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Slade House

por David Mitchell

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Horologists (3)

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3,2572534,045 (3.77)1 / 283
Follows the narrative of five different people who disappear through a mysterious door in an unassuming alleyway that leads to Slade House, owned by a peculiar brother and sister, and vanish completely from the outside world. Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you'll find the entrance to Slade House: a surreal place where visitors see what they want to see, including some things that should be impossible. Every nine years, the house's residents--an odd brother and sister--extend a unique invitation to someone who's different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it's already too late.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente pormelmtp, JoeB1934, biblioteca privada, maryauch, poohslovebug, erinR, philcbull
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 One LibraryThing, One Book: Slade House: First Impressions36 não lido / 36jeshakespeare, Novembro 2015

» Ver também 283 menções

Inglês (243)  Holandês (3)  Catalão (1)  Italiano (1)  Chinês, tradicional (1)  Alemão (1)  Piratês (1)  Todas as línguas (251)
Mostrando 1-5 de 251 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This book is weird. I love the concept, and the characters all have compelling voices. The structure is what threw me, and I'm guessing it's a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing. This isn't so much a novel as a series of short stories that build on one another, which mostly works, but it makes the pacing feel janky. Mitchell also uses a massive info dump in the penultimate section to make sure you understand the ending, which killed the mystique for me right when I was getting drawn in.

From reading the other reviews, I think I might have liked it more if I were already familiar with Mitchell's other work? It's still worth a read, if you're feeling a bit adventurous. ( )
  dappywise | Dec 30, 2023 |
Fascinating hasted house story! ( )
  Suem330 | Dec 28, 2023 |
I enjoyed Bone Clocks but it was a little too superhero-esque for my taste. This one, which includes or alludes to some of the same characters, doesn't have that comic-book quality but has more of a vampire/fantasy vibe, so if that's your jam, you'll love this. Well-written because it's David GD Mitchell! Started as a twitter feed, which is interesting because he could control the pace and timing of his text's release. UK readers waited each day for updates and he timed the feeds to occur during evening commute hours. He's a cool dude but Cloud Atlas and Jacob de Zoet are still my favorites. ( )
  RachelGMB | Dec 27, 2023 |
this one, about immortality and ghosts and of course time, is just okay. seemed a bit on the shallow side for Mitchell, but i've never been big on paranormal plots, so YMMD. nevertheless i confess that i was most excited when a couple of indelible characters from The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet emerged briefly from another time, because i love his tendency to fold in recurring characters. ( )
  macha | Oct 28, 2023 |
Helpful if you have Bone Clocks first, but not essential. Quick read, unlike his last two books. ( )
  Maryjane75 | Sep 30, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 251 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
“Tonight feels like a board game co-designed by MC Escher on a bender and Stephen King in a fever,” observes a spooked member of a university’s paranormal society in David Mitchell’s manically ingenious new novel, Slade House. It’s hard not to read the assessment as the author’s compressed verdict on his own Halloween-timed offering, but the book is much more besides.

Each fresh product of Mitchell’s soaring imagination functions as an echo chamber for both his previous ideas and his oeuvre to come, components in the grand project he calls his “uber-novel”. But while entire doctoral theses, complete with Venn diagrams, are being written about Mitchellian intertextuality, readers anticipating the heft of his earlier multi-narratives Ghostwritten, Cloud Atlas and most recently The Bone Clocks can step off the ghost train right here.

If this faux-scary, read-in-one-sitting crowd-pleaser has a single mission, it is to enjoy itself. Think The Bone Clocks’s naughty little sister in a fright wig, brandishing a sparkler, yelling “Boo!” – and highlighting an element of Mitchell’s talent that has been present but underexploited from the beginning of the writer’s award-studded career: a rich seam of comedy.

Only one year has elapsed since The Bone Clocks was published. The fact that Slade House germinated from a Twitter short story and blossomed into a work of just over 200 pages with such speed is evidence that time flies when you’re having a good time in a Wonderland of your own creation. Down Mitchell’s rabbit hole, the warren’s Supernatural Wing has expanded.

The good-versus-evil spirit war enacted in The Bone Clocks was its most overwrought and frustrating element, but there have always been ghosts in the Mitchell machine. Now, in a fresh riff on an old theme, the writer parodies his phantoms. Faustian pacts, shape-shifters, “psychovoltage”, soul-theft, reality bubbles, a liquid called banjax (a name almost as cheesy as Avatar’s Unobtanium), and characters who say, “I’d lay off the particle physics, doc, if I were you”: they’re all at the fun house party, flexing their similes and tooting their paper whistles.

