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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Review: Slade House

Slade House: A Novel - David Mitchell

Remember the Atemporals and the Anchorites and all that mess from Mitchell's last novel, The Bone Clocks? Yeah, I don't either. What was intended to be Mitchell's next great work was at times a mess of technobabble. Once I realized that Slade House was going to be more of the same, I was slightly hesitant, but open-minded.

The difference resides in the format and focus. While the intention of The Bone Clocks seemed to be as an epic work of literature with paranormal elements, Slade House is a concise, plot-driven work of suspense and horror. It is so much like Mitchell's previous works and nothing at all like them. Once again, the story is narrated by intersecting characters; there are overlaps with previous works of Mitchell (primarily The Bone Clocks obviously). The differences from Mitchell's broader canon of work mainly rest in the brevity and tone. Here Mitchell brings his own style of writing and drops it into a story that at times feels like Poe, at other times like King. The result isn't Mitchell's most brilliant work by any means, but it was thoroughly entertaining--perhaps the most entertaining story the author has ever brought to the page.

And the ending... LOVED IT! I read it again. It definitely left me looking forward to the author's next literary contribution.