- About the Author
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Slade House was the first book I read by David Mitchell. Not at all my usual genre I nonetheless found it refreshingly different and I loved the idea of a house that wasn’t there in the centre of London and the mysterious people who inhabited it.
Compared to his others, this is quite short novel but it largely keeps to the same main protagonists and it is easy for the reader to understand quite quickly what was going on. It was eerie and spooky and I would recommend it to anyone.
So having read reviews of some of his novels on Amazon I bought The Bone Clocks and Ghostwriten. These are long novels, not the sort of books you can rush through. They take time and determination and an ability to bear with it while the bigger picture unfolds around you.
David Mitchell has an amazing ability to capture scenes, atmosphere and action in just a few words. His descriptions of cities and countries from Hong King to Tokyo, China, Mongolia, Russia are so real you feel you are actually there. The amount of research he must have had to do is astonishing.
He also has a way of allowing the reader to see inside someone’s head: to feel and think and experience their thoughts and actions. His range of characters is incredible: he can write with equal ease as a young girl, an old woman, a middle-aged man, a teenager boy, and each one os believable. He has what every writer wants: a voice. A voice that’s unique to every single character.
He does, however, have a few weird and wacky ideas, ideas that reviewers seem to either love or hate. One that seems to re-surface in the three books I have read is that we can be possessed by another consciousness that can take over our body.
The other problem I have with his books is that they are essentially short stories bound together by a somewhat nebulous thread, and as soon as you get used to one character, and empathise with that character, they disappear, never to reappear.
This is the mystery of David Mitchell, the thing that his readers have to accept if they are going to read and enjoy his books.
Not an author I feel I can persevere with I’m afraid.
Bethany Askew is the author of seven novels:
The Time Before, The World Within, Out of Step, Counting the Days, Poppy’s Seed, Three Extraordinary Years and The Two Saras.
She has also written a short story, The Night of the Storm, and she writes poetry.
Two more women’s fiction books have been accepted for publication in 2020 and 2021 respectively and she is currently working on a new novel.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, music, theatre, walking, Pilates, dancing and voluntary work.
Bethany is married and lives in Somerset.