While time separates the novel’s five stories, set at nine-year intervals from 1979 to the present day, place unites them. It is to Slade House, accessed via a tiny iron door in an alley, that twin soul-vampires Norah and Jonah Grayer lure their living prey. Will the deftly sketched characters we come so swiftly to care about, sometimes despite ourselves, ever emerge from the Tardis-like space they innocently enter?

“Our scoutmaster told me to get lost, so I did, and it took the Snowdonia mountain rescue service two days to find my shelter,” declares Nathan Bishop, 13 years old, and clearly on the autistic spectrum. He and his mother have been invited to a musical soiree at Slade House. Is the Valium he popped to blame for his hallucinations there, or is something more chilling at work?

Fast-forward to 1988, where sleazy, racist CID man Gordon Edmonds is researching a lead on the Bishops’ unexplained disappearance and romancing a fragrant widow. Nine years later, students from a Paranormal Society field trip enter the equation and, to add more grit to the Vaseline, as the now-vanished Edmonds would phrase it, they become fatally imperilled too. In 2006, the sister of one of them circles the same drain.

As the novellas merge and climax in the present day with the re-emergence of a key character from Mitchell’s back catalogue, familiar shadows – from Harry Potter, Tom’s Midnight Garden, The Matrix, Les Enfants Terribles, The Truman Show, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, The Turn of the Screw and The Rocky Horror Picture Show – dance on the wall. To re cast one of Nathan Bishop’s observations: if I had 50p for every cultural nod, wink and meta-reference I’d have to get out my calculator.

“When something is two-dimensional and hackneyed, this is how to fix it: identify an improbable opposite and mix it, implausibly, into the brew,” Mitchell once told the Paris Review. Vending-machine horror tropes, believable characters, wild farce, existential jeopardy, meta-fictional jokes: into the cauldron they go. Mitchell is at home in this kitchen. Along with the movie industry, he knows that playing goosebumps for laughs is a winning formula. Horror says aloud what religious doctrine often prefers to sidestep: if you believe in cosmic good, you cannot ignore the notion of cosmic evil. Supplement fear with hilarity, and the unbearable becomes bearable. In the gathering darkness, David Mitchell’s illuminated pumpkin lamp is smiling a huge, crazed smile.
adicionada por browner56 | editarThe Guardian, Liz Jensen (Oct 29, 2015)
 
David Mitchell’s novels are flecked with meaningful coincidences, to borrow Carl Jung’s description of synchronicity. Characters recur from one of his books to the next. So do images and ideas.

Mr. Mitchell’s best-known and most ambitious novel is “Cloud Atlas” (2004), a suite of interfolded novellas that skip purposefully between eras and temperaments. It seemed, in that novel, that there was nothing this writer could not do. Intellect, feeling, narrative brawn — his kit bag opened and both the Johnstown flood and a rescue skiff poured out.

His most recent novel, “The Bone Clocks” (2014), was nearly as ambitious but felt like a misfire. His gifts were put in service of a plot — there were psychic powers, creepy villains, an epic showdown between good and evil — that felt soft and formulaic.

This was a pastiche of second-rate fantasy fiction that actually read, quite often, like second-rate fantasy fiction. Mr. Mitchell’s intertextual gamesmanship — the recurring characters and so on — began to seem, as a friend said to me, “less like Yoknapatawpha and more like Marvel.”

Mr. Mitchell’s slim new novel, “Slade House,” is a sequel of sorts to “The Bone Clocks,” although it’s closer to being a sly footnote. It first came to life as a short story, “The Right Sort,” which the author published in 140-character snippets on Twitter. It’s grown into something more.

On a macro level, “Slade House” plunges us again into a battle between two blocs of immortals. One group consists of soul vampires; humans must die for them to live. The other is vastly more pleasant.

On a micro level, this can make for malevolent fun. A pair of immortal twins, Jonah and Norah, occupy — or appear to occupy — a grand old pile in downtown London, accessible only through a small metal door in an alleyway. It opens very rarely, and when it does, it admits a victim.

Once they’ve found an acceptable soul to suck, the twins share it as if it were a milkshake into which two straws have been sunk. We’re given tasting notes. “A sprinkle of last-minute despair,” Jonah comments, “gives a soul an agreeably earthy aftertaste.”

