Mantel, Hilary Beyond Black

ISBN 13: 9780007157754

Beyond Black

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( 4,826 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780007157754: Beyond Black

The much anticipated novel from the critically acclaimed author of Giving Up the Ghost and A Place of Greater Safety.

There's something nasty at the heart of Britain. The earth is poisoned: radioactive waste is washing into the water supply, and Japanese knotweed is choking the grasslands. Ghastly housing estates are proliferating across the Home Counties and terrorists are hiding in the ditches. This is Britain at the end of the last century and at the birth of the new. Alison knows what is coming. She foresees the death of Princess Diana (an annoying presence who is just as confused on the other side as she was on this). Alison foresees the coming down of the twin towers.

Alison Hart is a medium by trade: dead people talk to her and she talks back. With her flat-eyed, flint-hearted sidekick, Colette, she tours the dormitory towns of London's orbital road, passing on messages from dead ancestors: 'Granny says she likes your new kitchen units.'

But there are messages that Alison must keep to herself. Alison's ability to communicate with spirits is a torment rather than a gift. Behind her plump, smiling and bland persona is a desperate woman. She knows the next life holds terrors that she must conceal from her clients. Her days and nights are haunted by the men she knew in her childhood, the thugs and petty criminals who preyed upon her hopeless, addled mother.

As the spirits become stronger and nastier it becomes clearer that there are terrible secrets about to be revealed. Who is Alison? Why is she so keen to perform a good deed in a desperate world? What terrible thing was it that she did as a child? Why is she drawn to the cutlery drawer even now?

This is Hilary Mantel's tenth novel and her first for six years. Beyond Black is an hilarious and deeply sinister story of dark secrets and dark forces, set in an England that jumps at its own shadow, a country whose banal self-absorption is shot through by fear of the coming, engulfing blackness.

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Review:

Serious reading with light(ish) undertones. Unusual and Unnerving novel.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘It's a brilliant, extraordinary novel, and I found Alison an intensely moving creation. She inhabits a universe of cruelty, absurdity, terror and black comedy. She survives only through her own wit and her struggle towards the light.

It's a very funny book but it's also a very dreadful book in the most literal sense of the word: the novel's fabric pulses with dread, and you are on the edge of your seat hoping that Alison will survive. Beyond Black is a hugely ambitious, daring book about the nature of good and evil, and for me it is Hilary Mantel's most powerful novel to date.' Helen Dunmore

Praise for Giving Up the Ghost:

'Like Lorna Sage's BAD BLOOD, GIVING UP THE GHOST is a story of childhood that is also a piece of history. Hilary Mantel's self-portrait is a masterpiece of wit, but it conjures up a time and a place and an epoch of female experience with razor-edged sobriety. That past, so thoroughly vanished, is made to live again here – disclosed, cannily and heartbreakingly, as once it too yielded up its author's mind.' Rachel Cusk

‘What a remarkable writer she is. She is piercingly, even laceratingly observant, and every remembered detail has the sharpness of a good photograph. And yet for all its brilliance of detail and its black comedy the memoir is heavy with atmophere. It's a very startling and daring memoir; the more I read it the more unsettling it becomes.’ Helen Dunmore

‘I was riveted. It’s raw, it’s distressing and it’s full of piercing insights into a first-rate novelist’s mind.’ Margaret Forster

A stunning evocation of an ill-fitting childhood and a womanhood blighted by medical ineptitude. Hilary Mantel’s frank and beautiful memoir is impossible to put down and impossible to forget.
Clare Boylan

From the Back Cover:

Alison Hart is a medium by trade: dead people talk to her, and she talks back. With her flat-eyed, flint-hearted sidekick, Colette, she tours the dormitory towns of London's orbital road, passing on messages from dead ancestors: 'Granny says she likes your new kitchen units.'

Alison's ability to communicate with spirits is a torment rather than a gift. Behind her plump, smiling and bland public persona is a desperate woman. She knows that the next life holds terrors that she must conceal from her clients. Her days and nights are haunted by the men she knew in her childhood, the thugs and petty criminals who preyed upon her hopeless, addled mother, Emmie. They infiltrate her house, her body and her soul; the more she tries to be rid of them, the stronger and nastier they become.

This tenth novel by Hilary Mantel, the critically acclaimed author of Giving Up the Ghost, is a witty and deeply sinister story of dark secrets and dark forces, set in an England that jumps at its own shadow, a country whose banal self-absorption is shot through by fear of the engulfing dark.

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Mantel, Hilary
Published by Fourth Estate Ltd (2005)
ISBN 10: 0007157754 ISBN 13: 9780007157754
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Book Description Fourth Estate Ltd, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110007157754

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Mantel, Hilary
Published by Fourth Estate Ltd
ISBN 10: 0007157754 ISBN 13: 9780007157754
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Book Description Fourth Estate Ltd. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0007157754 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0001958

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