Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Book Review | Slade House by David Mitchell
"Turn down Slade Alley - narrow, dank and easy to miss, even when you're looking for it. Find the small black iron door set into the right-hand wall. No handle, no keyhole, but at your touch it swings open. Enter the sunlit garden of an old house that doesn't quite make sense; too grand for the shabby neighbourhood, too large for the space it occupies.
A stranger greets you by name and invites you inside. At first, you won't want to leave. Later, you'll find that you can't."
This is the first David Mitchell book I have read, and I probably wouldn't have read it if it wasn't on NetGalley because, for some reason, I don't tend to purchase horror books. I love them so much, I just don't tend to reach for them. Who knows why. Nevertheless, I had heard wonderful things about this author so decided to give it a go. And boy am I glad I did.
It's written wonderfully. This book was so easy to read, it was almost as if the pages were turning themselves. Spooky thought, given the story ;) Seriously, though, Mitchell has a way with words that just seems to flow beautifully. Nothing about his writing is smug or pretentious, and despite being incredibly detailed it isn't overly verbose. Every single word or every single sentence has a point within this book. Nothing is there just to fill the pages, it's all so precise and cleverly thought out.
The characters. Well you don't see much of any of the characters. This is a book that revolves around a variety of characters, none of which has a long part in the book. It is more about the plot and the mystery, and the house, than the characters themselves so obviously there wasn't much character development. And yet each character is only in a few short pages and I managed to feel for each and every one of them. It's a strange feeling, feeling for a character you literally only meet for 5 pages of the book... Who knows how he does it. Magic, I tell you.
Plot wise, this book is incredible. It's unique, it's thrilling, it's mysterious and I could not wait to find out what happened next. In fact, this book was so wonderful that I have since bought The Bone Clocks because I want to be in this same world again. I could not wait to read on, and I finished this book in literally a few hours. Obviously this is due in part to it being a short story, but mostly because the plot was unique and interesting, and truly kept me on the edge of my seat. Absolutely wonderful.
An easy 5/5 stars. Well done, David Mitchell, you've found your newest fan.