Slade House

slade houseAt the risk of sounding crotchety, I have to follow my post on being disappointed with follow-on books with yet another admission of underwhelm.

I loved David Mitchell’s excellent Booker-Prize-long-listed novel The Bone Clocks. I even read it a second time, which is rare for me. Mitchell wove the book’s bizarre world-building with exploration of major themes and geopolitical situations and a dash of dystopian future. It’s excellent–well written, thought-provoking, gripping–and I highly recommend it.

So naturally I jumped at Mitchell’s next work, Slade House, which is a series of vignettes related to the world of The Bone Clocks, and includes some character and event overlap.

I can but sigh. Unlike its predecessor, Slade House is mostly about the macabre elements of the world Mitchell invented, with none of the existential struggle or other points of interest. Reading the first book, I let the grosser aspects slide because they were used to highlight the struggle between good and evil in individual characters and overall.  There really isn’t any of that here. The characters don’t change much, and have none of the startling or conflicted nature that marked The Bone Clocks with such excellence.

Slade House isn’t a total loss–Mitchell is a gifted writer and the story moves quickly. However, especially when compared to his other work, I can’t really recommend it. Even if you were a fan of The Bone Clocks, you could skip Slade House without missing anything.

Although I was disappointed this time around, I’ll still keep David Mitchell on my list and hope for better things next time around!


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4 thoughts on “Slade House

  1. That’s disappointing to hear. Our book club read Bone Clocks last year and I loved it and was thinking of picking this one up. Have you read any of his earlier works? Cloud Atlas is, I think, the other one I hear recommended frequently.

    1. I´m afraid I have come into the conversation a tad late but if you´re still around to read this I would recommend Mitchell´s Cloud Atlas whole heartedly. Not only is it an astounding feat of literature (it jumps from genre to genre with ease and panache galore) but it is tremendously engrossing and written with style and bravado. I consider it among my ten favorite books of all time.


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