Slade House by David Mitchell
A Rapid Review
This unnerving, taut and intricately woven tale by one of our most original and bewitching writers begins in 1979 and reaches its turbulent conclusion around Halloween, 2015. Because every nine years, on the last Saturday of October, a ‘guest’ is summoned to Slade House. But why has that person been chosen, by whom and for what purpose? The answers lie waiting in the long attic, at the top of the stairs…
Once every nine years a small door in an alley opens providing access to Slade House, but be careful before accepting the invitation to enter. The unlucky guests who cross the threshold disappear and are never heard from again. Norah and Jonah Grayer, the inhabitants of the home, have achieved a form of immortality which they want to preserve at any cost, but they can only maintain their existence by preying on the psychovoltage of the individuals who are lured to Slade House.
Using a first person narrative, the story is told through interwoven tales of each of the guests as they become trapped in the house. The suspense builds as each each story reveals another piece to the puzzle of Slade House.
Slade House occupies the same universe as Mitchell’s previous book, The Bone Clocks, which I had not read; however, I quickly discovered it was not necessary to enjoy this book which works well as a stand-alone. I had no trouble following and enjoying story.
Creepy but not too scary, I would describe this as a literary horror story and a great introduction to the world of The Bone Clocks.
Narrators Thomas Judd and Tania Rodrigues did a wonderful job conveying the atmosphere of suspense and fright with just the right amount of creepiness. I had no trouble following the plot in audio, and while it does cover multiple years and perspectives, it unfolds in linear fashion.
[Audio Sample on PRH web page.]
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
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