What can’t David Mitchell do? Slade House is a page-burning, read-in-one-sitting, at times terrifying novel that does for the haunted house story what Henry James did for the ghost story inThe Turn of the Screw. It has all the intelligence and linguistic dazzle of a David Mitchell novel, but this one will also creep the pants off you.”—Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author ofFortune Smiles and The Orphan Master’s Son

Baker & Taylor
Follows the narrative of five different people who disappear through a mysterious door in an unassuming alleyway that leads to Slade House, owned by a peculiar brother and sister, and vanish completely from the outside world.

Baker
& Taylor

Follows the narrative of five different people who disappear through a mysterious door in an unassuming alleyway to visit the titular house and also vanish completely from the outside world. By the author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks. 150,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812998689
0812998685
Characteristics: 238 pages ; 20 cm

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Pisinga
Jun 09, 2017

Abracadabra in a Victorian-style house, which appears, then disappears. Each chapter, depending on the period of time reflected, has its own characteristics in the descriptions, corresponding to that length of time, interspersed with humor.

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sgcf
Mar 26, 2017

This was billed as a “Horror” but more fantasy/sci-fi I thought, although I’ve not really read much in either genre. So I was entertained and intrigued by Mitchell’s inventive tales that followed the atemporal twins who defy death by feeding off their victim’s souls every nine years. He has a knack for immersing the reader in his created whole world with authentic language.

e
Earlgrey454
Mar 10, 2017

Pretty dull stuff, I couldn't stick with this one for very long.

r
rahmmie
Nov 11, 2016

At times I almost gave up on this book when the writing felt heavy and sluggish. However, I liked the ending and I can't deny the author's originality

s
smmeloche
Oct 31, 2016

For all my reviews, visit my blog, Clues and Reviews!
https://cluesandreviews.wordpress.com/

Every nine years, when the conditions are just right, the entrance to Slade House can be found. You’ll be invited in and you’ll be so glad. Tickled to be included. You won’t want to leave. And soon you’ll find out that you never will….

Slade House by David Mitchell is a classic paranormal, ghost story with a twist. I picked this one up on a spur-of-the-moment trip the library to add to my Halloween reading pile.

The story is written very differently. It is laid out like series of short stories. Spanning five decades, each chapter tells the story of how each person (a mother and son, move on to a police detective, college students, a journalist and a psychologist) arrived at Slade House and their encounter with Jonah and Norah, the telepathic twins. The people never come out alive. As the disappearances continue, the story becomes that of an urban legend, so naturally, some people start exploring and more people are drawn to Slade House. A different character narrates each chapter and the story is weaved together with some connecting force in each one.

I found the novel overall to be quite eerie, but I didn’t think it fit into a “horror” genre. It is absolutely a paranormal fantasy story. I found that it read quite juvenile. Almost like a Goosebumps story, or a story I would have seen on Are You Afraid of the Dark. I did appreciate the consistency of the stories, each one begins with the invitation, the story develops and then they end with the disappearance.

My favourite chapter or section of the book ended up being Chapter 3, entitled “Oink, Oink”, that follows a group of college students from a Paranormal Society as they try and find this house that is now an urban legend. I felt like this one was the most creepy and it is one of the first chapters where we get some actual information of what could be going on at Slade House.

I found that this novel was a little hard to get a full grasp on. The novel was short in itself, and then the narration- being like short stories, didn’t allow me to connect to any of the characters fully. Upon some further research, I found out that this novel was actually a companion to another of Mitchell’s work called The Bone Clock. Perhaps if I read this novel first, I would have liked this one better. There is also an abundance of language that is associated with the paranormal and the occult; I had to cross-reference and look up these terms as I was reading them so I could understand.

If you are a fan of the paranormal and love classic ghost stories, then I think this one would be something you’d enjoy. However, if you are looking to be scared, I would skip this one. I think you’ll be disappointed.

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goddessbeth
Sep 28, 2016

I'm so glad Shannon gave me this book, because I hadn't even heard of David Mitchell before reading it- and now I want to pick up more of his books! His writing is very visceral and evocative, with layers of depth (you know when an author refers to something you can't possibly know, but does it in a way that intrigues you instead of isolating or frustrating you? That thing).

