‘Slade House’ by David Mitchell

The more I read, the more I become acquainted with my intellectual shortcomings. Believe me, there are many, but one thing that really bugs me is the fact that I have a hard time recalling plots to stories once I have finished consuming them. This isn’t exclusive to books — I still can’t tell you the ending of half the movies I watched for the 2010 BJs. And that was less than a month ago!

With Slade House I’m told that this is some sort of sequel to David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, and it automatically causes me to roll my eyes not out of disgust but of being forced to hash up the plot of a book I read a year ago. I do remember a fully enjoyable book that was engrossing right up until the very end which was a sort of cop out. I do remember wannabe immortals feeding upon the souls of a special sorts of mortals to feed their immortality. And the Alps.

But Slade House isn’t a sequel at all. It’s a stand-alone story that unfortunately was not as engrossing as The Bone Clocks. Told in vignettes as twin wannabe immortals begin their soulsucking, each vignette nine years apart, it made it difficult to fully dive into the story. Once one story ends, you have to begin the process all over again and so on and so forth.

Unlike The Bone Clocks, the ending is more satisfying. While it does end with a bit of cliffhanger, it doesn’t feel as cheap and rushed. However my interest flagged in the middle parts, by the end I was completely hooked and going where Mitchell wanted to take me. Where he led, I followed.

The Slade House is a tiny book — at 6 inches by 7 1/2 inches it’s physically smaller that most books and is only 238 pages long. While I anticipated it taking a day to read, I spent parts of three days getting through it. Again, probably my shortcoming more than anything.