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Beyond Black
Beyond Black: A Novel | Hilary Mantel
Hailed as a "writer of subtlety and depth," Hilary Mantel turns her dark genius on the world of psychics in this smart, unsettling novel (Joyce Carol Oates)A paragon of efficiency, Colette took the next natural step after finishing secretarial school by marrying a man who would do just fine. After a sobering, do-it-yourself divorce, Colette is at a loss for what to do next. Convinced that she is due an out-of-hand, life-affirming revelation, she strays into the realm of psychics and clairvoyants, hungry for a whisper to set her off in the right direction. At a psychic fair in Windsor she meets the charismatic Alison.Alison, the daughter of a prostitute, beleaguered during her childhood by the pressures of her connection to the spiritual world, lives in a different kind of solitude. She cannot escape the dead who speak to her, least of all the constant presence of Morris, her low-life spiritual guide. An expansive presence onstage, Alison at once feels her bond with Colette, inviting her to join her on the road as her personal assistant and companion.Troubles spiral out of control when the pair moves to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside and take up with a spirit guide and his drowned therapist. It is not long before Alison's connection to the place beyond black threatens to uproot their lives forever. This is Hilary Mantel at her finest- insightful, darkly comic, unorthodox, and thrilling to read.
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Aimeesue
Beyond Black: A Novel | Hilary Mantel
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I like Mantel, but haven‘t read much outside of the Cromwell books. This one was highly recommended on the Backlisted podcast, which has led me to some excellent stuff, so I have high hopes. Perfect subject for the season.

vivastory I loved this one 2mo
batsy I like that cover! I've been meaning to read more Mantel, too. This one and the one about the French Revolution are high on the list 2mo
Tanisha_A Wolf Hall has been lying on my shelf since forever. I haven't read any Mantel! 😭 @batsy 2mo
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batsy @Tanisha_A I've only read Wolf Hall so far, I think. It's a great big treat of a book that will be patiently waiting for you until the time is right 🙂 2mo
Aimeesue @vivastory It's very good so far! 2mo
Aimeesue @batsy I will say that this one is PEFECT for the run up to Halloween! 2mo
Aimeesue @Tanisha_A She's very, very good! I hope you enjoy her books when you get to them! 2mo
Ruthiella I loved this one. Sad and kinda creepy. 2mo
Aimeesue @Ruthiella I can't even I angine living like that! I have enough people going through my head as it is. 2mo
26 likes2 stack adds9 comments
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TrishB
Beyond Black: A Novel | Hilary Mantel
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Lovely #litsybookmail thank you Cindy and Caroline 😘 they arrived after I‘d gone out yesterday and then I left my phone at my nieces last night and she‘s only just brought it back!
The books are great and I love all the goodies, beautiful book marks ❤️
Caroline - reviews just aren‘t the same without your comments 😁

Cinfhen Yay!! Glad it arrived xx 5mo
Caroline2 Glad it arrived ok and be interesting to hear what you think of The Wife, it seems to be a bit of a love/hate, I liked it! 👍🏻 5mo
TrishB @Cinfhen @Caroline2 will post reviews when get to of course ❤️ 5mo
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Caroline2 @TrishB yeah no worries, no rush! 👍🏻 5mo
Cinfhen I bailed on this one so I‘m curious what you‘ll think but of course, no rush 👉🏼 5mo
TrishB @Cinfhen I thought I hadn‘t seen a review! Wasn‘t it a book club read? 5mo
Cinfhen Yes and we all unanimously decided to bail!!!!! That‘s a bookclub first 😂😂 5mo
TrishB @Cinfhen low ratings on Litsy, but quite high on amazon! 5mo
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review
Tonton
Beyond Black: A Novel | Hilary Mantel
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Pickpick

Beyond Black is a brilliant portrayal of a damaged psychic, Allison, who has a grubby petty criminal as her spirit guide. She works the suburban circuits outside of London, in gatherings at what in the US would be strip malls along highways, hotels, and pubs. The world is permeable; the dead are restless and the living as well. She takes on an assistant/manager who hopes to make money from a tell all book and begins to tape conversations.

Tonton The lives of modern psychics and their strange understanding of the real,the fake,and need to make a living while weathering psychological and physical repercussions is fascinating. Alison‘s childhood torments grow clearer, and the nightmarish reasons for why she does what she does are revealed. Bloody brilliant! (edited) 7mo
MommyWantsToReadHerBook Sounds awesome. I really love Hilary Mantel's scope of writing. 7mo
KateFulfordAuthor Great review 7mo
38 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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zsuzsanna_reads
Beyond Black: A Novel | Hilary Mantel
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Pickpick

A wonderfully written book. Brilliant commentary on contemporary British suburbia and small-minded people. But, oh my goodness, the last two chapters are dark. Lots of trigger warnings about childhood abuse. The ending, however, is as happy as it can be.

