Beyond Black (The Perennial Collection) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £8.99
  • You Save: £1.80 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 15 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Beyond Black has been added to your Basket
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Beyond Black Paperback – 4 Mar 2010

141 customer reviews

See all 17 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.19
£0.59 £0.01
£7.19 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 15 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Win a £5,000 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card for your child's school by voting for their favourite book. Learn more.
  • Prepare for the summer with our pick of the best selection for children (ages 0 - 12) across Amazon.co.uk.

Frequently Bought Together

Beyond Black + A Place of Greater Safety
Price For Both: £14.18

Buy the selected items together


Win a £5,000 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card and 30 Kindle E-readers for your child or pupil's school.
Vote for your child or pupil(s) favourite book(s) here to be in with a chance to win.

Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; paperback / softcover edition (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007157762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007157761
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hilary Mantel is the author of thirteen books , including A Place of Greater Safety, Beyond Black, and the memoir Giving up the Ghost. Her two most recent novels, Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring up the Bodies have both been awarded The Man Booker Prize - an unprecedented achievement.

Product Description

Review

‘Magnificent…It’s one of the greatest ghost stories in the language, but it’s far more than just a ghost story – it’s a novel of desperate truthfulness – a majestic work, truly.’ Philip Pullman

‘Sparkling, sinister and supremely original.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘As black as a tar barrel and very, very funny.’ The Times

‘Laceratingly observant, a masterpiece of wit, heavy with atmosphere. It is also gloriously insolent and slyly funny: full of robust, uncluttered prose and searing moments.' Independent

‘Pins elusive Middle England to the page in all its creepiness: a place blank and disconnected, yet fatally self-absorbed.’ Rachel Cooke, Observer

‘An elegant, atmospheric tale and a nuanced portrait, full of ironies.’ Tatler

'Chilling, creepy and endlessly inventive.' Kate Saunders, The Times

‘Hilary Mantel has done something extraordinary. She has taken the ethereal halfway house between heaven and hell, between the living and the dead, and nailed it on the page.’ Fay Weldon, Guardian

‘Has the kind of gallows humour that makes you laugh out loud…A real page-turner, a darkly humorous take on the enduring effects of childhood trauma.’ Mslexia

'A deep, disturbing, violently amusing and subversive work.’ Daily Telegraph

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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

181 of 187 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Shaun Kelly on 28 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after much deliberation - All the papers loved it - but most of the reviews I read on this site were less than favourable. I decided to make my own mind up.

The plot of this book concerns Alison, a gifted but troubled psychic, with a horrific past - touring lacklustre psychic fairs on the ring road around London, offering comfort to the bereaved, passing on messages from the departed - All the while, coming to terms with her squalid, abusive upbringing and dreadful treatment at the hands of her prostitute mother and the squaddies and lowlifes who populated her early life and still torment her after their passing. Morris, her seedy spirit guide, is her departed link to the past she would rather forget.

Colette, her thorny assistant - plays a major part, sceptical and indifferent to her spectral tormentors - she grounds Alison firmly in reality with diets, timetables and a complete lack of sympathy. A host of sardonically characterised mediums and mystics give some comic relief and balance the intense horror of her childhood.

The key to this book is that it's not a thriller or a ghost story - its a beautifully written tale of facing up to your demons - alive or dead, Mantel writes with confidence and her prose is, at times, breathtaking. Her characters are well observed and she breathes life into the dead - Morris and his cronies are believable - horrible small time crooks, with nothing to talk about but the old days and why they can't get a good savaloy anymore. You also realise that the world that Alison inhabits is as dead as the one she can tap into.

My only criticism is a slightly slow 3rd quarter - that being said, once you read the last page, you will miss Alison - you might even miss Morris.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on 18 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Reading the other reviews, I can understand why some people are disappointed in this book - the cover implies it is a ghost story and if that's why they bought it, then it won't satisfy them. There are ghosts in the book, lots of them, but it's not their ghostiness that is drawn out, but the dreariness of spending eternity wandering in limbo with a crowd of other mardy spirits. The main character spends her life circling London's insalubrious dormitory towns, night after night spent in Travelodge-type hotels with only her abrasive assistant and revolting spirit guide for company. And she knows that there's nothing to look forward to after death either. It's very funny, but in a way that makes you shiver slightly too and really hope Mantel is wrong!

It's not about ghosts, it's about living people and how we get on, or not, in the world.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mandrake on 5 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
Having read Wolf Hall, and beguiled by the blurb ("the greatest ghost story in the English language" says Phillip Pullman), I came to this book with high expectations which it failed to meet. The problem is that the novel is neither fish nor fowl. It fails as a ghost story as it lacks shocks, tension and atmosphere. It is occasionally creepy, but mostly the ghostly Morris and his pals are merely unpleasant and distasteful. So then what is it? It does not seem to know. It rambles amiably through 450 pages, but does not seem to lead anywhere. Pointless.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 May 2013
Format: Paperback
This book, the author's ninth, was published in 2005, before Hilary Mantel began her trilogy about Thomas Cromwell.

It is set in and around the the London orbital. Alison, Al, Hart is a medium who, along with her assistant, Colette, performs at venues in towns around the M25 - Goring, Aldershot, Shinfield, Didcot, Abingdon, Blewbury, Wonersh, Walton-on-Thames, Orpington, Sevenoaks, Chertsey, Runnymeade, Reigate, Sutton, Long Ditton, Lightwater, Otford, Limpsfield, New Eltham and Blackfen. The first page and a half, setting the scene, is a bravura evocation of the two driving to their next venue, "Heart beats, the tail lights wink. Dim lights shine from tower blocks, from passing helicopters, from fixed stars. Night closes in on the perjured ministers and burnt-out paedophiles, on the unloved viaducts and graffitied bridges, on ditches beneath mouldering hedgerows and railings never warmed by human touch".

Al, who is overweight, first realised that she was different when she was a child and the spirits made her life miserable, almost as miserable as did her mother and her mother's friends, scrawling obscenities on her exam papers. Colette cannot see Morris or his fellow spirit guides but sometimes gets a whiff of their presence.

There are sections and pages of brilliant, flowing prose as Mantel describes relations between people, between spirits and between people and spirits. Morris, a spirit guide from the "other side" with particularly disgusting habits, is a 'this grizzled grinning apparition in a bookmaker's check jacket, and suede shoes with bald toe caps''.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
66 of 72 people found the following review helpful By E. Buckley on 6 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book as, unlike so many these days, it had depth and something to sink my teeth into. The reviews here are disappointing and I wanted to give another view. There were points during this book that were laugh out loud funny, as well as very, very sad. Alison is a wonderful character who struggles with what life has thrown at her. She is seeking to remember her past traumas and come to terms with her reality. Colette has hidden depths, but cannot find the heart to find out what they are. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-written and well-planned novel, not just to those who have a vested interest in the 'mystical.' Heart-warming and touching. I was truly sorry to leave Alison behind
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Look for similar items by category


Feedback