Title: Slade House
Author: David Mitchell
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Source: Given by my swapper Shannon in the My Shelf to Yours Book Exchange (email or FB message me if you want in- it’s a closed group but always happy for more book-lovers)
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 recently 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.
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.