Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from March 13 to December 20, 2015
13.03.2015: Oooh - the culmination takes place on Hallowe'en this year. Let's hope it is a dark and stormy night! ETA - I type this on the second Friday the 13th of the year. Superstition much, Bettie?
Description: Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you’ll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the house’s residents—an odd brother and sister—extend a unique invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late. . . .
Spanning five decades, from the last days of the 1970s to the present, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story—as only David Mitchell could imagine it.
1/10: The Right Sort, 1979: Nathan Bishop is dragged to Slade House by his pianist mother, who is desperate to make the right impression on her potential patron Lady Grayer. Read by James Anthony Pearson
2/10: Shining Armour, 1988: Detective Inspector Gordon Edmonds reckons he's on a fool's errand. He's been sent to find a mysterious mansion called Slade House, following up the sighting of a missing mother and son nine years earlier. Read by Robin Laing.
3/10: Oink Oink, 1997: After joining the university's Paranormal Society to get closer to a boy, Sally Timms goes on her first field trip. Slade Alley is the destination; site of several mysterious disappearances over the years. Read by Rebecca Hamilton.
4/10: You Dark Horse You, 2006:
Journalist Freya Timms arrives at the 'Fox and Hounds' pub near Slade Alley to meet a witness who claims to have information about her sister's disappearance, nine years earlier. Read by Debra Baker.
5/10: Astronauts, 2015: A shifty man in his early twenties waits near Slade Alley to greet psychiatrist Dr Iris Marinus-Fenby, who has followed a trail from the late Fred Pink's diaries. Read by Amelia Lowdell.
Mr Mitchell plays around with his favourite number.