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Literature / Slade House

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Keep your eyes peeled for a small black iron door.

"'Sentenced,' you say? As if you'd willingly swap your metalife for a bone clock's snatched, wasted, tawdry handful of decades!"
Norah Grayer

Slade House is a horror mystery novel written by David Mitchell, published in 2015. It describes the exploits of five different individuals who enters the Slade House: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy university student, a sister to that college student and one of the mysterious twins.

It can get really complicated and nightmarish for a novel that is under 200 pages, unlike Mitchell's previous works. It also deconstructs the haunted house genre. Thankfully the plot becomes clearer as the story proceeds.


This book contains example of:

  • Anyone Can Die: Each of the main characters of the first 4 sections end up killed by the twins, and in the case of the former 3, their souls are devoured by the twins to maintain their immortality.
  • Continuity Nod: As with all of David Mitchell’s novels, Slade House contains references to his other works; be they people, places or events.
    • The primary antagonists of the story are soul carnivores, people who learned dark arts in order to subsist on the souls of people with psychic gifts in order to maintain their youth. Soul carnivores are first introduced in The Bone Clocks.
    • A vision of Mrs. Bishop presented to Inspector Edmonds mentions that she has dreamed of being carried away to Zedelghem by the composer Vyvyan Ayrs, a direct reference to Cloud Atlas.
    • Sally’s crush mentions that his mother transcribed the Crispin Hershey novel Desiccated Embryos. Hershey is a main character in Literature/The Bone Clocks.
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    • Sally’s friend Fern tells her that her brother committed suicide driving an Aston Martin off a cliff, a plot point in the character Hugo’s story in The Bone Clocks.
    • Sally wears a jacket designed by Zizzi Hikaru. Zizzi Hikaru is mentioned in other contexts in Number 9 Dream and Cloud Atlas.
    • Sally’s sister Freya works for Spyglass Magazine, a publication that Luisa Rey works for in Cloud Atlas and Ed Brubeck works for in The Bone Clocks.
    • Sally’s sister Freya works for Spyglass Magazine, a publication that Luisa Rey works for in Cloud Atlas and Ed Brubeck works for in The Bone Clocks.
    • An Enomoto Sensei is mentioned by Norah, a relative of one of the antagonists in The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
    • Doctor Iris Marinus-Fenby is the Horologist generally known as Marinus, a primary character in The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and The Bone Clocks.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Jonah Grayer is an unrepentant murderer who kills numerous people to maintain his immortality, but his sister loves him and is saddened that she failed to protect him after he dies.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Norah Grayer may be a murderer who kills people for immortality, but she genuinely loves Jonah and is grief-stricken when he dies.
  • Mind Screw: At times, you can’t tell what is real and what is not. Others, like all the historical-backstory in Freya’s story.
  • Shout-Out: One of the character wore a Dark Side of the Moon t-shirt.