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Mitchell is an expert at turning a witty phrase and fully developing characters which makes reading enjoyable. However it is not enough to sustain this thin story which often feels repetitive. The plot could be described as simply that of a pair of serial killers without a detective but kicked up with a thin layer of metaphysics and occult.
If you are a fan of Vonnegut then I suggest reading this book. Start with bone clock works.you don't have to necessarily I actually went backwards I started with this book.
As strange as a Stephen King novel with each character fully developed and pulling you into their steps as then go into Slade House. Watch out for the twins and especially the twist and turn at the end.
What really goes on in Slade House? I was practically up reading all night to find out. If you like literary genre-benders with a healthy dose of supernatural horror, this quick read is definitely worth checking out.
A haunted house that only appears every ten years. This story takes your from the 1970s to the present with a house and its mysterious occupants. I wouldn't call this story scary, it was more puzzling. I can't say more without giving it away, but it was interesting. If you are looking for a scare, you might go elsewhere, but if you like creepy stories and are a fan of the mysterious/haunted house theme, this one will give you some twists you won't expect. It is a different type of haunted house story, and will keep you on your toes.
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.
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.
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
For all my reviews, visit my blog, Clues and Reviews!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once again, the story is narrated by intersecting characters. The differences from Mitchell's broader canon of work mainly rest in the brevity and tone. Here Mitchell brings his own style of writing and drops it into a story that at times feels like Poe, at other times like King. The result isn't Mitchell's most brilliant work by any means, but it was thoroughly entertaining--perhaps the most entertaining story the author has ever brought to the page.
picked up this from the library shelf while browsing...the beginning is really creepy and then it settles down to magic realism. Very interesting, found the ending a little soft, the author had kept the concept of soul and personality as two separate things up to the last then merged the two to make a rather wimpy ending...for me anyway.
An enjoyable read am looking forward ro reading more of his stuff, I am so glad I can still browse an actual library, thanks for being there VPL :-)
This one's for readers who like to walk on the wild side: Slade House combines a literary writing style with elements of fantasy and horror. It follows the stories of five different people, each of whom has discovered a door in an unassuming London alley -- a door that appears only once every nine years. Once they're through the door, they fall prey to the mind-bending shifting of Slade House and its owners, the sinister, soul-eating Grayer twins. Fans of author David Mitchell's other books will recognise certain references; if you're unfamiliar with his work, this unsettling novel offers an easy entrée.
Really creepy and sinister, atmospheric read from one of the best modern writers.
I tried and tried to get into this book, but just couldn't seem to follow it. I have read the reviews by others and they all liked it. Well, I guess different strokes for different folks. Maybe I will give it a try another time and see what happens.
This is much less epic in scope than most of Mitchell's other works - slices of people's lives as they are trapped by a mysterious house that appears once every nine years. A compelling, creepy read!
This is the world of "The Bone Clocks". It is a ghost story with soul-sucking vampires. It is both funny and fun to read but slight compared to earlier novels.