The Perpetual To Read Pile (As it never ends, not because I'm Perp!)

  1. Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Tim James

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    I always felt that Vamphiri did not really fit in, almost a stand alone, whereas the next three books all fit together nicely, tying in with a few things dropped in the first book. So in answer to the question, it could be skipped... but that does not mean nothing important happens in it that I've missed.

    I know there is a major plot point that happens, and it might be in the second book.
     
  2. Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Tim James

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    I've now finished Slade House. (That took a while ;) )

    Here’s a funny thing, I would never have considered reading any David Mitchell if it were not for the movie Cloud Atlas, this I watched and enjoyed, so as is often the case I bought the book and read it. Again, this was something I really enjoyed.

    Somewhat inevitably I was tempted to read some more, and finally got around to it, randomly choosing Slade House. I’m not sure what I was going to think, but for some reason part of me assumed that Mitchell’s work was non-genre, but in fact with the example of this and the aforementioned ‘Cloud Atlas’ nothing could be further from the truth. Slade House is genre, in fact it is so genre that it should be sticking out like a sore thumb. Only it doesn’t.

    The book is quite short, but the chapters are long, each chapter is set nine years after the last starting in 1979. To begin with it would be easy to believe that the story is well written tale of the modern world, without any fantastical attributes. A young boy is dragged along by his mother to the strangely positioned, but intriguing ‘Slade House.’ She is going there to give a musical recital for its residents and guests, including virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Of course, this might be something that appeals to an adult, but to a young lad, especially an odd young lad.

    Once at the house he is left in the garden with the son of the owner and starts to form a bond, the glimmerings of a friendship, something he has never really known before… and then things go crazy.

    The ideas on offer are fantastical, brilliant and different. It lends something different to a story that allows it to stand out. There is an element of fantasy involved, but there is more than a feel of horror as well, but due to the very nature of the story it is near impossible to go into detail without delivering a wealth of spoilers.

    It might be that part of the appeal to me are the years in which the story is set, Mitchell and myself are of an age, so the times he chooses are ones that he is familiar with, so accordingly I am familiar with. This might give the story a cosiness to me that others, their ages ten years apart from my own might not connect with in the same way. (It’s odd to think that someone only ten years younger than me might find 1979 ‘long ago’). There is something about the writing that reminds me Iain Banks, particularly things like Crow Road and the Wasp Factory.

    I’d also read recently that Mitchell has stated that most of his writing takes place in the same ‘universe’ and with that in mind I realised there were things that could conceivably tie this in with Cloud Atlas. Of course, whether I would have seen the same things had I not read the above snippet is open to debate.

    In all, an engaging and enthralling read that I enjoyed immensely.

    (Also, I have to admit it’s always a thrill when someone uses a real person like Yehudi Menuhin, a logical choice for the story, but on a personal level even better because I am/was related to him)
     
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  3. ralphkern

    ralphkern Well-Known Member

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    I remember enjoying the Necroscope novels (I think I got as far as finishing the Vampire Wars trilogy which came after). I didn't feel any need to go further than that, as I felt the story was complete by then, and the final part of Vampire Wars reached a cresendo which the others wouldn't be able to top.
     
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  4. Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Tim James

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    As mentioned above I did go beyond that, and I think you are right.

    The following books had the same engaging style, but they were written to fill gaps in continuity. Unfortunately they were gaps that did not exist so it felt shoehorned rather than flowing.

    Not sure about anything after the Lost Years series, because I stopped. (But have them somewhere to read....)
     
  5. Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Tim James

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