Slade House: Or an update to the classic haunted house story

Slade House: A Novel - David Mitchell

First and foremost, my heartfelt thanks to Penguin Random House for the advanced copy - when I went all fangirl at the MPIBA trade show and said this would be the next book on my To Read pile I was true to my word. I'm so very glad I got to read this book during spooky season as it was the perfect Halloween read.

 

I had a bit of a rocky relationship with Bone Clocks. There were parts I loved, but the whole left me disappointed. When I heard Slade House was a creepier cousin, set in the same universe but with a separate storyline, I was excited and oh so hopeful. I am pleased to report my optimism was rewarded. This book was everything I had wanted from Bone Clocks, and then some.

 

Each chapter is set in a different time, and follows a different individual as they discover the mysterious Slade House. The common thread holding the book together is strong and compelling, and just when the pattern begins to feel repetitive the book throws you a curve ball. Mitchell takes the classic haunted house story and turns it on it's ear, keeping all the creep-factor while simultaneously making an old story new again with fresh elements and masterful language. While not straight out scary per se, this book does manage to capture the gothic tone without feeling dated. My only real critique is that the final act might be somewhat lacking for those who have not read Bone Clocks, but that's only a guess on my behalf. (I won't say more as I wouldn't want to spoil anything.) If you like your spooky books well written, and carefully crafted, this story will hit a sweet spot that's rare within both the literary and the horror genres.