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Tonight feels like a board game designed by M C Escher on a bender and Stephen King in a fever Rather like this book David Mitchell is usually shelved and sold alongside other writers of Literary Fiction a label I dislike He s twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and his novels often bulge with beautifully crafted images.This is in a different mould it s Mitchell having fun, and needs to be read as a much lighter confection in terms of style, though a rather darker one in terms of plot Slade House started as an experimental short story called The Right Sort , picking up on the psychsoterical section of The Bone Clocks, and published in tweets It took on a life of its own, and Mitchell expanded it into four sections, creating Slade House.Like many of his novels, this is a collection of connected short stories, with predacity as the underlying theme, here indicated by the Fox and Hounds a chase game, a pub, a weapon, but most importantly, an analogy In this case, there are five sections, nine years apart, starting in 1979, and ending TODAY the day I finished reading it, and the day I am writing this review 31 October 2015 Each section is narrated by a person who visits the eponymous house, and each has a distinctive voice a strong feature of all Mitchell s works The plots are less distinctive, but that s no accident Instead, there s hypnotic repetition to lure the reader into this mysterious world, and build expectations of what will happen to each visitor The title page of each section has an illustration of a talismanic object.1979, The Right Sort small, black, iron door in a brick wall The narrator is Nathan Bishop, thirteen years old, on the autistic spectrum as is one of Mitchell s sons , and a synaesthete it s a maroon coloured name He and his mother, Rita, have been invited by Lady Norah Grayer to a recital at Slade House, on the last Saturday of October.Nathan s narrative style reminded me strongly of Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time he mentions special numbers, describes his difficulty interpreting people, and his struggles to act normal When he became preoccupied with a dead cat, I assumed a deliberate nod, though Schroedinger would also be apt And then in the fourth chapter, Grief is an amputation, but hope is incurable haemophilia like Schroedinger s Cat inside a box you can never open There is an air of magic as soon as the Bishops enter the garden of Slade House through a small, black, iron door in the wall Rita goes into the house and Nathan stays outside with a boy called Jonah who may or may not be Lady Grayer s son They play Fox and Hound, but Nathan gets dizzy and disoriented He assumes it s his mother s Valium playing tricks on him, but things get confused Standard creepy house story fare creaky stairs, a strange clock, an ethereal face at a window, oddly familiar portraits, disorientating visions, strangers who seem to know you, twins, a warning, a hypnotic candle 1988, Shining Armour a clock without hands This opens in the nearby Fox and Hounds pub and is narrated by racist, wife beating Detective Inspector Gordon Edmonds The investigation into the Bishops disappearance has been reopened because a widow cleaner called Fred Pink has woken from a nine year coma and remembers seeing them going in More than once, it s stressed that the police want him to feel he s being taken seriously why , even though they don t think he has much credibility Nevertheless, it s reason for DI Edmonds to visit Chloe Chetwynd at Slade House It s all sweetness and light until it becomes disorienting but rather familiar.1997, Oink Oink Tiffany compact and mirror A university ParaSoc Paranormal Society meet at the Fox and Hounds, before investigating the nearby Slade Alley vanishings Cue justification for handy exposition and recap by Axel Hardwick, the group leader and nephew of Fred Pink This is the central chapter, numerically and plot wise, but the characters are a checklist of student stereotypes that I found shallow and annoying Even when writing for fun, Mitchell can do better than this.The narrator is Sally Timms, born in 1979, a bulimic and insecure young woman, who was nicknamed oink oink by bullies at boarding school She feels guilty about the fact her family s money comes from oil, and is fond but jealous of her older sister, Freya, in New York When Sally wanted to visit, Freya fobbed her off with a Tiffany compact.They find Slade House is accommodation for overseas students sponsored by the Erasmus Institute, and a Halloween party is in full swing, hosted by Kate Childs It s all good fun until it becomes disorienting but familiar , though Sally assumes it s because someone switched the labels as to which brownies were doped.A pattern has been firmly developed, but view spoiler Sally sees the ghost of DI Edmonds who gives her a weapon he found in the cracks a sliver hairpin with a fox head She finds Todd Cosgrove, who she fancies, and they try to escape He knows a lot about the occult, and the peculiar features of Slade House, making magic symbols in the air, and talking of the orison, a lacuna, and the operandi hide spoiler A Cursed Eternity, Soul Eaters, Dark Cult, Gifted Characters A Lacuna.You can clearly hear a X Files Theme playing here..Five Stories, One House.A mysterious Black Iron door appears to you out of high brick walled alley, only on a certain day every 9 