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2016 Book Discussions > Slade House - 1997 & 2006, Spoilers Allowed (March 2016)

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message 1: by LindaJ^ (last edited Mar 02, 2016 08:31AM) (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments Chapters 2 & 3 are about the sisters. I could relate to Sally Timms and was holding my breathe and hopeful that she would escape. It was with Sally's story that I first felt the tension; I think because I was invested in her and no longer watching from the sidelines. With Sally's entry, I'm really caught up in the story. I thought using Fred Pink to tie the stories together was pretty ingenious. As Veronique notes on the thread concerning the first two chapters, Mitchell is using colors quite a bit. I did not catch until later in book but now that she's mentioned it, I see color everywhere. Anyone have any thoughts on his use of color? What his use of sisters?


message 2: by Veronique (new)

Veronique Linda wrote: "Chapters 2 & 3 are about the sisters. I could relate to Sally Timms and was holding my breathe and hopeful that she would escape. It was with Sally's story that I first felt the tension; I think be..."

I'm with you Linda. I got a lot more involved with the sisters' fate, and enjoyed how the one they deride gets to hurt Jonah. Fred Pink was also a good connecting figure. Throughout these chapters I kept thinking that I couldn't 'believe' anything that I read, and that was quite unsettling...


message 3: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments Veronique, Could you elaborate a bit on what you mean about not being able to believe what you read and that being unsettling?


message 4: by Veronique (new)

Veronique Linda wrote: "Veronique, Could you elaborate a bit on what you mean about not being able to believe what you read and that being unsettling?"

Sure. I think by chapter 3 I realised that the twins could inhabit anyone, so I kept looking for clues of who was under their control. Mitchell however gives quite a few, some correct, some not, that muddle the waters. Also, the narrator of this chapter wasn't made clear until a few pages in. This does reflect Sally's personality but also creates another puzzling element. Once they are in the 'house', it all felt like a psychedelic/surreal dream with many people behaving in potentially dangerous ways. Who is real? Who is not? Now that I think about it, it had a taste of a distorted Alice in Wonderland. The twins can make you see anything they like in the lacuna. Symbols abound too. Since I was much more involved with Sally emotionally, I felt the thread more strongly.

Now chapter 4 got to me. Although I knew not to trust what I'm being told, I always thought that the pub was 'safe' since it had been until then. I was lulled by my interest in the backstory, charting the twins' journey, and was waiting to see how they would get Freya to the house, but I had never thought that she was already in until Fred mentions that she is not drinking her tomato juice. Then it all looked different! The several texts she gets showing her partner's growing concern, and not being able to escape the room (coming dow the stairs to end up in the same room) were particularly unsettling. The twins are very cunning, using real facts and people, basing lies on truths. I did enjoy however how Sally comes to her sister's rescue by injuring Jonah. Through each episode, I kept hoping that one of the guests would escape and that the twins would be stopped. It doesn't happen but each victim is building on the previous one, becoming stronger in their resistance, and creating hope.


message 5: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments Thanks Veronique. Great description of how the chapters developed. Now I understand what you meant. My reaction to Chapter 4 was almost identical to yours. I thought she was safe in the Pub. Yesterday, however, I reread the opening page where Freyla describes her "dream" saw that the jogger in orange and black had sprayed something in her face when she had turned back. Guess it wasn't a dream afterall. And, I don't even remember reading the two sentences with Tom Cruise - and given how her predecessors saw themselves in paintings, perhaps I should have suspected that she indeed was seeing herself in a wheelchair (with Jonah wheeling her to the pub). It made me more impressed with how Mitchell is playing with the reader -- as you said, what can be believed?


message 6: by Veronique (new)

Veronique Linda wrote: "Thanks Veronique. Great description of how the chapters developed. Now I understand what you meant. My reaction to Chapter 4 was almost identical to yours. I thought she was safe in the Pub. Yester..."

Oooo I forgot about the dream! I need to re-read that!


message 7: by Stacy (new)

Stacy (stacybee14) | 7 comments These were my favorite two chapters of the book (which as a whole I really liked!). I liked Sally's chapter because, like Linda and Veronique, I felt invested in her as a character and was really rooting for her to somehow escape her fate. I liked the Freya chapter because of the interesting backstory provided by Fred Pink and the surprise of the pub being an elaborate orison. I've really enjoyed reading the discussion so far!

