Beyond Black

by Hilary Mantel | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0007157762 Global Overview for this book
Registered by VeganMedusa of Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on 1/24/2008
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Thursday, January 24, 2008
From Publishers Weekly
Instead of celebrating the mystical side of "sensitives," the people who travel England's contemporary psychic "fayre" circuit, Mantel (A Change of Climate, etc.) concentrates on the potential banality of spiritualism in her latest novel, a no-nonsense exploration of the world of public and private clairvoyance. Colette is a down-on-her-luck event planner fresh from a divorce when she attends a two-day Psychic Extravaganza, her "introduction to the metaphorical side of life." There, Alison, a true clairvoyant, "reads" Colette, sees her need for a new life—as well as her potential—and hires her as a Girl Friday. As Colette's responsibilities grow, and the line between the professional and the personal blurs, Colette takes over Alison's marketing, builds her Web site, plans for a book and buys a house with her. Colette also serves as a sort of buffer between Alison and the multitude of spirits who beleaguer her. (Alison's spirit guide, Morris, "a little bouncing circus clown," proves especially troublesome.) Mantel's portraits of the two leading characters as well as those of the supporting cast—both on and off this mortal coil—are sharply drawn. This witty, matter-of-fact look at the psychic milieu reveals a supernatural world that can be as mundane as the world of carpet salesmen and shopkeepers.

Journal Entry 2 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Monday, July 21, 2008
This book was lovely to read, quite different to what I'd expected. And the characters and story really didn't go where I expected them to, either.
Posted (economy) to morsecode today for the Non-Genre Swap. :)

Journal Entry 3 by morsecode from Woonsocket, Rhode Island USA on Friday, August 08, 2008
This book arrived safe and sound in Buffalo, NY today.

Journal Entry 4 by morsecode at Ossining, New York USA on Sunday, November 27, 2016
I'm ruthlessly weeding my overstuffed bookshelves and am setting this book aside to wild-release in the near future.

Journal Entry 5 by morsecode at Little Free Library Newland in Woonsocket, Rhode Island USA on Saturday, May 05, 2018

Released 1 yr ago (5/5/2018 UTC) at Little Free Library Newland in Woonsocket, Rhode Island USA


Left in Little Free Library

Journal Entry 6 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
I found this book in the charming Newland Ave. LFL while dropping off some books of my own, and nabbed it for another release copy. Glad to see it's still traveling! I thoroughly enjoyed Mantel's "Thomas Cromwell" books, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies; this one sounds very different, but I'm always game for a good ghost story!

Later: I enjoyed the setup, with spirit-medium Alison balancing her all-too-real connection with ghosts against the need to keep her clients interested enough to pay the bills, and with the rather chill and efficient Colette acting as her assistant, sidekick, and companion. We get flashbacks showing how they met and how their professional relationship developed - and then, gradually, more incidents from the pasts of each come back to haunt them. (In some cases, quite literally; in others, more mundanely, as in having an ex-lover turn up again.)

For me, the problems began with the growing revelations about Alison's childhood, which was pretty horrible; the casual conversations about this by the ghosts of the people involved didn't help, and it became an all too real-world horror story. It's not without humor even so, but I found it hard to stay involved in the tale. (There's some additional material including an interview with Martel; I appreciated that, though it didn't change my opinion about the novel.)

Released 1 yr ago (7/22/2018 UTC) at Little Free Library, 214 Main St. in Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I left this book in the Little Free Library on this rainy day; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2018 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

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