Slade House

Publisher: Vintage Canada
A headlong adrenaline-rush of a new novel from one of our most beloved and original writers: Slade House, which has its origins in Mitchell's famously Twitter-released short story, is his most entertaining and accessible novel yet. A cycle of linked ghost stories perfect for any dark and stormy night.

An ordinary road in a town like yours: bus routes and red-brick houses. A dank narrow alley, easy to miss, even when you're looking for it. A small black metal door set into the wall: no handle, no keyhole, but at your touch it opens onto a sunlit garden, sloping up to a house that doesn't quite make sense. . . . Go through, and the door closes discreetly behind you. In David Mitchell's exhilarating new novel, five "guests" separated by nine years enter Slade House for a brief visit--only to vanish without trace from the outside world. Who draws them to the heart of Slade House, and why is the house missing from maps? Beginning in 1979 and ending in 2015, these five interlacing narratives will enchant Mitchell's readers, old and new, with a signature blend of mystery, realism, and the supernatural.


Longlisted for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award

“This compulsively readable, immersive novel is many things, but is mainly another brick in David Mitchell’s wall. . . . Mitchell is a detail obsessive, the mark of a storyteller, literary or genre.” —Brian Bethune, Maclean’s

“Another genre-bending rush from the writer who does it best. Mitchell tackles gothic horror in his latest, where an old haunted house is the link between a cycle of fearful short stories that span decades.” —National Post (Best Book) 

“[A]n example of contemporary Gothic literature. . . . Mitchell works hard to make his fictional world coherent and logical. . . . This is a work which leaves a powerful trace of feeling in its wake, a chilling story that makes our ordinary human environment seem sinister.” —Philip Marchand, National Post 

“This addictive thriller will make you hesitate the next time an acquaintance invites you over. Haunted houses have nothing on this warped alleyway.” —ELLE Canada

“A fresh twist on the haunted house genre.” —
Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today

“With its images of summer gardens and aristocratic decline, Slade House draws on the tradition of classic ghost stories that runs back through M.R. James to Henry James and others, yet as always with Mitchell, it is also able to be read as part of the larger tapestry formed by his increasingly interconnected body of work. . . . [T]here’s no denying the pleasure associated with watching its author unspool his narrative, or the expansiveness of the sympathy he extends to his wounded, awkward, engagingly flawed characters.” —James Bradley, The Sydney Morning Herald

“Like most of [David Mitchell’s] novels Slade House is a page-turner, fast paced, hard to put down. And yet it is tightly constructed, offers a cast of varied, vividly portrayed characters . . . . This is what makes Mitchell so unusual: he combines literary sophistication with a talent for telling the kind of gripping story we normally associate with popular novelists.” —Brian Finney, Los Angeles Review of Books 

“‘Beautifully twisty’ is pretty much David Mitchell’s trademark, and Slade House does nothing to tarnish his rep. It’s a horror novel (which is something you just don’t see that much anymore) that covers the years 1979 to 2015, told with shifting main characters. And while there may be a bit of goofiness living at its heart, it’s still a worthy read simply because Mitchell is very aware of every trick he’s lifting from a thousand scary stories come before, and so are his characters—each one being just as jaded, just as suspicious and just as disbelieving of all this nonsense as we are. Right up until they realize that the trap has been sprung on them, too.” —NPR

“[D]eliciously eerie. . . . It is all brilliantly done, spooky, tense and beautifully written, full of the writerly flourishes that Mitchell is rightly famous for.” —Daily Express

“Every nine years, shape-shifting twins lure victims to their haunted home to extend their immortality in Mitchell’s ingenious novel.” —The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

“[Mitchell is] like a sumi-e master of voice, sketching beautifully detailed characters with a few lightning-fast flicks of the brush.” —Jess Zimmerman, The New Republic 

“For too long David Mitchell has been known as the ‘author of Cloud Atlas.’ Hereafter it should be ‘author of Slade House,’ given the marvellously horrific, sharp and concise masterpiece he has delivered. Its brevity should not lead the reader to underestimate just how much punch Mitchell’s prose packs. His fiction is intoxicating and his ideas are hauntingly vampiric.” —The Lady

[A]n elegant fright-fest of the highest order. . . . Mitchell masterfully, humorously, combines the classic components of a scary story—old house, dark alley, missing person—with a realism, when describing the lives of the victims that is pacy, funny and true. Don’t let any anti-fantasy prejudices keep you from being swept up into his unreal reality.” —Melissa Katsoulis, The Times 

“[P]acked with heady ideas and pulsing with dark energy. . . . [D]azzlingly inventive and compulsively readable.” —Malcom Forbes, Financial Times 

“I gulped down this novel in a single evening. Intricately connected to Mitchell’s previous books, this compact fantasy burns with classic Mitchell-ian energy—painstakingly imagined and crackling with narrative velocity, it’s a Dracula for the new millennium, a Hansel and Gretel for grownups, a reminder of how much fun fiction can be.” —Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“David Mitchell’s Slade House is a deranged garden of forking paths, where all the flowers are poisonous, and every escape is choked with thorns. Mitchell has long been acknowledged as one of the finest—if not the finest—literary minds of his generation; but he’s also one of the most suspenseful, and proves it in every gripping, vertiginous set piece. In some ways, the book is a little like Wes Craven hired Umberto Eco to reinvent Nightmare on Elm Street. But that doesn’t quite do justice to its white-hot intensity: I think five minutes inside of Slade House would leave Freddy Kreuger trembling and crying for mama.  I read in a constant state of terror and joy and could not turn the pages fast enough.” —Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Horns
“Sharp, fast, flat-out spooky, Slade House is such a hypnotic read that you are likely to miss your subway stop in order to keep reading.  And by you, I mean me.—Daniel Handler, New York Times  bestselling author of We Are Pirates and The Lemony Snicket series
“David Mitchell doesn’t break rules so much as he proves them to be inhibitors to lively intelligent fiction. Slade House is a fractal offshoot crystallizing from his remarkable The Bone Clocks, an eerie haunted-house tale that takes as much from quantum mechanics as from traditional supernatural lore, a spellbinding chiller about an unnatural greed for life and the arrogance of power.” —Dean Koontz, 14-time #1 New York Times  bestselling author
“What can’t David Mitchell do? Slade House is a page-burning, read-in-one-sitting, at times terrifying novel that does for the haunted house story what Henry James did for the ghost story in The Turn of the Screw. It has all the intelligence and linguistic dazzle of a David Mitchell novel, but this one will also creep the pants off you. Just as Slade House won’t let go of its unsuspecting guests, you won’t be able to put this book down. Welcome to Slade House—step inside.” —Adam Johnson, author of Fortune Smiles and The Orphan Master’s Son, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
“Fans of [David] Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas will recognize the interlocking narrative structure and literary-fantastical bent of this new work. . . . Pitched as his most accessible book yet, but, really, who doesn’t want to just drink up all of Mitchell’s writing?” Library Journal