Slade House

SHDavid Mitchell

First Sentence:     Whatever Mum’s saying’s drowned out by the grimy roar of the bus pulling away, revealing a pub called The Fox and Hounds.

Back of the book:

Born out of the short story David Mitchell published on Twitter in 2014 and inhabiting the same universe as his latest bestselling novel The Bone Clocks, this is the perfect book to curl up with on a dark and stormy night.

Turn down Slade Alley – narrow, dank and easy to miss, even when you’re looking for it. Find the small black iron door set into the right-hand wall. No handle, no keyhole, but at your touch it swings open. Enter the sunlit garden of an old house that doesn’t quite make sense; too grand for the shabby neighbourhood, too large for the space it occupies.

A stranger greets you by name and invites you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t.

This unnerving, taut and intricately woven tale by one of our most original and bewitching writers begins in 1979 and reaches its turbulent conclusion around Hallowe’en, 2015. Because every nine years, on the last Saturday of October, a ‘guest’ is summoned to Slade House. But why has that person been chosen, by whom and for what purpose? The answers lie waiting in the long attic, at the top of the stairs…

Quote from the book:

“Mrs. Todds my English teacher gives an automatic F if anyone ever writes ‘I woke up and it was all a dream’ at the end of a story. She says it violates the deal between reader and writer, that it’s a cop out, it’s the Boy Who Cried Wolf. But every single morning we really do wake up and it really was all a dream.”

* * * *

Last Sentence:     I transverse down with the ponderous snow, the living snow, the eternal snow; undetected, I pass through the mother’s coat, her underclothes, her skin, her uterus wall; and I’m home again, my new, warm home, my anchorage; immune to the Dusk and safe in the brain of a foetal boy, this miniature, drowsing, curled-up, dreaming, thumb-sucking astronaut.