This story is the kind of horror/supernatural tale you hear at campouts. It has an ending (which reminds me- I like my endings a bit more sinister and open-ended), but the lead-up was so suspenseful I finished this book in 3 days. There's a host of characters, and you really feel in the head of each one, as a distinct, real individual. Including the monsters, which took the tension down a notch, but also supplied some much-needed background info.

I now know that David Mitchell has another book, The Bone Clocks, which is in the same supernatural world. So this has been a delightful teaser to whet my appetite for that one.

I recommend this one for fans of Neil Gaiman and generally creepy mystery supernatural stories set in modern day, especially if you like creative prose, tension, and a world of imagination before the curtain. It's a great book for Halloween, especially if (like me) you prefer spooky and creepy to outright horrifying.

c
carrie_47
Aug 28, 2016

I read this book a few months ago. It started out ok but got worse as it went on. Boring, and not frightening at all. I will probably not read any of his work other works.

h
helena_gaspar
Jul 18, 2016

Marvelous Universe. Really enjoy it!

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gendeg
Jun 26, 2016

Mitchell has always been a fusion artist. He leans toward mixing genres and voices—it’s been his strength. Reading him can feel like you’re reading different authors. Whatever you think of him, there’s no other author out there who can completely embody a voice and character, beating heart and viscera. And it’s the same with Slade House. He’s channeling horror and fantasy, sometimes earnestly, sometimes in an ironic self-aware way, and it’s all compressed in narrative span of 36 years, roughly 1979 to the present. The villains here are the Grayer twins, the immortal soul predators of the same ilk as the Anchorites from The Bone Clocks The game they play is a long one. Every nine years they lure a poor sucker down their alley and inside their clandestine, otherworldly London mansion called Slade House. The novella is episodic, each chapter save for the last one is told from the POV of a latest victim.

The first episode is told by Nathan Bishop, a teenage boy straight out of Mitchell’s Black Swan Green. He’s easy pickings for the twin villains. DI Gordon Edmonds tells the second episode. He’s an old school detective, hardened but lonely, with a weakness for damsels in distress. Norah Grayer easily seduces and dispatches him. Next is Sally Timms, a freshmen who’s on a jaunt with her college club, the Paranormal Society. She’s overweight, socially awkward. She’s the 80s horror movie naive young woman. Nine years later, Sally’s sister Freya is journalist who works for Spyglass (also featured in Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks). She’s on sleuthing mission to find out what happened to Sally. She’s contacted by Fred Pink, uncle of the someone in the Paranormal Society, who tells her as close to the truth as possible what might have happened to Sally. Naturally, Freya is a skeptic. She thinks Fred is off his rocker, a conspiracy theorist who has most likely succumbed to mental delusions (is Mitchell poking fun at some of his critical readers who have said the same of him after The Bone Clocks, I wonder?). She merely plays along before trying to beat a polite escape. Of course, in the end, it’s her skepticism that costs her her soul.

It’s only when we get to the fifth episode that we finally get a break in the Grayer killing spree. A beloved character from The Bone Clocks makes an appearance and opens a can of psychic whoop-ass. Mitchell might get a little heavy-handed on the supernatural jargon (“glyphing up a pyroblast”) during the confrontation, but if you pay attention and don’t take it too seriously, it works and is never hard to follow.

Where Slade House really excels is that while it is heavily freighted with supernatural tropes, it still reinforces all those ‘weighty’ concerns we expect from psychological realism. Take that first chapter with Nathan—it perfectly channels the stream of consciousness writing style you see from the Modernists. We encounter in sensory real-time what Nathan is feeling and seeing in the moment. The writing is immediate and electric. And the great battle between realism and fantasy? It’s here too. The Grayer twins lure their victims with psychological-fantasy tricks. And they are successful each time. But it’s a material, physical object that becomes a weapon that ultimately takes down the male twin Jonah in the last chapter. As one critic put it: “The material takes its revenge on the immaterial.” The observation is made earlier by someone in the paranormal club: “All the supernatural yarns need a realist explanation and a supernatural one.” This is Mitchell’s many talents: to infuse the most otherworldly and mundane with the most deeply human and relevant ideas.

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s390325
Jun 07, 2016

I've never read anything from this author before or any mystery like this, but I found it interesting, intriguing, and something that I had to read in one sitting. I liked it although some of the supernatural elements were a bit weird, but not too much so. Very interesting concept and story.

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mvkramer Mar 06, 2016

Sexual Content: Non-explicit sex.

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