years..Step inside ,for your own good, with your totally free will..for a purpose you already planned days,if not years ago..Step inside, aha here you are, the back garden of this marble white beautiful house..every thing s vivid..You may eat something,like this ripe red beautiful cherry Poor you..you re gifted no doubt, that s why you re here in the first place, you know But no matter what, you can t just resist eating or drinking something..Now you did, you ll start hallucinating, you ll feel being stuck in a bizarre situations Run, for God s sakes just Run..Oh poor poor you, you made ityou run for your life.you made itnow welcome welcome to The Slade House A Fun read,but I should,better, have read The Bone Clock first may be that s why I canceled the 4th star rating, you know what it feels when you read a Batman story and when Batman almost save the day comes Superman to take all the credit It s Horror that got its fine share of hallucinations and tricks, very sophisticated language and very dark myths of an occult.Or rather as the author described a night among the story It feels like a board game co designed by M C Escher on a bender and Stephen King in a fever I will try to rate each story till get to the final rateyet with no spoiler as possible The Right Sort 1979 2.5 Stars Our first Guest in this book is Nathan Bishop, a sweet smart yet autistic, 13 years old..and his mother, invited to the Slade House for a big break for the musician mother.I really loved Nathan, and how the author got into his mind, writing a story narrating by autistic was brilliant, and Nathan was really smart, and sweet.It was a bit hard for me to follow at first, I had to re read many lines to get it add to that the very hard classical language for me And when finally I used to his narratingthe story ends..weird starting yet full of mysteries to come but I didn t like the story much, seemed too bizarre specially the weird ending Shining Armour 1988 2 Stars Our second guest is a Detective investigating the re open of the Bishops disappearance case, due to a witness who s awakened from a 9 years coma and last thing he remembers is seeing them in Slade Alley.The Inspector finds the Slade House when others never found it before, meets the owner, a pretty young widow..and involves with her in an affair..With almost the same techniques and theme of the previous story it s started to be a bit boring for me, some answers here but questions as well Oink Oink 1997 3.5 Stars A group of 6 young collage students interested in the paranormal phenomenons X File ers with a leader related to the same witness of the Bishops in Slade Alley, gathered to investigate The Slade House Mystery and when they arrive there,they find out it just a House for students who s having a Halloween party..the narrator is a bit fat girl Sally Timms who have some issues with her sister and loneliness , I loved how the author makes you feel for her and enter her mind, her wanting to be loved, to be normal , to not be rejected..The story this time is a bit better, bizarre scenes and related to the previous stories.But that was lost to the predicted way of the story plot I almost start to feel very bored with repeating the whole trick, or at least I already predicted it.And I have to say till this far of the novel the vocabulary is really really hard to follow, as someone referred here, it s so British, so sophisticated in every chapter.Specially when a big part of secret of the House and the Twins is revealed in this chapter, it gets difficult may be not that perfect in reading English novels that s why it was my first encounter with Lacuna You Dark Horse You 2006 4.5 Stars And that may have made all the novel deserves a higher rate finally we get the full back story of the Twins and their extraordinary power, the Dark Secrets in Marrakesh and those dark cults.This back story completes what has started in the previous one and it r s very good written.And also the Narrator here is very related to the previous story..and the other character here is the mostly connecting the all 3 stories.I won t spoil it for you but really this one is what made all the difference and the worth of the reading this part Sci Fi part Myth story sorry , stories I really loved how they altered the same trick in tricky way which was the most nightmarish of all to me.I just Love itAnd then came the final story , or the one after the whole mystery died by the 4th story Astronauts 2015 3.5 Stars The ending story with a HUGE alternating to the plot, narrating and the tricks.I like it, but didn t appreciate it enough since here is where you feel ,I must have read The Bone Clock before many elements directly referred to the plot of the previous book, elements that totally necessarily to end the story perfectly as I said about Batman story.That s why I felt a bit disappointed , I really don t mind that but may be a little alerting would have been better, I love when an author anyway try to make his different novels in one universe ,and funny that most of the reviews I read stated that they didn t read The Bone Clock too , but It s my very first read for Mr David Mitchelland won t be the last..And the most important point that the novel s morality is clear and fine and the ending main plot is perfect.Funny that I was intending to rate it plain 3, but when I thought of it it s may be 3.5 , but while writing the review it s just 4nostalgic may be, but I will make