At 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.
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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