A comically sinister tale of wicked spirits and suburban mediums from the Man Booker Prize winning author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.Alison Hart, a medium by trade, tours the dormitory towns of Londons orbital ring road with her flint hearted sidekick, Colette, passing on messages from beloved dead ancestors But behind her plump, smiling persona hides a desperate woman she knows the terrors the next life holds but must conceal them from her wide eyed clients At the same time she is plagued by spirits from her own past, who infiltrate her body and home, becoming stronger and nastier the she resistsShortlisted for the Orange Prize, Hilary Mantels supremely suspenseful novel is a masterpiece of dark humour and even darker secrets....
|Title||:||Beyond Black (The Perennial Collection)|
|Publisher||:||Harper Perennial Auflage Reissue 8 Dezember 2009|
|Number of Pages||:||280 Pages|
|File Size||:||874 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Beyond Black (The Perennial Collection) Reviews
To put it very simple: as much as I like Wolf Hall and Climate of Change, this book is by far her best work. A much more troubling and haunting novel.
Hilary Mantel is masterful in building immersive worlds inside her novels, and Beyond Black is no exception. It's perhaps overlong, but the main story is rolled out meticulously over 400+ pages. The element that work best for me is the abject loneliness of Alison, the novel's sad, bereft, and ultimately outcast protagonist. She's a psychic whose life is possessed by terrible 'fiends', grotesque and surprisingly corporeal holograms from her past. There's also the post-9/11 anti-immigrant politics of Britain and the acknowledgment of the earth's climate changing for worse. This was written in 2006 and all the gloom of those years has only multiplied to our current political disasters, making the novel prescient. Uplifting, it's not. But Mantel's talent for detail and human interaction rises up and makes it perhaps a perfect encapsulation of our time.
If you're a true HM fan, this story will engage you. It is, of course, a troubling tale with many unlikable characters--but disturbing is always part of Mantel's craft. She captures clairvoyance better than I've ever found, as much through the lead character's memories as direct experience. The story jumbles and tumbles--again, one of Mantel's gifts. And there are moments of great humor, especially around the everyday, Be prepared for a rough ride. A transforming ride. Highly recommend this read if you have the stomach for some very visceral scenes.
I am not sure that Hillary Mantel can write an bad book but she has penned some odd ones like "Fludd" and like this one. It will keep you reading but it is not for everyone. The supernatural beings that follow Alison around are not endearing in the least. Sadly the mere mortals that she associates with are almost as bad especially Collette. While there is the occasional humorous situation, essentially it's just a lot of sad people in some really weird circumstances. There are a couple minor holes in the plot but nothing you won't be able to forgive. Overall I did like it and I would recommend it. Was that a really weak endorsement?
I was really disappointed in this book. I read quite a lot of it and kept thinking that surely something was going to happen. It never did, as far as I know. I left it fairly near the end. I thought it was horrible - badly written, weird and uninteresting characters and a story that went nowhere. The only reason that I continued reading as long as I did was that Hilary Mantel was the author. I really loved her two recent Cromwell books, but this one is a real stinker.
Brilliant! A dark and funny tale of haunted people and places. Mantel is a wonderful lyrical writer who can also crack a joke and she writes great complex female characters here. This is a dark, dark book not one to read in moments of duress but if say you needed an antidote to a particularly vacuous experience (like say to a theme park, or perhaps the mall) . There are no easy answers here but there are great descriptions of those moments between sleeping and waking and an odd sort of Taoist logic to the world of the dead. I will say that this novel is so essentially English that it would be difficult to "get" without being immersed in British culture. If Withnail and I is your idea of classic comedy then you are ready for this book. The ending is particularly amazing. Give it a go, but this one won't be easy.