the 4 when I read The Bone Clock if it make it to 4or higher ..then Slade House will totally deserve its 4.and after all,as I said at the beginning..it s a real fun read., just don t you dare enter any mysterious Black Iron Door in any high brick walled alleysspecially when it s only appearing in a certain time..Mohammed ArabeyFrom 8 February 2016To 13 February 2016 PS the pre reviewThe beautiful House picture here is from The Boy , a movie I watched with Mom Sis at the same day I began Slade House, Since Mom was missing watching English movies in the cinema interested in this one The Boy well, it was fun,well plotted,decent twist,creepy doll boy AND ANOTHER CREEPY HOUSE It s my year of the Houses since I find out that the house in the movie played a big part too As well as houses was at most of this year s reads so far..I ll be houses reviewer I guess My first and hopefully won t be last read for Mr David Mitchell with my signed limited edition copy David Mitchell does his usual thing of writing a few short stories, gluing them together, and calling it a novel He gets away with it because he is just so extravagantly readable, and Slade House is no different a hugely enjoyable ghost story which I infer seems to build on various conventions established in The Bone Clocks, which I haven t yet read.The first story here is set in 1979, and subsequent chapters advance in nine year intervals until we reach October 2015 all of them first person narratives which follow the same essential pattern and which involve the same creepy house in a run down corner of London I thought the first few sections were fantastic after that, the penultimate chapter is really just a shameless infodump and the ending is like most mysteries, I find inevitably a little anticlimactic But although I rarely find myself underlining Mitchell s sentences in aesthetic delight, I do love how wonderfully English his prose is, at a time when so many British authors seem to write with a kind of transatlantic blandness designed or so I ve cynically concluded to be inoffensive to a US market Here instead we have people that smell like Pritt Stick and the sounds of the Have I Got News For You theme tune.This is really just a kind of literary amuse bouche, and avid fans may find its slightness disappointing or unambitious Personally, after what I ve been reading recently, it was just a joy to have something brief and compelling that I could tear through in a day s commuting, and that had me stealing glimpses at my e reader all day long at my desk. My favorite creepy horror novel So if you know me, you may know I don t do horror novels In fact, I could probably count the number I ve read on one hand though I do read some horror short stories they re easier for me to handle But still This was a really fascinating read without completely freaking me out and giving me nightmares Thanks again, Stephen King, for permanently searing my brain with Pet Sematary Final review, first posted at www.fantasyliterature.com The enigmatic Slade House mysteriously appears every nine years for a day, like a sinister Brigadoon, accessible only to certain people And those who visit it are never seen again Some of the characters were particularly heart wrenching, especially young Nathan, who is on the autistic spectrum, and Sally, the overweight young woman who is so hopeful and, at the same time, so desolate.Although it seems at first like history is simply repeating itself every nine years, there are threads that tie each episode to the next, and a natural progression in the story line that moves the plot along and kept me tied to this book Episodes that at first seem somewhat disconnected, if rather repetitive, begin to build on each other Objects and characters creep in from prior episodes and echo prior appearances a silver fox head hairpin, a game of Fox and Hounds distressingly apt that also becomes a pub name as well as from other Mitchell novels.I m not much of a horror reader, but occasionally I get tempted into it, this time because I enjoyed David Mitchell s experimental and thought provoking writing in Cloud Atlas so much Slade House really sucked me in I finished it in one day, a lot faster than I would ve guessed at first, especially given my prior struggles with The Bone Clocks which I put aside after about 75 pages when it failed to engage me Slade House is much accessible and easier to digest, not to mention far shorter It works fine as a stand alone read, although reading The Bone Clocks first would certainly give the reader a good deal of helpful background and context, since it s set in the same universe Readers of The Bone Clocks and other Mitchell novels will be rewarded with recurring characters, concepts and themes, such as Dr Iris Marinus and the Horologists.Even without that background knowledge, however, there s enough explanation in Slade House that a reader new to this universe isn t left feeling stranded There s a great deal of info dumping in the 4th episode, which isn t entirely successful in feeling like a natural part of the storyline, but it does provide the basic, necessary information about this universe that Mitchell has created.Mitchell playfully includes several tropes of the haunted house genre the disturbing portraits which, honestly, have no logical place in Slade House, other than to raise the anxiety level of the reader , a face in the window, a warning that goes unheeded, the feeling of