Monday, February 27, 2017

"Slade House" by David Mitchell

By my quick count, this is my fifth David Mitchell book. It's a bit surprising I've read this many since I'm often not especially attached to particular authors. But Mitchell's always combined strong storytelling with unusual structure and character voice, which is right up my alley, so it's easy to return to his novels.

Slade House is perhaps one of his weaker offerings, though that doesn't mean the novel was not enjoyable. I didn't realize going in (and perhaps that was intentional) that the book is a sort-of companion book for Bone Clocks, which I read last year. At first I just though Mitchell was just making sly "aren't you an observant reader?" kind of references to his earlier work until a major character from Bone Clocks reappears for the last chapter.

Slade House is a somewhat typical haunted house story, with the only real twist being the reappearance of the Bone Clocks character. That it treads somewhat familiar ground isn't inherently a fault, however, as Mitchell still makes the evil villains and their entrapment menacing. Like with other books, Mitchell relies on changing narrators over a period of years, including a young autistic boy, an arrogant police detective, and a smitten college girl. Though the characters are distinct, the chapters don't feel especially different (unlike, say, in Cloud Atlas), mostly because the characters similarly fall for the villains' trap each time.

However, it was a quick and fun enough read for David Mitchell fans.

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