Slade House: For those who've finished reading

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Slade House: For those who've finished reading

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1LynnB
okt 31, 2015, 8:26am

I've finished Slade House and am starting this thread so we can discuss the book. SPOILERS ALLOWED.

I liked it...which is saying a lot because I usually dislike ghost stories. Don't even care for magical realism. So, what did I like:

--the characters were sufficiently well-developed that I could care about them, even when they were only present for a short time in the story.

--the ending was imaginative and I didn't see it coming

--well written and very imaginative

2DoctorDebt
nov 1, 2015, 2:15pm

My copy arrived on Friday, and I sat down and read it all the way through this afternoon. I spent the month leading up to Halloween reading a lot of ghost stories, and was not particularly looking forward to another one. I have to say, between than and never having read anything by David Mitchell before, I was pleasantly surprised.

Echoing LynnB, I liked the characters. Although most of them weren't around for long, I was invested in them - even though I knew what was coming once I picked up on the book's rhythm.

Speaking of the rhythm, I expected the rule of three to come into play by the time I'd gotten through the first two sections. It did - but not in the was I was expecting. For me at least, the similar arcs shared by the first three sections gave the events a feeling of inevitability. It also helped to REALLY set off the fourth section for me, especially when Freya checks her text messages and starts to realize what's going on.

I found the end to be a surprise also. Mitchell handled it really well. It could easily have felt like a deux ex machina, however there was just enough foreshadowing for it to fit nicely but not too much to give the end away. I think I'm going to have to pick a few more of David Mitchell's books to put on my reading list.

3-Eva-
nov 7, 2015, 7:01pm

I'm not a fan or "ghost" stories either, but this one had enough of other fantasy aspects to make me happy. I wasn't overly enamored with the ending as I thought it was a little "easy" considering what had come before - I wish the "soul vampire" had been a little harder to defeat. The characters and the universe were very appealing, though, and Mitchell's style and voice will make me go find other novels of his. I got a copy of Cloud Atlas from a coworker and I'll have to push that one further up to to-read list.

4Marcial87
nov 7, 2015, 10:41pm

I spent the second half of October book-reading looking to get in a Halloween mood. Roz Chast was a lot scarier than King or Koontz. I wish they would have timed Slade House's debut a week or two earlier- it's a perfect Halloween book- atmospheric, well written, fun. I'm looking forward to reading more David Mitchell now. There was some grousing in this group about choosing a book available only in hardback- I invariably wait till it's available in paperback, so I certainly get the reason for that. It is fun though, to know what the buzz is all about and in this care to agree that it merits the attention. It's also great to see the references to technology and culture feel up to date in the last chapter, and to recognize the references in the earlier chapters. I'll be more inclined to get more newly published books now- until I buy a dud at full hardback price.

5LynnB
nov 8, 2015, 8:35am

LT is great for avoiding duds. No matter how early I buy a book, it seems others have posted comments on it here, which I use as a guide.

6jonathankws
nov 8, 2015, 2:11pm

I really liked it. I was reading The Bone Clocks in hardback so was only ever reading it at home (I a commuting reader!) so it took me ages to read - in comparison I read Slade House in a couple of days (a handy enough hardback to read on the train!).

I enjoyed being back in the same world as The Bone Clocks and at the same time very happy that no insider knowledge was required because I'm hopeless at remembering the plots of books!

7munro
nov 8, 2015, 9:33pm

I was super excited for a new David Mitchell so soon after The Bone Clocks; Slade House was slight but fun. I did feel like I was better off having read The Bone Clocks first although the whole soul sucker biz was explained for newcomers. So now I'm reading Ghostwritten again...curious to see if any characters from that book have turned up in Mitchell's later books.

8lorannen
nov 9, 2015, 10:30am

Thanks for getting this thread started! Looks like I'll need to get a jump on this sort of open thread earlier than the start-of-discussion date next time around.

I'm so glad to hear you guys enjoyed it. I'm kicking off staff discussion Qs at 12pm Eastern today, and will post to this thread again once they're up!

9lorannen
nov 9, 2015, 12:01pm

All righty! Our first question threads are open!

Head back to the group page to view them all. Members are also welcome to start their own topics with other questions now, too!

10redcrowstudio
Redigeret: nov 9, 2015, 12:26pm

I finished the book last week, and like the other Mitchell novels I've read, I really enjoyed it. Its a nice follow up or even lead into The Bone Clocks, and I especially liked meeting Marinus again (for the third time? I don't remember if he made an appearance before the Thousand Autumns). For those who missed it, Mitchell did a story on twitter that directly leads into the final section of Slade House. I recommend everyone go to the twitter account, go back to the beginning in September and read the whole thing: https://twitter.com/I_Bombadil.

BTW: congratulations to Mitchell for winning the World Fantasy Award for the Bone Clocks over the weekend!