utter helplessness, the villain who can t resist the urge to Explain All to his victim I think Mitchell was also making a bit of a tongue in cheek joke with the quirkily named Banjax, the food or drink that the victims must voluntarily ingest for the villains to accomplish their purpose But David Mitchell s gift with prose puts Slade House a clear cut above most horror novels It might even tempt me to give The Bone Clocks another shot Free copy of ebook received from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a review Thanks Earlier post I did go do a little background reading in some other reviews so as to understand some of the odd terminology, like Horologists, Atemporals and the Shaded Way Ian s review was particularly helpful in explaining the background and terminology I highly recommend it Even earlier post Uh oh NetGalley just approved me for this, and I barely realized that I really need to read The Bone Clocks first I think it s finally time to go renew that expensive non resident library card I ve got my October reading cut out for me p [ FREE EBOOK ] ♟ Slade House ☤ The New York Times Bestseller By The Author Of The Bone Clocks And Cloud AtlasNamed One Of The Best Books Of The Year By San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, National Post, BookPage, AndKirkus Reviews Keep Your Eyes Peeled For A Small Black Iron Door 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 S 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 ItPraise For Slade House A Fiendish Delight Mitchell Is Something Of A Magician The Washington Post Entertainingly Eerie We Turn To Mitchell For Brain Tickling Puzzle Palaces, For Character Studies And For Language Chicago Tribune A Ripping Yarn Like Shirley Jackson S Hill House Or The Overlook Hotel From Stephen King S The Shining, Slade House Is A Thin Sliver Of Hell Designed To Entrap The Unwary As The Mitchellverse Grows Ever Expansive And Connected, This Short But Powerful Novel Hints At Still Marvels To Come San Francisco Chronicle Like Stephen King In A Fever Manically Ingenious The GuardianUK A Haunted House Story That Savors Of Dickens, Stephen King, J K Rowling And H P Lovecraft, But Possesses Psychic Voltage Than Any Of Them Pittsburgh Post Gazette Tightly Crafted And Suspenseful Yet Warmly Human The Ultimate Spooky Nursery Tale For Adults The Huffington Post Diabolically Entertaining Dark, Thrilling, And Fun A Thoroughly Entertaining Ride Full Of Mind Games, Unexpected Twists, And Even A Few Laughs The Daily Beast 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, New York Times Bestselling Author Of Gone Girl AndThe Grownup I Gulped Down This Novel In A Single Evening Well played Mr Mitchell, well played.Mitchell s October 2015 publication just in time and thematically relevant to Halloween is a modern addition to a list of great October titles.Styling a series of first person connected but stand alone chapters into a seamless narrative, Mitchell has crafted a story that slowly grips the reader until the last few pages in this short novel fly by as the reader is unable to put the book down.Slade House is set in a quiet suburban neighborhood in England, albeit in a narrow and creepy alley, and provides some fun twists to an old haunted house theme The ghosts in this paranormal horror fantasy have some added occult significance provided by Mitchell, with a backstory that gets slowly delivered to the reader as the years and opportunities to haunt roll by.I have yet to read The Bone Clocks, but apparently this story follows that theme and makes me want to read Mitchell s 2014 publication More Gaiman and Mieville than Bradbury, this is a postmodern and sophisticated fantasy with strong horror elements.An entertaining and engaging page turner. I picked up Slade House with the idea of reading something creepy and perhaps slightly unusual before Halloween As it turned out, it was nightmarish and positively bizarre I was mostly entertained while reading this, but as I now try to write my review, I realize that not much of this has stuck with me after a mere two weeks Fortunately, this is not the kind of book that I want to examine too closely nor do I want to give much of it away to future readers So, I ll share just a few thoughts on this one.Slade House, located in Slade Alley, is definitely the stuff of freaky dreams and Mitchell masterfully sketches a place that I would shrink from passing by even in the light of day As described by one of its unfortunate young visitors,Slade Alley s the narrowest alley I ve ever seen It slices between two houses, then vanishes left after thirty paces or so There s a small black iron door, set into the brick wall It s small all right It has no handle, keyhole, or gaps around the edges It s black, nothing black, like the gaps between stars Every nine years, on the last day in October, one luckless guest will enter that door to find him or herself on the grounds of a stunning garden surrounding a grand mansion What becomes of this guest well, only the Grayer twins could tell you what really happens next I found the characters to be very well drawn for such a short novel, always a big plus for me with any book I enjoyed the gradual unveiling of the mystery behind the house and its history While I didn t find it to be super scary, on the edge of your seat kind of horror, it did have an uncanny surreal feel to it that made me squirm at times However, by the end I found it to