by David Mitchell

To be published on 27th October 2015

sladeThis feels like a true stylistic departure for David Mitchell, moving into Gaimanesque territory with this slim volume (by DM’s standards, certainly) – a creepy paranormal horror; 5 stories about a pair of twins locked in time and stealing souls with a dash of a murder mystery thrown in for good measure. I am hard-wired to love everything about this (I wrote a book on very similar themes myself, full of similar imagery, right down to the wind-blown leaves on the chequer-board floor) and I did enjoy it enormously. I can’t say it’s my favourite David Mitchell, nothing like; it is a much more straightforward piece of storytelling than his usual work; it lacks the endless layers, the breathtaking imagery, the thick, chewy, nougatty linguistic density I generally associate with David Mitchell’s writing.
– Which is fair enough, of course, for this is not the new novel I’ve been looking for but a series of short stories based on a tale told on Twitter and set in The Bone Clocks universe (a book which, I’m extremely sorry to say, I still haven’t read. One of the disadvantages of getting so many books to review is, you rarely get the time to read the books you really, really want to read). I’m sure Slade House is a more satisfying experience if you have read TBC; there is only one point in the book (and it’s right at the end) where I felt I would have been a little less confused had I read them in the right order, but it wasn’t a biggie; Slade House stands alone quite comfortably and it is a terrifically compelling and absorbing tale that makes me even more anxious to make time to read The Bone Clocks.