Slade House, the latest novel from David Mitchell is now available.
David Mitchell’s works have been featured on this blog before. His writing has sparked conversations among students and colleagues -because to discuss Mitchell’s work is to discuss the flawed nature of his characters, and in doing so, to reveal our innate desire to empathize with a well-written character, despite eccentricities, foibles and failures.
Slade House begins with a series of tweets,
https://twitter.com/i_bombadilreleased one at a time – over a month or so. The tweets set the stage for the tone of the book – a bit creepy, a bit dark. The tweets draw you magnetically to the action and the motivation of the character, Bombadil. Mitchell structured the prose of the tweets as a re-imagining of language - absolutely contemporary text-speak interspersed with Youtube videos, hyperlinks and mysterious pictures to heighten the experience. Who would think Twitter could be used as a compelling literary format?
The novel itself (confession: I read this as a galley edition, electronically, courtesy of NetGalley) scurries along a psychological tightrope. Mitchell knows his audience. He plays us. We play along – to almost our breaking point. Anguished. But fully immersed in the story and the humanness of the characters. It is a good read. Fans: you will not be disappointed. Newcomers: get ready to be drawn in. Beware the iron gate. Trust no one.