be a bit predictable and I started to grow tired of the story and the Grayer twins I m not a big fan of the supernatural and this was a bit of a mixed bag for me a fun way to pass a couple of cold, rainy days, but not anything mind blowing. Magically and creepily delicious Loved every minute of this one, just wish I has read it closer to Halloween Not overtly scary, yet what is accomplished in this short novel did send a few shivers my way So many lines can be taken in than one way, little humorous tidbits scattered here and there A haunted house but so much , original and brilliant in its own way Actually this will make a good book for re reading, which is just what I will do.ARC from publisher. To follow the trail of breadcrumbs you have to blindfold your own sanityWow, what a ride David Mitchell s Slade House came running round the bend, no pun intended well, maybe just a little for those who have read it , at full steam ahead with all of the mechanical makings and suspenseful trappings of a haunting psychological thrill ride It had a rhythmic flow that you could fall into, but beware That trap has thorns And fangsbut as I watch, the running boy shape gets fuzzier and becomes a growling darkness with darker eyes, eyes that know me, and fangs that ll finish what they started and it s pounding after me in sickening slow motion, big as a cantering horse and I d scream if I could but I can t my chest s full of molten panic it s choking me choking if I fall it ll have me, and I ve only got moments left and I stumble up the steps and grip the doorknob turn please turn it s stuck no no no it s ridged does it turn yes no yes no twist pull push pull turn twist I m falling forwardsSlade House is the tale of a mystical house in London, that can only be found if you know just where and when to look just a skip from the ratty Fox and Hounds pub, down the alley too dark and narrow fora properly fat person to get past someone coming the other wayThere you ll find a little iron door, so small you d have to stoop to go through it, embedded in the side of the wall You ll wonder how you missed it when you first walked by Was it there before Are you imagining it now Inside you ll find a paradise to your liking a beautiful woman, the career opportunity of a lifetime, a raging kegger, whatever you fancy But once inside, there s no turning back because, as we all know, the house always wins The format worked well for this one, using a series of vignettes, all nine years apart, to weave together the haunting mystery of Slade House and the experiences of those who dared to enter those walls all linked soul to soul if not hand in hand Their experiences in Slade House overlap in the most disconcerting and sinister of ways Each character is eventually and inevitably interlaced into the experiences of the other vignettes, and subtle sequences tie it all together with an eerie thread of d ja vu like a finger down the spine of your back Mitchell s Slade House was Hill House meets The Skeleton Key, if you ve ever seen that movie An enchanted experience woven by a true magician, because now you see it now you don t It was absolutely cinematic, and once the novel had you in its clutches, it was quite the thrill ride, building suspense in a way that made you grasp the pages and say, No, that is not happening oh, my God, is that about to happen Well, it did for me, anyways The premise of this novel was divine and the execution of it near perfect However oh yes, I ve got to hit it with the however I couldn t give this one 5 stars Of course, you re asking, Why d you steal Slade s star And the answer, simply put, is cop out I haven t seen cop out revelations like that since middle school writing, at least, I m sorry to say The short explanatory monologues spoiled it for me a little, pulling me out of this world of ghostly mystique and foreboding just to dowse me in annoyance before inserting me back into the plot I loathe when pro antagonists practically leap out of character to deliver stilted, unrealistic dialogues amongst themselves, explaining things to the reader that they, themselves, would already know Case in point, under what circumstance would it ever be okay to turn to your sister and say view spoilerFor fifty four years, our souls have wandered that big wide world out there, possessing whatever bodies we want, living whatever lives we wish, while our fellow birth Victorians are all dead or dying outhide spoiler I enjoyed the way this story started in the first chapter with 13 year old Nathan He is sweet sensitive autistic the type of boy other kids would make fun of at school , Plus his mum is newly divorced, popping Valium like gum drops Then jumping aheadNathan s mother, Rita, find the house off Slade Alley Rita, being a piano player, gets invited to performs for well known guests including Yehudi Menuhin It was a street personjust passing by who helped them through an iron door finding the house of Lady Grayer It gets spooky when after October 1979 the mother and son were never seen again Nine years later detective Gordon Edmonds enters the same way He also is never seen again Every Nine years there is another disappearance last Saturday in October Yikes almighty This one sitting read gets scary creepy and if you never believed in ghosts before you might after you read The Slade House Thank You Random House, Netgalley, and David Mitchell for the opportunity to read this spine tingling book.