Slade House, by David Mitchell. Book report #8 (2018)

Slade House, by David Mitchell. Pub 2015

Another author recommendation from a the newly-found kindred literary spirit, I chose this book at random from the several available. I deliberately did NOT choose Cloud Atlas as I’ve made several failed attempts to start that very long book and wanted something I could finish (hopefully) in a timely manner. I chose wisely.

Although related to an earlier book (The Bone Clocks) this book stands on its own and is an engaging page-turner of a quasi-ghost story. The entire mythology of the ghouls at the centre of the stories here (there are five stories, separate but consecutive) was completely new to me, and highly intriguing. Although horrific, there is no gore involved in the various murders that take place, just a gothic darkness in the midst of a modern day English city (never named, the city is within the region of the Thames Valley Police). As the stories progress, you learn more and more about the mysterious ways of the protagonists, and can sense but not see the next steps as the story unfolds. The main characters disguise themselves in the various stories, and part of the mystery becomes trying to guess where they are in the current story.

This novel is sometimes classified as fantasy, given the separate reality occupied by the main characters and their approach to immortality. One might call it science fiction but for the mysticism involved. Or it could also be classed as horror, but of the less ghastly kind than Stephen King. However you like your ghost stories, this is a great take on the spooky tale and highly recommended. Like with the previous recommendation from this friend, I’ll be returning to David Mitchell, after working through a few more from the booklist for the year.

1. A book featuring a murder
17. A book with a place name in the title (albeit fictional)
24. A book written by someone younger than you
26. A book by an author whom you’ve never read

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