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Slade House by David Mitchell

Slade House

by David Mitchell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Horologists (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,9661935,140 (3.8)1 / 228

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English (189)  Piratical (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Chinese, traditional (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (195)
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
Found a beautiful UK paperback edition at No Alibis bookstore in Belfast and re-read on the plane home.

'My theory is that they're ordinary children, living in their own time, doing their thing, whom I overhear. Like the telephone lines of our times have crossed. The wall between our 'now' and their 'now' is thin. That's all.' (Chloe Chetwynd to Gordon Edmonds, 64)

'On our way out, speak to nobody; respond to nobody; meet nobody's eye. Accept nothing, eat nothing, drink nothing.' (Todd to Sally, 127)

Grief is an amputation, but hope is incurable hemophilia: you bleed and bleed and bleed. (Freya, 142)

'Who's telling the truth? That I can't tell you. Truth has this habit of changing after the fact, don't you find?' (Fred Pink to Freya, 154) ( )
  JennyArch | Mar 15, 2019 |
Feels like a fan-only add on to The Bone Clocks. I'm a fan so I loved it, but this must be problematic for people coming to this blind expecting a straightforward slice of literary fiction. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
Okay, so I might officially be getting sick of David Mitchell's shtick. His time-travelling, genre-hopping narratives were what initially got me hooked on his writing, but here they just induced some major eye-rolling. I read the first chapter and thought, "This is like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." I then read the second chapter and thought, "This is like Filth."

Mitchell is a lot like J. K. Rowling in that he has all these back stories and connections between his characters. But at least Rowling has a website where she reveals all this information for free. If The Bone Clocks is akin to the Extended Edition of Mitchell's catalog, then Slade House is the unnecessary splitting of Bone Clocks into two separate works. ( )
  doryfish | Mar 6, 2019 |
It's not essential to read The Bone Clocks first, but having that context makes this read even more enjoyable....although that's true for all of his books since you never know when a character from one book will pop up in another, even if it's just as a background player or a name in a conversation. I love all his characters, so I welcome them whenever and wherever they show up. Unlike many of the professional reviewers, I like the supernatural elements in his books best of all, so Slade House makes me extra happy, since it feels like a springboard to a much bigger and denser novel that will put those supernatural bits front and center. Yay, yay and double yay! ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
I've been keeping my eye on this one for a long time, it had an intriguing premise, but I was not expecting what this book delivered. I thought this book would be a more traditional haunted house story mashed with the party game 'Sardines'. This was pretty cool, though.

Slade House is revealed through chronological point-of-views from various victims starting the the late 1970s and continuing to the present day. Every nine years the back garden door to Slade House appears in an alley and a new guest is lured in. The nature of the house, the 'magic' involved, the deconstructed fairy-tale elements, and the villains were great.

Mitchell does a good job of keeping his various character's voices distinct. With each perspective more of the history of the house is revealed, too. I learned in the afterword that 'Slade House' was originally released in a series of tweets, the pace of the story dictated by the author in a unique way.

The book suffers a little from repetition, but is genuinely creepy. You feel for these characters and it was hard for me to put the book down and return to the real world. Also is there a sequel coming?! It works as is, but come ON.

I haven't read anything else from Mitchell, but I'd be willing to try them out. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 189 (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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David Mitchellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bagnoli, KatiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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