Slade House by David Mitchell

The last book of my Halloween TBR and the discovery of a new author

Themes: horror, fiction, paranormal, mystery

The synopsis

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 1970s 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 it. 

The review

I’ve never heard of this book until one of my favourite booktubers mentioned it in a video. It was nearly Halloween and it sounded creepy so I thought ‘why not?’ And here I am talking about a new book!

This book is read as a series of short stories which all have a common thread: Slade House. This house appears once every nine years during Halloween’s night and when people enter it they’re never seen again. At this stage, I think you can see why this book is perfect for Halloween 😉

I can’t go too much into details without spoiling it but what I can say is that the more you go on in the book the more the reality is blurred for the narrators, who become unreliable, and so for the reader. Each story has a twist and brings you closer to understanding what’s happening in this house. Even the culprits know it and can see they’re close to being caught.

There is a wide variety of narrators from the single mum to the college student to the racist cop and they all enter Slade House wanting something the house seems to be providing. The writing is absolutely perfect and is adapted to each era of the novel, giving really different voices to each narrator. The characters are really well fleshed out for such short stories and it makes you empathise with what’s happening to them.

In brief: a pleasant discovery interrogating the notions of death and immortality. Creepy enough to be classified as horror but not enough for discouraging me from reading it. It’s not my favourite book and it will not leave me an unforgettable memory but I still enjoyed this discovery! (And what a gorgeous cover!)

My rating: 3,5/5

2 thoughts on “Slade House by David Mitchell”

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