- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 47 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 11 Oct. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FQN8E36
Bellman & Black Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
The story begins when he is 10 and out playing with his friends when he catapults a young rook to death in a field. He is extremely surprised as he thought the rook would move before the stone hits, and he is upset at his actions, but with the passage of time all is forgotten and Will moves on with his life. He joins the family Mill business which he takes to like a duck to water and is soon running the company with great success. He marries a women he loves, has several children and is a happy and popular man - until one by one those he loves start dying - except his eldest daughter. At the point where he is at his lowest ebb, he transforms his life by building a Mourning Emporium in fashionable Regent Street after the thought is planted in his mind by the mysterious Mr Black who nicely floats in and out of the story. As you would expect, the Emporium is a great success as there is no other shop like it and Will's stab at a second chance of happiness looks to be positive. Will hardly pauses to reflect on his life and mourn his loved ones but it is not long before his life takes another unexpected turn as he realises there is still a debt to be repaid.
Although there are many characters in the book they are mostly bit part players propping up Will's story - which sits well with me as he is the driving force off which the characters (and reader) feeds. This is not so much a supernatural/ghost story, rather a very effective story of unease with Faustian undertones, interspersed with rook folklore that didn't detract from the plot.
I found it an extraordinarily good read, well written and I will now have to read her previous book, The Thirteenth Tale.
This is a wonderful, insightful and thoughtful book of Victorian manners and mannerisms; humanity and human-ness; life and death; love and loss. William Bellman is a man that it may be hard to feel much empathy towards, but that's the point I think of the story. He made his life, and he lived his life the way he thought he was supposed to. And what others made of him doing so was never something that concerned him. But perhaps it should have.
Wonderful; lyrical, beautifully written, a touching and charming story with a haunting aftertaste. Definitely thoroughly recommended, this book kept me gripped from the first to the last page.
There was then a 7 year silence from Setterfield, with eager readers wondering when, when and - of rather more import, could she possibly equal that radiant first book?
So I was delighted to be offered Setterfield's eagerly awaited second book as an ARC.
I'm sorry to say that I read it with enjoyment for a well-crafted story, but with a heavy heart as a book by Setterfield, who had led me to expect rather more than what I got - a perfectly good read, but ultimately not an incandescent, memorable one
In essence what she has written here, is a good old fashioned narrative about a successful entrepreneur - with a twist, or a hook, of dark psychology and a bit of the mysterious supernatural. It has been sold, or publicised as a ghost story. What it really is, I think, is a novel set in the world of nineteenth century work - but from the master, rather than the worker's perspective - with a twist of an unusual philosophical or metaphysical kind
The writer she most reminds me of, here, is Arnold Bennett who was bedded into the Five Towns - the potteries. Reading Bennett one really understood the concerns of Victorian England, and its entrepreneurs.
William Bellman becomes involved in the woollen industry, in the Cotswolds. Setterfield is quite a physical writer, and the reader learns a lot about that workplace.Read more ›
This is nicely written, with chapter ends which ensure we don't lose sight of where this story is going. It is slow and meandering, though, rather than gripping and compulsive, and the characters are there to fulfil their plot destinies rather than to live as personalities.
So this is an enjoyable read but there's little tension in the plot and we're never in any doubt what's going to happen in the end. Good as a well-constructed moral melodrama, but not one to keep me up all night reading.
(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a beautifully written, haunting and nuanced novel that explores themes of death and destiny in a Victorian setting. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Sometimes you finish a book and have absolutely no idea how to rate it and that is how I felt when I turned the final page. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Elspeth G. Perkin
Approaching "Bellman and Black", I thought this would be a gothic ghost story not dissimilar to Poe. But this "ghost story" is ridiculously disappointing. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lola
In an unspecified year, but around the early 1800s, Will Bellman, ten years and four days old, and his friends Luke, Charles and Fred test Will's catapult on a rook sitting on a... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Keen Reader
A superb novel. I could not put this book down from start to finish. Highly recommended. I loved every page.Published 6 months ago by Ellie E
Approaching "Bellman and Black", I thought this would be a gothic ghost story not dissimilar to Poe. But this "ghost story" is ridiculously disappointing. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Lola