Slade House

  • by David Mitchell
  • Narrated by Thomas Judd, Tania Rodrigues
  • 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

By the New York Times best-selling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas comes a Publishers Weekly literary fiction top 10 pick for Fall 2015.
Keep your eyes peeled for a small, black iron door.
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.


What the Critics Say

"Painstakingly imagined and crackling with narrative velocity, it's a Dracula for the new millennium, a 'Hansel and Gretel' for grownups." (Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize)
"Sharp, fast, flat-out spooky, Slade House is such a hypnotic read that you are likely to miss your subway stop in order to keep reading. And by you, I mean me." (Daniel Handler, New York Times best-selling author of the Lemony Snicket series)
"Fans of Mitchell's The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas will recognize the interlocking narrative structure and literary-fantastical bent of this new work." (Library Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Grief is an amputation

"Grief is an amputation, but hope is incurable hemophilia: you bleed and bleed. Like Schrödinger's cat* inside a box you can never open."
- David Mitchell, Slade House

I'm a David Mitchell completist again.

Basically, this book is a minor Mitchell. Another brick in the Bone Clocks wall/universe. It isn't as developed or complex as The Bone Clocks or Cloud Atlas, but still an interesting sequel to 'Bone Clocks'. I hate to say it kinda feels like Mitchell mailing it in, but it does read like one of those novels that is 'perfectly' timed by a marketing department for Halloween (released on October 27), built to be spooky, built to appeal to the 13-21 yo set. It is minor Mitchell, so it is geared towards those kids who would read Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book or Coraline. It is THAT kinda book. It also reminds me a bit of Mark Z. Danielewski's The Fifty Year Sword where style and funky book/cover/font design are dialed to 11, but the novel itself is only mediocre+. Still, I don't regret buying it, owning it, or reading it. My daughter (13) will get a kick out of it and THAT will hopefully salvage her from reading other trash this November.

* Look for the d-mn [Slade] alley cat.
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- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"

Creepily Delicious

I inhaled this slim David Mitchell novel in just a few hours yesterday. I was so pleased by Cloud Atlas earlier this year that I nearly jumped for joy when I heard he was putting out a haunted house story just in time for Halloween. I hardly ever dabble in the horror genre, but I’m glad I made an exception. While this book was definitely creepy, it wasn’t overly scary. It propelled me to keep reading and find out what happened next, but it’s not the kind of thing that’ll give you nightmares or anything.

Just like Cloud Atlas, Slade House is told through a series of novellas, jumping time in-between each one. These are set 9 years apart, going from the 1970s to present day. The entrance to Slade House lies in one of the smallest alleys in England and the small metal door only shows itself to people it wants to come in. Over the decades, several people get lured to Slade Alley and find the door. I don’t want to say too much about the plot for fear that I’ll ruin the suspense for future readers.

I haven’t read most of Mitchell’s work, but I’d imagine that this is probably the most accessible novel he’s written. Definitely more accessible than Cloud Atlas anyway. It helps that at under 7 hours, it's quite short. His character work is spot on. When you’re working with a series of novellas, you really need the characters to jump off the page and be fully dimensional from the start or else nobody will care about your book. These character are beautifully rendered and feel more real than some characters from other books that I spent the entire novel with. The structure of shorter stories with time gaps really works for this foray into horror. Each time jump ratchets up the tension just a little bit more. I really admire Mitchell in that he’s managed to create a novel that feels rich and expansive even though it’s so short. Super impressive, crazily fun.

The narrators were pretty good. I usually hate it when British narrators do American accents, but these narrators managed to do a few without making me cringe. It couldn't have been easy narrating this book since there are so many characters of different genders from different classes and locations. Judd and Rodrigues were both really versatile though, so it worked.
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- BookCult

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-27-2015
  • Publisher: Random House Audio