Mitchell is best known as the author of Cloud Atlas and last year’s The Bone Clocks. While Cloud Atlas remains a must-read for many enthusiasts (despite a horrible film adaptation) because of its ambitious scope, cleverness, and story, last year’s Bone Clocks read more like a facsimile of a Mitchell epic. It also left some wondering whether Mitchell had lost his way.
Fear not, because while Slade House is short (238 pages) and tightly focused, it is not the heaving disappointment that Bone Clocks was.
The novel gets its name from a mansion in downtown London belonging to soul-sucking immortal twins, Norah and Jonah. It can only be accessed by an alleyway entrance that opens every nine years to let in another victim. The attacks, five in total, make up the chapters. The victims are all people with something called “psychovoltage” and are put through a trippy elaborate ruse in the mansion before getting their souls sucked. It seems that in Mitchell’s mind, a soul is only tenderized and ready to be consumed once the person has truly been screwed with.
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