9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Begins in Potters Bar and ends in unholy chaos,
This review is from: Beyond Black (Paperback)
There is a whole universe of people who spend their lives on or near the main arteries of our infrastructure - in motels, service areas, industrial estates and new towns. This book tells the story of two such people, Alison and Colette. Alison is a medium, making her living in a slightly dingy way by speaking to the dead and hearing what they have to say, in small venues, before small audiences. Colette is her assistant. The story explores their relationship, and it is a captivating, riveting read. But the story beneath the surface is one that grips the reader even more: Alison's personal world of ghosts, assorted dead losers, and sinister entities is as real to her as living people are to you and me. These beings accompany her almost everywhere, disturb her sleep, and bring her troubled childhood to the fore at every opportunity. To me it doesn't much matter what actually happens in this story, but instead the wonderful way Mantel weaves the extraordinary and weird into the ordinary lives of her characters. My abiding memory is of having a lot of sympathy and admiration for the character of Alison the medium, battling with unforgiving crowds at her nightly shows, and battling with her own personal demons ("fiends" as she calls them) the rest of the time. Well worth a read.