Book Reviews

Book Review: Slade House by David Mitchell

Warning: do not pick this book up at night – you WILL NOT SLEEP!

I bought Cloud Atlas a couple of years ago and it still sits on my bookshelf looking at me willing me to read it…I have yet to delve into it.  Instead, I read The Bone Clocks and remember, at the time, this is blooming marvellous!  I had three chapters to go before leaving the house and boarding a flight.  Unfortunately, the ‘budgetnotsobudget’ airline forbid any more weight in my already bulging suitcase so I begrudgingly left the hardback at home and dusted off the kindle, downloaded the book using the Airport’s WiFi and finished the book.  Loved it.  Inhaled it. Begged everyone to read it.

Flash forward a year or two, and I see Slade House at my wonderful nook of a local bookshop.  Yes! Off I go back to Mitchell’s world.  Picked it up late last night and I have just finished it.  Less than 24 hours and around 4 hours sleep.

Mitchell, once again, invokes the supernatural in Slade House as he did for The Bone Clocks and again, masterfully, travels through time from the 1970s to the present day effortlessly.  There are no thick relentless references to pop culture – you truly feel you are there, in that era…even for just one chapter.

We join a young boy who accompanies his mother to a grand old house where she is playing the piano for a soiree.  Nine years later we meet a middle-aged police officer who is half-heartedly investigating said boy and mother’s disappearance.  Flash forward another 9 years and we meet a group of students looking into the all of the aforementioned’s disappearances.  What happens to these people, I cannot say – it would ruin the book, the magic and the suspense.  Let’s just say: they don’t all wake up and discover it was all a dream as to do so would (as Mitchell so aptly puts it) “violates the deal between reader and writer, that it’s a cop-our, it’s the Boy Who Cried Wolf.”

Whilst not scary in the Susan Hill or Stephen King sort of way, there were times when I raced through thinking ‘no, no, oh hold on, no – it’s as a first thought – get out!!’ and my heart started beating slightly faster.

After racing through this book a re-read of The Bone Clocks and an initial read of Cloud Atlas is a must for me.

Let me know if you have read Cloud Atlas and whether it is deserving of the praise and reviews it received!

Recommended for: those who enjoy suspense

Rating: 5/5 (for pure pace if anything else!)

Favourite quotes:Grief is an amputation, but hope is incurable haemophilia: you bleed and bleed and bleed.” / “‘They’, a lover is first a ‘You’ and then a ‘We’, but Jonah is one half of ‘I’.”

Thanks for reading – I hope you enjoyed it!

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