Two things I was interested in discussing in more depth:

- What do you all think of the "seasoning" that Jonah mentions? I wondered why he and Norah seemed to go through more trouble than they needed to when luring their prey to the lacuna - i.e., why bother getting Sally's hopes up with a kiss from Todd? Why let her feel like she was on the verge of escaping when the whole thing was a ruse? She'd eaten the banjax brownie almost as soon as she arrived - it seemed pointless to draw it out that long. But then when she was sitting with Norah and Jonah in the lacuna, Norah urged Jonah to tell her the truth about Todd so she wouldn't taste "all saccharine and powdery" (p. 137). And I remembered from the Edmonds chapter that Jonah said, "A sprinkle of last-minute despair gives a soul an agreeably earthy aftertaste" (p. 82). When they are about to devour Freya's soul, after another seemingly unnecessary drawn-out orison, Jonah refers to her as being "seasoned" (p. 191). I guess I'm wondering if the group feels that it takes that long for the banjax to work so they have to draw it out, or they (mostly Jonah) just does it as a sadistic exercise to draw more flavor out of each soul?

- I just realized that the second thing I wanted to discuss makes reference to something that happens a bit later in the book. I know the topic header says "spoilers allowed" but I'm not sure if that means just for this section of the book or the whole book. I'm new to the group so I will play it safe and not mention anything further until someone who's been here a bit longer can tell me whether or not it's okay! If not, I'll just bring it up in the post for the next chapters. :)


message 8: by Veronique (new)

Veronique Stacy wrote: "These were my favorite two chapters of the book (which as a whole I really liked!). I liked Sally's chapter because, like Linda and Veronique, I felt invested in her as a character and was really r..."

Hi Stacy. I would say that the twins, and especially Jonah, are ruthless and enjoying to toy with their victims like cats with mice. As for Sally, although she had eaten the banjax, when she got the pin, the door appeared and opened for her. She could have escaped then, although she would have had to deal with their paid 'minions'. The twins don't see humans as such but as food to be picked...
As for the other question, safer to post it in the discussion for the last chapter if you're not sure :O)


message 9: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments Stacy wrote: "These were my favorite two chapters of the book (which as a whole I really liked!). I liked Sally's chapter because, like Linda and Veronique, I felt invested in her as a character and was really r..."

I would agree with Veronique that the twins are ruthless and I think Jonah likes to show off, so he always goes too far. I think as time has gone on, it is becoming harder for the twins to get their victims to submission, i.e., "seasoned." Norah seems to allude to this in the first chapter because of the woman in the window who tried to warn Nathan.

As to your second point, the spoilers allowed on this thread is for everything through the first four chapters. The final thread is now up for the final chapter and the whole book!


message 10: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  | 22 comments Stacy wrote: "These were my favorite two chapters of the book (which as a whole I really liked!). I liked Sally's chapter because, like Linda and Veronique, I felt invested in her as a character and was really r..."

Stacy, I agree with you. I think Jonah was actually alluding to emotions having different tastes sort of like certain emotions (fear or lust) have certain smells. Flavor is usually attributed to a combination of smell and taste so, in my opinion, the twins were actually trying to cause fear or despair in their victims so the souls were "seasoned" properly.


message 11: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments Kathy wrote: "Stacy wrote: "These were my favorite two chapters of the book (which as a whole I really liked!). I liked Sally's chapter because, like Linda and Veronique, I felt invested in her as a character an..."

So why do the twins like their souls more "savory" than "sweet?"


message 12: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  | 22 comments Earthy like mushrooms . . . Lol.


message 13: by Molly (new)

Molly (mollyrotondo) | 30 comments Are the ghosts of the twins' guests actually growing stronger? I was surprised to read that Sally attaked Jonah. I didn't think these lost souls could fight back. I think it's an interesting plot development if these victims rise up and put an end to the twins instead of waiting for someone on the outside to help.


message 14: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments The ghosts have gotten stronger, which worries Norah, I think.


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