Every nine years, when the conditions are just right, the entrance to Slade House can be found. You’ll be invited in and you’ll be so glad. Tickled to be included. You won’t want to leave. And soon you’ll find out that you never will….
Slade House by David Mitchell is a classic paranormal, ghost story with a twist. I picked this one up on a spur-of-the-moment trip to my local library to add to my Halloween reading pile.
The story is written very differently. It is laid out like series of short stories. Spanning five decades, each chapter tells the story of how each person (a mother and son, move on to a police detective, college students, a journalist and a psychologist) arrived at Slade House and their encounter with Jonah and Norah, the telepathic twins. The people never come out alive. As the disappearances continue, the story becomes that of an urban legend, so naturally, some people start exploring and more people are drawn to Slade House. A different character narrates each chapter and the story is weaved together with some connecting force in each one.
I found the novel, overall, to be quite eerie, but I didn’t think it fit into a “horror” genre. It is absolutely a paranormal fantasy story. I found that it read quite juvenile. Almost like a Goosebumps story or a story I would have seen on Are You Afraid of the Dark. I did appreciate the consistency of the stories, each one begins with the invitation, the story develops and then they end with the disappearance.
My favourite chapter or section of the book ended up being Chapter 3, entitled “Oink, Oink”, that follows a group of college students from a Paranormal Society as they try and find this house that is now an urban legend. I felt like this one was the most creepy and it is one of the first chapters where we get some actual information of what could be going on at Slade House.
I found that this novel was a little hard to get a full grasp on. The novel was short in itself, and then the narration- being like short stories, didn’t allow me to connect to any of the characters fully. Upon some further research, I found out that this novel was actually a companion to another of Mitchell’s work called The Bone Clock. Perhaps if I read this novel first, I would have liked this one better. There is also an abundance of language that is associated with the paranormal and the occult; I had to cross-reference and look up these terms as I was reading them so I could understand.
If you are a fan of the paranormal and love classic ghost stories, then I think this one would be something you’d enjoy. However, if you are looking to be scared, I would skip this one. I think you’ll be disappointed.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK? Bottomline? If you are an aficionado of the paranormal genre, then you’ll probably enjoy this one. Otherwise, I’d skip it.