11Menagerie
nov 9, 2015, 5:45pm

I must be in the minority because I did not care for this book. I found it repetitive and boring. I wanted more variation in what happened between each of the new chosen ones. I also thought that the ending seemed contrived. I had high hopes for this but was really disappointed.

12amanda4242
nov 9, 2015, 7:57pm

>11 Menagerie: I didn't think it was great either. I've never read Bone Clocks, so for me it was just a book that recycled a bunch of stuff I've seen in countless horror stories. Not awful, but not impressive.

13dianeham
Redigeret: nov 11, 2015, 3:11am

I didn't care for it either. I didn't like Cloud Atlas either so I think he just is not a fit for me.

14LynnB
nov 11, 2015, 8:39am

I rarely read this kind of book, so the repetitiveness of the story didn't bother me...the whole idea was new enough to hold my sense of surprise/suspense. But I can see what you are saying. Typical rule of three (ever since Goldilocks, stories seem to go in threes); then something changes...

15TheoClarke
nov 27, 2015, 4:56am

Mitchell is one of my very favourite authors but this was a disappointment. Because there is none of the narrators understand the nature of the house (or, rather, its occupants), and the nature of such fantasy makes it difficult to show the things that a reader cannot deduce, the antagonists have to tell each other things that they already know. I will tolerate this in populist TV drama but I expect more sophistication from Mitchell. That said, I still love his language and the premise.

16kristilabrie
nov 30, 2015, 5:09pm

Interesting, I see what you mean TheoClarke. I had sort of noticed that but didn't take it to mind too much, I read it so quickly! This was my first Mitchell novel, though I've been itching to read Cloud Atlas for some time. Do you have any suggestions on what I should read by Mitchell?

17avanders
nov 30, 2015, 5:23pm

Oh I just loved it. I also ready it very quickly (well, in two sittings).. I loved the uncertainty of it all and I actually really appreciated that I couldn't figure it out myself... but that really depends on the book/author. Sometimes that is infuriating and, in my opinion, a sign of bad writing. In this case, for me, it was just the right amount of uncertainty. Like, I of course knew certain things that were going to happen -- so-and-so's was going to be eaten by the end of the chapter -- and others that I couldn't guess -- is all the extra "ghost" discussion going to play out in a rewarding way? Is the weapon really a usable weapon? What form will the orison next take? When will I realize we're already in one?

18TheoClarke
dec 1, 2015, 7:55am

>16 kristilabrie: If you liked Slade House then The Bone Clocks has to be your next port of call. Thereafter, I would recommend either The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet or Cloud Atlas. The former is more accessible but is closer to historical fiction than the sf flavour of Cloud Atlas.

19kristilabrie
dec 1, 2015, 10:45am

>18 TheoClarke: wonderful, thanks for the recs! :)

20Ling.Lass
dec 3, 2015, 7:51pm

>10 redcrowstudio: Thanks for the lead to the Bombadil story on Twitter!

21gypsysmom
dec 12, 2015, 4:43pm

Once I got my copy from my library it didn't take very long to read this book. It did feel lighter than Cloud Atlas which is the other book by this author that I have read but I still enjoyed it. I noticed that my copy was categorized as Literary/Ghost but I'm not really sure I would call it a ghost story. I know the twins refer to the former soul providers as ghosts but to me they seemed more like leftovers from the soul sucking. I'm really going to have to read The Bone Clocks soon I can tell. It took me ages to get around to reading Cloud Atlas but once I did I was a fan of Mitchell.

22LucindaLibri
dec 18, 2015, 11:17am

Finally got my copy from the library a couple of weeks ago. Just finished the book this morning. I don't usually read horror or thrillers, but during October I got obsessed with Carmilla (the old vampire story and the recent online webseries about college-aged lesbian vampires :), so I gave this a try. I did enjoy the structure . . . I read a hard copy so early on looked for the chapter breaks and saw the 9 year cycles. I was not at all surprised by the last section . . . but was glad by how things wrapped up . . . or did they??? (insert spooky haunting Halloween sounds here). I also enjoyed the characters and once I got into it I read it fairly quickly.

Not sure it will make me read any other David Mitchell, though I think I have a copy of Cloud Atlas on a hand-me-down kindle (and I enjoyed the movie), so maybe some day. I definitely didn't feel this was the type of book I would want to run out on the day it is published and purchase . . . which timely participation in this book discussion would have required. So, good Halloween choice, but it would have been a better choice for next year when it would be in paperback and/or more readily available.

23LucindaLibri
dec 18, 2015, 1:22pm

I forgot to mention that I liked all the music references in the book, but in the party section that had the most music references I didn't recognize any of the songs or artists, so wasn't sure if they were made up (and didn't have a chance to check online before I had to return the book to the library). Does anyone know if there's a youtube playlist or anything collecting the music refs from the book? (I've seen that with other books with musical references.) Thanks!