This is my #booked2019 #RelatedToPodcast read. I listened to an interview about the book on CBC's Writers and Company. https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2178638241

Cinfhen I‘m not sure if I like when dark books end happy or when dark books stay dark 🧐😜Tagging my cohosts so we can track your posts for the quarterly drawing @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraTheBibliophage 11mo
4thhouseontheleft Hilary Mantel is one of those authors that has been languishing on my TBR for quite some time. Excellent review! 11mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage I had such a struggle with her first Cromwell book (tagged at the end of my comment). Despite its darkness, this sounds like one I‘d try. (edited) 11mo
zsuzsanna_reads @Cinfhen I think for this one the main character, the author and the reader all deserved a good ending! Now I'm doing #IrishAuthor with 11mo
Cinfhen I just read Normal People!!!! It was good but not what I was expecting at all!!! I can‘t wait to hear your thoughts. 11mo
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Graywacke
Beyond Black: A Novel | Hilary Mantel
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Pickpick

The Backlisted podcast led me to this. It‘s both remarkable and extraordinarily difficult to push through. Mantel is writing about the soullessness of suburbia through the life of a medium who really can speak with the dead, but not really in a way anyone wants to hear. People come to her for meaning so she has to come up with it. Mantel is powerful and will drag you through this so you can feel it. Finished earlier this month (#reviewbacklog)

RaimeyGallant Sounds really interesting actually. 2y
Graywacke @RaimeyGallant it was both a really difficult book and one that left me wanting to read more Mantel. (Wolff Hall, which is really good in a different way, didn‘t do that). Just note, if you try it, she hits hard. So maybe be ready to push through a bit or start and stop and come back (which is what I did). Reviews are mixed...I think some readers find it just too negative. 2y
RaimeyGallant I like negative. I'm going to hold off for now though on adding it to my tbr. I have very specific reading goals right now, related to the book I'm finishing. 2y
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Graywacke 👍 2y
zsuzsanna_reads I have read that Mantel said we weren't meant to be sure Alison could really talk to spirits or was just imagining it, which is the impression I've been getting too before I read this comment. 11mo
Graywacke @zsuzsanna_reads I was just thinking about this book, going over my year of reading. This was a highlight, a brutal one, but still. I think that Alison as a real medium is worth thinking about as much as not. But, regardless, enjoy! It‘s, I think, a bit of a masterpiece. 11mo
13 likes1 stack add6 comments
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vivastory
Beyond Black: A Novel | Hilary Mantel
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Alison is an affable & overworked psychic with a traumatic childhood. Accompanied by her spirit guide, Morris, & her sceptical assistant, Colette, Alison makes a reluctant living off her abilities. I loved Mantel's novel of belief in the modern world & grappling with past traumas.
#FreeYourMind
#fiercefeb day 28
Thanks for a fun photo challenge @batsy (when will you be back?!) & @Cinfhen !

batsy Great pick! I've had this on my list for so long. Thank you for joining in this month 😊 Loved your awesome all-women choices! 🎶🤘🏽 2y
vivastory @batsy I had a real blast, it really inspired me to stay connected to Litsy despite work being really terrible the past few weeks. 2y
batsy I'm so glad to hear that! That sense of connection is the best part about these challenges. I hope your work situation improves soon. 2y
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Cinfhen Scott, I looked forward to seeing your posts all month...you should take on a month!!! Play host #freeyourmind 🙌🏻❣️Let me know... 2y
vivastory @Cinfhen Thanks! I would definitely be interested in being host for a month! 2y
Cinfhen Woohoo🎉🎉I need to see if my May-July cohosts are still on board... I‘ll get back to you but so glad you‘re up to playing bookish DJ ❣️ 2y
vivastory @Cinfhen Sounds great. I look forward to it! 2y
Moray_Reads This sounds great, I've only read one Mantell but I loved it 2y
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review
dearelina
Beyond Black: A Novel | Hilary Mantel
Pickpick

A fun, dark read about the relationship between medium Alison and her no nonsense assistant Colette. The storytelling is evocative and atmospheric from the outset, there is a real sense of building suspense as we find out who these women truly are.