Review: Slade House

Slade House
Slade House by David Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book through NetGalley.
I can’t believe I received an advance copy of this book through NetGalley. I felt a little astonished, like, surely the publisher knew that everyone who was into David Mitchell (I count myself amongst them) would rush out and buy at least one copy of Slade House. They couldn’t really be offering to give me this book for free, could they?
I’d read the collected Twitter story (“The Right Sort”), which starts the whole book off, I’d been following (sporadically) the new Twitter account of @I_Bombadil, of *course* I was up for reading Slade House.
I really enjoyed the story (devoured it, even). Like a “Bone Clocks”-lite, we skip through the years, nine at a time, starting in 1979, only we’re focused on the one house from the title and twin brother and sister who inhabit it through the years. The style remains the same throughout the years as people approach the house and enter through the alleyway, but takes on the aspect of a palimpsest, as we recognize things that have gone on before at this house, things that bleed through the same each time.
Which is true until we get to the final chapter, when the perspective shifts, and we see the story from the other side. For those people who have read much David Mitchell, when they see Dr. Marinus arrive, they’ll know how this is about to play out and there might be more tension for people who haven’t met any of these characters yet, but it’s still an entertaining story.
I worry, a bit, for my soul, as the publisher giving away this book is a little like the lure the twins use to gather souls unto themselves, so I wonder if I haven’t stumbled into my own Slade House by taking the bait and that this whole experience of reading the book hasn’t been some orison-like hallucination, and I try and think back and remember if I ever ate something during the course of my reading, and, if so, whether the twins are already on their way to eat my soul.

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