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Slade House by David Mitchell

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Plants died, milk curdled, and my children went slightly feral as I succumbed to the creepy magic of David Mitchell’s Slade House. It’s a wildly inventive, chilling, and—for all its otherworldliness—wonderfully human haunted house story. I plan to return to its clutches quite often.”—Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl and The Grownup

“I gulped down this novel in a single evening. Intricately connected to David Mitchell’s previous books, this compact fantasy burns with classic Mitchellian energy. Painstakingly imagined and crackling with narrative velocity, it’s a Dracula for the new millennium, a Hansel and Gretel for grownups, a reminder of how much fun fiction can be.”—Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“David Mitchell doesn’t break rules so much as prove them inhibitors to lively, intelligent fiction. Slade House is a fractal offshoot of his remarkable The Bone Clocks, an eerie haunted-house tale that takes as much from quantum mechanics as from traditional supernatural lore, a spellbinding chiller about an unnatural greed for life and the arrogance of power.”—Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“What can’t David Mitchell do? Slade House is a page-burning, read-in-one-sitting, at times terrifying novel that does for the haunted-house story what Henry James did for the ghost story in The Turn of the Screw. It has all the intelligence and linguistic dazzle one expects from a David Mitchell novel, but it will also creep the pants off you. Just as Slade House won’t let go of its unsuspecting guests, you won’t be able to put this book down. Welcome to Slade House: Step inside.”—Adam Johnson, author of Fortune Smiles and The Orphan Master’s Son, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“Slade House is a deranged garden of forking paths, where all the flowers are poisonous and every escape is choked with thorns. David Mitchell has long been acknowledged as one of the finest—if not the finest—literary minds of his generation, but he’s also one of the most suspenseful, and he proves it in every gripping, vertiginous setpiece. In some ways, this book reads as if Wes Craven hired Umberto Eco to reinvent A Nightmare on Elm Street. Yet that doesn’t quite do justice to its white-hot intensity: I think that five minutes inside Slade House would leave Freddy Krueger trembling and crying for Mama. I read in a constant state of terror and joy and could not turn the pages fast enough.”—Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Horns

“Sharp, fast, flat-out spooky, Slade House is such a hypnotic read that you are likely to miss your subway stop in order to keep reading. And by you, I mean me.”—Daniel Handler, New York Times bestselling author of the Lemony Snicket series

“Devilishly fun.”—The Washington Post

“A ripping little Victorian gothic yarn, and one of which @edgarallanpoe would have been proud . . . Slade House plunges us into full psycho-mystic fantasy-horror—and it’s a hoot.”—Esquire (U.K.)

“Prepare to be dazzled.”—Tatler (U.K.)

“[A] triumph . . . Mitchell’s most pleasurable book to date, which also features some of his finest writing.”—Literary Review (U.K.)

“David Mitchell turned all the firepower of his formidable gifts on the lures, and the perils, of immortality. . . . Yet, as ever, Mitchell grounds his fantasy in high-definition, close-up scenes of daily experience. . . . Mitchell’s zestful, joyous recreation of the minutiae of everyday life has a redemptive role. Against the accursed privilege of the immortals, he helps us love the time that dooms us.”—The Independent (U.K.)

“[Mitchell is] a master of genre verisimilitude.”—The National (A.E.)

“A complex, twisty little gem that fans of the author will absolutely devour . . . Slade House reinforces the notion that there really is no one out there like David Mitchell.”—Shelf Awareness

“Deliciously inventive and hard to put down.”—Library Journal

“Superb . . . Mitchell offers his most accessible book yet—a haunted-house story in the vein of such classics as The Turn of the Screw and The Haunting of Hill House. . . . Suggest to fans of Audrey Niffenegger, Karen Russell, and Steven Millhauser, and expect it to be read as a Halloween staple for years to come.”—Booklist

“Mitchell serves up a story that wouldn’t be out of place alongside The Turn of the Screw. Ingenious, scary, and downright weird . . . [a] delicious ghost story.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Review

This is a different David Mitchell than that you know. A tale suited to the month of October. Less cerebral and literal laden prose, and more visceral, forward moving and then suddenly in a kaleidoscopic haunting way.  A tale that stays with you, he immerses you in a house just like any other at a glance, with a door, but with a history unlike any other that has appeared in this authors tales. He does it well, this writing, this storytelling. He has you in this mysteriously haunting tale well and the sentences, the style, suits something just right for theses chilly nights under the sheets. Please more sir.

 

 




Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 26 October 2015