Slade House


Slade House: A Novel - David Mitchell

When I came across a paperback edition of Slade House last week in Waterstones in London, I couldn’t resist buying it, even though normally I’ve set myself the rule not to buy more (paper) books from an author when I still have an unread book (i.e. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet). The cover was so beautiful and it also claimed to have some exclusive extra material.


Every nine years a ‘guest’ is lured into Slade House down Slade Alley. The rest of the time, the house is elusive and can’t be found.


It sets the start of a somewhat creepy read. For me it was not that creepy, but as reader, as the time progresses and you get an idea of what is going on, you’ll be able to see it earlier and earlier and this gives a kind of uncanny feel.


I liked it a lot. As I expected from David Mitchell based on Cloud Atlas the writing was really good. The story was very good too, but I did find many of the characters unbelievably naive and the powers of the twins were rather convenient for the plot at times. This combined with the classic need of the villain to explain exactly what, how and why they have done it, makes that I was not completely wowed by it, although I had a great time reading it.


Lastly, this concerns the connection between the different Mitchell stories and the twitter feed at the end of the book (after the Acknowledgements, so I presume this will be the exclusive extra material). The feed was not nice to read. It was rather long for what it wanted to tell, and it shows the rather deranged mind of Bombadil, starting from harassing a girl and ending with more and more fascination for Slade House. However, it left me questions about where the book was set. In this twitter feed, first the movie Cloud Atlas is mentioned suggesting it just takes places in our world. A bit farther though, Bombadil goes to see The Gasthly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish which is a movie ín Cloud Atlas.


Also, I’m curious to find out if and how this book related to The Bone Clocks, because it is mentioned once in the book, and I remembered the title, but haven’t read it myself yet. If anyone knows, please let me know!

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