Another piece of the puz­zle

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased 27 Oc­to­ber 233 pages | Hard­back

Au­thor David Mitchell

Pub­lisher Scep­tre

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.

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