Slade House by David Mitchell

Slade House by David Mitchell, of Cloud Atlas fame, was published by Random House in October of 2015.  I received the novel from NetGalley.

Slade House CoverAlthough I’ve never read a David Mitchell book–apparently this novel fits into his established fictional universe–Slade House works perfectly well as a standalone novel.

While the plot surrounds weird occurrences down the street from an everyday pub, the history and appeal of the Slade House is anything but usual. The story spans several decades, each chapter focusing on a different person or group of people sucked into the strange allure of the inhabitants of Slade House.

Considering that each chapter reads as a standalone short story, the novel moves at a steady pace and draws you in with the subtle history, threaded throughout the short stories, of a man and woman residing in Slade House. Even though each successive narrator’s story is more interesting and relatable than the last, what really compelled me to read on was the intrigue at who or what was causing everyone who entered Slade House to mysteriously disappear and why their ghosts haunt each new victim.

The novel finishes strong–its final chapter is its best–concluding the story in a weird and satisfying way that convinced me to read more of Mitchell’s work in the near future.

Slade House resonates with an otherworldly, mysterious aura a la House of Leaves, which is one of my favorite horror novels. Rather than have an inexplicably contorting house, however, Mitchell creates a fantastic supernatural reason for Slade House’s weird antics, called a lacuna. I don’t want to spoil the fun of the mystery, so I’ll leave it at that.

Overall, the novel was unique, and at less than 250 pages, a lightning quick read. I definitely recommend this to horror, supernatural, and fantasy fans.

TITLESlade House
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AUTHORDavid Mitchell
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PAGES: 238
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ALSO WROTE: Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks
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SORT OF LIKE: House of Leaves
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FIRST LINE: 1979: Whatever mum’s saying’s drowned out by the grimy roar of the bus pulling away, revealing a pub called The Fox and Hounds.

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