It’s hard to know quite what to make of Slade House, David Mitchell’s latest novel [London: Sceptre, 2015]. It seems to be not so much a sequel as a ‘parallelequel’ to The Bone Clocks and there is, in fact, one key character in common. The context is the battle between those who can sustain immortality at the expense of feeding on the souls of the Engifted and the good guys who are naturally and continuously reincarnated after 49 days in limbo. The latter, the Horologists, carry over all their memories from previous existences but although they have paranormal powers they are not necessarily immune to attack and destruction by the bad guys. Slade House is about the activities of a couple of bad guys until they seem to get their comeuppance at the hands of a good guy. But read to the very end!
Once again, David Mitchell has sent a large bucket down into the deep well of his imagination and produced a masterwork: The Bone Clocks [London: Sceptre, 2014]. Mitchell enjoys the writer’s challenge of imagining the improbable, even the impossible, and writing such compelling prose that the reader is completely absorbed, suspends disbelief and revels in the story and, as ever, the language. Mitchell also has that essential gift of being able to write fluently from inside the mind of his several narrators. The narrative here is about precognition and the power to enter the minds of others and redact their memories; all that and more. But it is also a human story of a life lived to its fullest extent.