Book review of ‘The Bone Clocks’ and ‘Slade House.’
I have just finished reading Slade House, written by David Mitchell, which is a companion book to ‘The Bone Clocks’. As ‘The Bone Clocks’ is one of my favourite books, I thought instead of only reviewing Slade House, I will review both books in this post. I talked a little about both these books in my October book haul, which you can read here, so I will try to not repeat myself too much.
The Bone Clocks is a clever and complex story that follows several people over many decades. The story follows one person from their perspective, and then moves to another, while the other characters begin to intertwine with each other as the story progresses. It moves from 1984 through to a dystopian future, from Ireland, to New York and Japan to Iceland. The story looks at morality and mortality, the strength and the destruction of humanity and the planet, and otherworldly fantasy aspects. It is gripping, thrilling, moving, dramatic, interesting, intriguing, and I am so in awe of Mitchell’s writing. This was the first of his books I read, and it certainly provided me with a new favourite author. Amazing.
Slade House has five sections, each occurring at the end of October, every nine years, from 1979 to 2015. It revolves around a mysterious house in England. Every nine years, someone is strangely enticed inside. No-one knows what goes on inside, apart from those people who are lured in.
My hopes and expectations for this book were high, due to my love and admiration for the companion book. These hopes were not quite met, though I think I may have expected too much of Mitchell. It was definitely a very good book. The first chapter grabbed me and I thought the book was going to be incredible. By the end of chapter two, I felt like the sections were akin to simple ghost stories people tell around the campfire. I was intrigued but beginning to wonder if Mitchell would pull off his usual complex style, and hoped the stories would intertwine in a bang. The third chapter lost me. It wasn’t bad, but it took me a long time to get through. However when I did, the fourth chapter absolutely held me and I flew through it, completely gripped, and then in the final section, Mitchell delivered. This story did not have the jaw-dropping clever factor that the companion book had, but as I finished the book, I did say ‘wow!’ This book is not too long, and I recommend planning to read it in as close to one to two sittings as possible. I was not able to, and feel it would have added to the effect had all the details and drama stayed with me.
David Mitchell has a unique way of telling a complex story from multiple perspectives, and I love the feeling when little aspects come together and you’re left shocked and amazed at the way he has linked it all. I highly recommend these books, and I look forward to devouring more of Mitchell’s books.