Alison Hart is a medium by trade. She and her cynical assistant, the slender, flint-hearted Colette, travel the clubs and psychic fairs of London's orbital road - Alison passing on the messages of the dead. But behind Alison’s plump, smiling public persona is a tormented woman - being a bridge between the living and the dead can be an affliction, not a blessing.
Her days and nights are haunted by the unpleasant thugs and petty criminals that she grew up with; men who visited her prostitute mother, harrassing and preying upon Alison. The more she tries to be rid of their ghosts, the stronger and nastier they become.
©2005 Hilary Mantel (P)2006 Isis Publishing Ltd
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"okay but not the best"
I listened to this book all the way through but found myself in the rare position of wishing the book was abridged. I really felt the story could have been cut in half. Lots of deeply unattractive bullying characters, winge moan, menace and bully for hours and then the end felt totally underwhelming to me. I might listen to the end again in case i missed something, as i was just left thinking,,,,,,,,,,,,,"is that it then..."
"not what I expected"
this was not a book I could honestly say I enjoyed but neither was it one I could leave unfinished. it took me several attempts to Complete the story and perhaps this is why I found it lacking I direction and was left wondering where on earth it was heading. .... this is one I was pleased I finished and also one I was pleased finished when it did... sorry not for me
"Dark as its title"
A good book, well written and narrated. Won't be everyone's cup of tea as it's not exactly happy go lucky, a dark story with an even darker sub plot.
loved this story of a medium and the world of clairvoyance. funny, warm and totally engaging. Beautifully narrated
"Distasteful, unpleasant psychic nonsense"
I've had Wolf Hall sitting on my bookshelf for ages, so maybe. As far as the narration goes, I think I would try a sample first.
I'm struggling to think of any good points. It was impossible to feel any empathy with any of the characters, and there was so much gratuitous unpleasantness that I gave up half way through. The whole experience was very depressing.
I thought that the performance was flat, without much tonal variation, and slightly too slow.
A good use of language, and some wry observations on the Home Counties - an area I know well, but I can't help feeling that both could have been put to better use.
Grubby, horrid, I just hope I forget it soon.
As with everything else that I have read by Hilary Mantel this book was beautifully written. Her turn of phrase is light, accurate and sometimes excruciatingly funny.
In turns comic and heartbreakingly sad the story and the characters hold your attention as they meander through a slightly unreal world.
The narration by Anna Bentinck is delicious.
I was sorry to reach the end and am sure that this audiobook will be even better on a second listen.
"Unusual handling of a sensitive subject"
Dark, challenging, unusual
The interplay between 'ghost' and characters.
I appreciated Anna Bentinck's narration very much. I doubt that I would have otherwise had the patience to work my way through the book. Although Hilary Mantel's somewhat cynical prose is so beautifully expressed, after a break in listening, I had to go back a chapter to return to the mood and action.
The slow and terrible reveal of the cause of Alison's haunting.
Recommended for listening when not otherwise occupied with daily tasks.
"God awful book"
The characters were disgusting, even the ones I think you're supposed to like. I read some books and am left feeling that I'd enjoy taking the author out for a pint. Take note Christopher Brookmyre and Stuart McBride. However some authors strike me as the kind of people who's eye contact you'd avoid at party, Ms. Mantel falls into the latter group. This book left me wanting to get a shower! Yuckity-yuck-yuck
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