After killing and inhaling the soul of a loutish cop, “The twins gasp and let out soft groans like junkies shooting up when the drug hits the bloodstream.” By the time the officer saw something, it was too late to say anything.

“Slade House” is told in five chapters, spaced nine years apart. The first takes place in 1979, the last in 2015. In each chapter, a victim enters the compound. Muggles will not do. The twins need “engifted” humans with potent “psychovoltage.”
Mr. Mitchell tips this book into some dark corners. One character is made to viscerally understand how suffering is much worse if someone you love disappears rather than simply dies.

“Grief is an amputation,” this woman says, “but hope is incurable hemophilia: You bleed and bleed and bleed. Like Schrödinger’s cat inside a box you can never ever open.”

Mr. Mitchell remains a fluent and, when he wishes to be, witty writer. It is hard to disapprove of a novel in which one of the most likable characters is a young woman named Sally Timms, clearly in homage to a lead singer in the venerable British punk band the Mekons.

As this book moves deeper into the fripperies of its ghost story, Mr. Mitchell is savvy enough to have his characters, every so often, blow raspberries at the expense of all the solemnity. “This is all sounding a bit ‘Da Vinci Code’ for me,” one says. And: “What I see is the wackometer needle climbing.”

Alas, the wackometer needle does climb. Characters deliver big chunks of artless exposition so readers can keep up with metaphysical nuances. The dialogue often has a Lovecraft-meets-Hardy Boys flavor: “Something bad’s happening in this house, Sal. We need to get out.”

“Slade House” is Mr. Mitchell’s shortest and most accessible novel to date, and you don’t have to have read “The Bone Clocks” to comprehend it. Readers who come to this book first, however, will get only a slivery glimpse of this writer’s talent. Our seats are the intellectual version of “obstructed view,” as cheap theater tickets sometimes say.

The biggest drawback of “Slade House” might that it simply isn’t very scary. These characters aren’t alive enough for us to fear for them when they’re in peril. With the possible exception of Sally Timms, we’re not invested in them.

As it happens, I read this novel alone and mostly at night in a fairly remote cabin in upstate New York. There’s no cellphone reception here.

I’m as susceptible to scary stories as the next person. After seeing “The Blair Witch Project,” I wouldn’t go on my back porch alone at night, even to smoke, for two months. But “Slade House” slid right off me, even as the wind howled outside.

In “Cloud Atlas,” Mr. Mitchell wrote: “Power, time, gravity, love. The forces that really kick ass are all invisible.” Fear belongs on that list, too.
adicionada por browner56 | editarNew York Times, Dwight Garner (Oct 22, 2015)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (7 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
David Mitchellautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Bagnoli, KatiaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Oldenburg, VolkerÜbersetzerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Whatever Mum's saying's drowned out by the grimy roar of the bus pulling away, revealing a pub called The Fox and Hounds. The sign shows three beagles cornering a fox. They're about to pounce and rip it apart. A street sign underneath says WESTWOOD ROAD. Lords and ladies are supposed to be rich, so I was expecting swimming pools and Lamborghinis, but Westwood Road looks pretty normal to me. Normal brick houses, detached or semidetached, with little front gardens and normal cars. The damp sky's the color of old hankies. Seven magpies fly by. Seven's good. Mum's face is inches away from mine, though I'm not sure if that's an angry face or a worried one. "Nathan? Are you even listening?" Mum's wearing makeup today. That shade of lipstick's alled Morning Lila but it smells more like Pritt Stik and lilacs. Mum's face hasn't gone away, so I say, "What?" -The Right Sort, 1979
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Grief is an amputation, but hope is incurable haemophilia: you bleed and bleed and bleed. (p. 142)
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Think about it: about the squalid, shitty reasons that people murder each other in large numbers now. Oil; the drug trade; control over occupied territories and the word 'occupied'. Water. God's true name, His true will, who owns access to Him. The astonishing belief that Iraq can be turned into Sweden by deposing its dictator and smashing the place up a bit. (p. 172)
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Follows the narrative of five different people who disappear through a mysterious door in an unassuming alleyway that leads to Slade House, owned by a peculiar brother and sister, and vanish completely from the outside world. Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you'll find the entrance to Slade House: a surreal place where visitors see what they want to see, including some things that should be impossible. Every nine years, the house's residents--an odd brother and sister--extend a unique invitation to someone who's different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it's already too late.

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