Slade House by David Mitchell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's so fun to see what people think is traditional fiction these days. Even Goodreads categorizing this one as Horror is funny as hell. This was SF. I mean, how else can anyone classify closed time-like loops, telepathy? Oh, all right, eating a soul is primarily an occupational hazard of the horror genre, so I'll give *that* a pass. The narrative structure of sending his darlings into the roach motel, over and over and over is kind of a dead giveaway, too. Get it? Dead? Oh, nevermind...
And yet, I'm still stunned that the world at large prefers to keep Mr. David Mitchell as a mainstream author while looking down their noses at all the other greats. This was actually a pretty standard fare among good SF, using heavy reliance on Clarke's Law to pull some rather cool tricks with the timestream while passing the rest of the novel off as a bogeyman story. I really enjoyed it. The characters were all stunningly well crafted and I loved seeing them all die. The end *was* a rather dues ex-machina, but the hint of the Bone Clocks tells me that this is part of much larger narrative structure and I'm definitely going to have to read his other books to understand exactly why this happened the way it happened.
That's called baiting. Drug pushers do it all the time, Mr. Mitchell. You dangled your drug under the nose of some of the most addictive personalities in the universe, the so-called "readership", and now we're hooked.
He's an evil man.
Other than my entirely justified grievance, I was rather thrilled while reading to see so many wonderful similarities in the narrative to a certain Tim Powers. It was like dipping my toes in the cold cold waters of The Anubis Gates. I'm only talking about the feel, mind you. Lots of interesting ideas and odd directions eventually focusing in upon its eventual prey in a methodically imaginative pace. I loved it. Of course, now I have to read a lot more of BOTH of these authors, but that's okay because I'm not dead yet. I can't regret not picking up these other titles because I still have the chance.
Am I excited? Yeah, I think I am. I might just be becoming a fanboy of Mr. Mitchell, despite my miasma of gripes. They're not directed at the man, himself, except inso that I want to hate him a little for not embracing his ACTUAL HERITAGE. *sigh*
This was one hell of a good horror/SF, people. Enjoy it!
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