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 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 comes to 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 . . .
Plants died, milk curdled, and my children went slightly feral as I succumbed to the creepy magic of David Mitchell's Slade House. It's a wildly inventive, chilling, and - for all its other-worldiness - wonderfully human haunted house story. I plan to return to its clutches quite often. * Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl * Mitchell's most pleasurable book to date, which also features some of his finest writing * Jonathan Barnes, Literary Review * Irresistible * Hephzibah Anderson, Mail on Sunday * [Mitchell] seamlessly brings together his clashing parallel realities through wordplay so dazzling it seems to defy its own gravitational rules. * Claire Allfree, Metro * Genuinely good, genuinely scary. * Harry Ritchie, Daily Mail * A deliciously creepy story to be read for plot and for pleasure, with your heart racing, and your eyes involuntarily skipping forwards to find out what happens. * Claire Lowdon, Sunday Times * An elegant fright-fest of the highest order . . . Mitchell masterfully, humorously, combines the classic components of a scary story - old house, dark alley, missing persons - with a realism, when describing the lives of the victims, that is pacy, funny and true. * Melissa Katsoulis, The Times * Packed with heady ideas and pulsing with dark energy . . . both dazzlingly inventive and compulsively readable. * Malcolm Forbes, Financial Times * Chilling and dazzling . . . but the real skill of the book is in its emotional impact. Mitchell makes you care about each of the narrators * Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday * Manically ingenious . . . Each fresh product of Mitchell's soaring imagination functions as an echo chamber for both his previous ideas and his oeuvre to come * Liz Jensen, Guardian *
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