Slade House, Hardback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Born out of the short story David Mitchell published on Twitter in 2014 and inhabiting the same universe as his latest bestselling novel The Bone Clocks, this is the perfect book to curl up with on a dark and stormy night.

Turn down Slade Alley - narrow, dank and easy to miss, even when you're looking for it.

Find the small black iron door set into the right-hand wall.

No handle, no keyhole, but at your touch it swings open.

Enter the sunlit garden of an old house that doesn't quite make sense; too grand for the shabby neighbourhood, too large for the space it occupies. A stranger greets you by name and invites you inside.

At first, you won't want to leave. Later, you'll find that you can't. 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 Hallowe'en, 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...




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I was sent an ARC of this by Interzone to review (they also wanted to send me a copy of The Bone Clocks, but I’d already bought one – using a voucher given to me by my employer as a reward for five years of service). Overall, I don’t think Slade House is as successful as The Bone Clocks, and that’s not just a consequence of its significantly shorter length. Mitchell’s trademark ventriloquism is in fine, er, voice, but the fifth of its six sections is almost pure exposition, some of the tropes are a bit cheesy, and the whole thing doesn’t add anything of note to the mythology of The Bone Clocks. Which is not to say it’s a bad book – Mitchell is a fine writer and always worth reading – but it is a little disappointing after last year’s epic.

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