Another piece of the puzzle
released 27 October 233 pages | Hardback
Author David Mitchell
David Mitchell is nothing if not ambitious. In an interview with Vulture last year, he described his novels – of which this is the seventh – as “chapters in an über- book”. All those little connections across time and space that made Cloud Atlas such an endlessly rewarding puzzle can be found, it turns out, across Mitchell’s whole oeuvre. Characters from one book cameo in another; ancestors and descendants can be traced from story to story. These aren’t just grace notes; this is a single, mindboggling world.
Slade House links most obviously to last year’s The Bone Clocks, but it’s a very different beast. There are shades, here, of Iain M Banks’s Inversions: a highly engaging tale in its own right, with occasional weird bits that make more sense if you know the wider universe. Read on its own, this is a deliciously creepy page- turning mystery: a series of atmospheric linked novellas about a spooky bigger- on- the- inside house, marred only by some clunky moments in which the villains discuss their plans. Mitchell’s gift for characterisation shines through, making everyone vivid even when we only spend 30 pages in their company. The perfect short Halloween read, with extra rewards for Mitchell fans. Nic Clarke
The starting point for Slade House was Mitchell’s 280- tweet story “The Right Sort”: http:// bit. ly/ righttweets.