Slade House, David Mitchell (2015)
Themes: Horror, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal
Reading Format: Paperback
Going into this book, I did not realise it was a companion novel to The Bone Clocks, a book I have not read, but do now own. I don’t know how much more I would have gained from this book had I of read The Bone Clocks prior to reading Slade House, but I was certainly still able to follow the story. This book actually started as a Twitter thread, it was written to be enjoyed and that is what I did.
This book is about Slade House, a place that you will only know about if it wants you to. Once you’re inside, you’ll never want to leave, but then you realise you never can. It follows the characters lured in by this paranormal house.
If you think about how weird a nightmare can be and how unreal everything seems, yet it still makes sense to sleepy you – that’s what this book is like. David Mitchell has written this dreamlike world in such a clever way that I really felt like I was in a nightmare of my own, watching these characters. I think it’s exceptionally hard to capture the fear and weirdness of this type of state, but this book does it perfectly.
One of the characters describes a scene in a way that summarises the feel of this book perfectly:
“Tonight feels like a board game co-designed by MC Escher on a bender and Stephen King in a fever,”
I don’t think any book has ever been less predictable, I had no idea what was going to happen and this book kept lulling me into a false sense of security. Every character was different and it followed several different people throughout the plot, which made me feel like my alliances were always changing with who I liked the best. I thought I knew where things were going in this book, but then BAM it turned it all around and I was back at square one again.
This book makes you think, but then it makes you disregard your thoughts because yeah, you were wrong. It is both totally bizarre and wonderful, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it for a quick, but fun read. I feel like I now need to talk to someone about this book, my reading experience involved a lot of shouting out loud at the pages.