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Slade House by David Mitchell

Slade House

by David Mitchell

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1,9251835,155 (3.79)1 / 225
Recently added bySwissShutist, Philrc, mely81, dlanzet, TedQ, TurtleStampede, Krisbee, brielie, private library, rena75

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English (181)  Piratical (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Chinese, traditional (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (187)
Showing 1-5 of 181 (next | show all)
This was a really strange tale, and it was also the first I’ve read of David Mtchell. It had me hooked instantly. It was so odd, mysterious, dark ... it reminded me a bit of a Gaiman story but much darker and somewhat creepier. I breezed through it and immediately added more of his books to my list! ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Oct 20, 2018 |
Covering a parallel story to The Bone Clocks, with one or two repeating characters, Slade House uses Mitchell's characteristic device to knit together a series of effective short stories, usually distinguished by time, but allowing the overall plot to be told, layer by layer.

It starts in 1979 when an autistic boy and his mother visit a mysterious stately home, through a tiny door in a forgotten alleyway. The place initially seems friendly, enticing, but nightmarish hallucations soon take over, and supernatural twins that need to eat the souls of a certain type of person to survive prey on these unsuspecting victims.

Every 9 years, this portal opens, and a new chapter is told, with a new potential victim entering this honey trap, until 2015, when the twins, weakened by other half-failures, may or may not have met their match.

As usual with David Mitchell, the voicing in each mini-story is wonderfully created - vivid and exciting and varied. The plot may sound a little silly from the description above, but Mitchell, as usual, pulls it off with aplomb, such that you do believe this alternative world with its very strange rules.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, although preferred the Bone Clocks more. That felt like a far more substantive work, whereas this, at times, felt a little slight. ( )
1 vote RachDan | Oct 15, 2018 |
I am so torn on this book. Even giving it a rating I had a hard time! I can't decide if I liked this book or disliked this book. I think this book is overall good, but I personally had some difficulties with it. I thought it delivered all the things I was expecting. Spooky, Creepy, Confusing, Scary, well constructed, intriguing. However, I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters, I did not understand the details behind all the paranormal pieces of the story and I also found it to be a bit choppy. I wouldn't steer someone away from reading this but not sure I'd go out of my way to recommend it. ( )
  MinDea | Oct 10, 2018 |
Wow! This was a pretty creepy and twisted tale. This book was beautifully written and very interesting. The whole time I read it, Hotel California was playing on a loop inside my head.

But what to say about it? It's kinda of the age-old tale of a man being too stupid or stubborn--or both-- to listen to the woman in his life. If Jonah had just listened to his sister Nora, things could have turned out so, so differently for both of them.

This is basically a Hotel California type situation. A person with the right type of...psychic energy I guess, is lured into Slade House by the Grayer siblings, where they are treated to all sorts of fantasies--or hallucinations--and once they succumb, they are never seen again. But each victim is warned by the previous victim until finally one of them is strong enough to fight back, which is the beginning of the end for the Slade House.

It was pretty spooky and kind of sad. Enough of he victims' backgrounds were revealed that you felt real sympathy for most of them. Anger, even, at siblings for what they were doing to innocent people. It was a very good series of interconnected vignettes and while it wasn't completely an 'open ending', I feel like there is a door left open for a sequel. I'd be very interested in reading. ( )
  Virago77 | Sep 19, 2018 |
I wandered the halls of the Washington Dulles airport, desperate for something to read, and praying to find something besides Patterson and wishy washy self help books. In the nondescript bookshop near Gate C14 I chanced upon this gem, a single copy tucked just above People Magazine. My theory is that the God of Bookshops heard my pleas and wafted it in, because it is nothing like typical airport fare. A smart and entertaining ghost story, it kept me turning pages from D C to San Diego. ( )
1 vote JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 181 (next | show all)
**** 4 out of 5 stars
Review by: Mark Palm
Not Another Haunted House.

The one thing that I have come to expect from David Mitchell is that you never know what you are going to get. That is true once again with Slade House. Nominally a haunted house novel, Slade House reminded me of the story of the Blind Men and the Elephant. The one who touched it’s tail thought that it was a rope, the one that touched it’s ear thought that it was a fan, the one that touched it’s leg thought that it was a pillar. They are all wrong, but they are somehow all right as well.

The story starts with Nathan Bishop, a teenaged boy and his musician mother, who enter Slade House expecting a party, and are greeted by Jonah, a teen-aged boy who seems to have unusual abilities. We can’t quite be sure at first, because the section is narrated by Nathan, who is on valium, which makes his perception strange, as he says. As the story continues, however, and grows more and more surreal, we discover that strange and horrible things are indeed happening in Slade House. Unfortunately for Nathan and his mother, the revelation comes too late.

NIne years later a tough but conceited cop, Gordon Edmunds, is looking into the disappearance of the Bishops and he is lured into Slade House by an attractive young widow, Chloe Chetwynd. At dinner, the two witness ghosts. Once again things get decidedly surreal, and our protagonist is manipulated by their desires into becoming a victim of the strange beings who call Slade House their home. This pattern occurs again and again as we learn that the entities are Norah and Jonah Grayer, who need souls to feast upon. To go into more detail is impossible without dropping a ton of spoilers, but Mr. Mitchell rewards the patient reader, as each section of the story peels away a bit of the mystery. That’s part of the rub, though. For me, not knowing the story made the earlier sections exceptionally creepy. It was satisfying to learn more and more, but as I did I found the book to be a bit less effective.

Mr. Mitchell’s prose, written in the first person through various characters, is exceptional. Each is unique in tone and pace, and all are believable. The biggest problem that I had with Slade House is that I didn’t really feel that it stands that well on it’s own. It is creepy, and effective, and prior knowledge of The Bone Clocks makes Slade House a more effective novel. Still, it’s definitely original, and definitely worth your time.

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Whatever Mum's saying's drowned out by the grimy roar of the bus pulling away, revealing a pub called The Fox and Hounds.
Grief is an amputation, but hope is incurable haemophilia: you bleed and bleed and bleed. (p. 142)
The wackometer needle is stuck on 11. (p. 171)
Think about it: about the squalid, shitty reasons that people murder each other in large numbers now. Oil; the drug trade; control over occupied territories and the word 'occupied'. Water. God's true name, His true will, who owns access to Him. The astonishing belief that Iraq can be turned into Sweden by deposing its dictator and smashing the place up a bit. (p. 172)
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Book description
Keep your eyes peeled for a small black iron door.

Down the road from a working-class pub, along a narrow brick alley, you just might 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 residents of Slade House extend an 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? For those who find out, it's already too late...

Spanning decades, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, Slade House is a haunted house story as only David Mitchell could imagine it.

Haiku summary
Welcome to Slade House:
eat, drink and be merry, but
you will never leave.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812998685, Hardcover)

From “one of the most electric writers alive” (The Boston Globe) comes a taut, intricately woven, spine-chilling, reality-warping short novel. Set across five decades, beginning in 1979 and coming to its electrifying conclusion on October 31, 2015, Slade House is the perfect book to curl up with on a dark and stormy night.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"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 surreal place where visitors see what they want to see, including some things that should be impossible. 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" --… (more)

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