Keep your eyes peeled for a small black iron door.
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 stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. 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 recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late. . . .
Spanning five decades, from the last days of the 1970s to the present, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story—as only David Mitchell could imagine it.
I'm a very skeptical reader. I will never be the kind of reader John Green wants me to be.
Going into Slade House, this line in the book description had me very apprehensive: "this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story—as only David Mitchell could imagine it." There is nothing greater than a haunted house story. What kind of new vision was I getting myself into?
I remained very unsure of the book through the first half of it, but then everything really fell into place for me.
The classic writing style was a perfect match for the scope of the story. Starting out in 1979 and ending up in present time, Slade House spans several decades. I normally don't care for big shifts in time, but it is brilliantly handled here.
In the end, I'm happy to say Slade House absolutely delivered on its promise of a "new vision of the haunted house story".
8/10: Great Read