Tuesday, October 27, 2015

At last - time to enter Slade House.

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,
 released 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.

-Mrs. Eldridge