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Publisher's Summary

Alison Hart, a medium by trade, tours the dormitory towns of London's orbital ring road with her flint-hearted sidekick, Colette, passing on messages from beloved dead ancestors. But behind her plump, smiling persona hides a desperate woman: she knows the terrors the next life holds but must conceal them from her wide-eyed clients. At the same time she is plagued by spirits from her own past, who infiltrate her body and home, becoming stronger and nastier the more she resists....

©2005 Hilary Mantel (P)2006 Isis Publishing Ltd

What members say

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • smoker
  • 02-07-18

Tedious

Would you try another book written by Hilary Mantel or narrated by Anna Betinck?

I've listened to Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies so I can't say I would not listen to other books by Hilary Mantel but I will definitely steer clear of any follow up to Beyond The black. The characters were weak as was the book. It may have been better to get it down to about half the size as it appears to be stuffed full of waffle and repetition. The idea may have been interesting, indeed it was the idea that attracted me to the book, but it died in the book. Anna Betinck did her best but there was no way any narrator could have improved the listen.

What will your next listen be?

Adam Bede - George Eliot.

What character would you cut from Beyond Black?

Almost all of them

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • C and/or A
  • 01-26-18

Genius of Mantel and Betinck

The genius of the Writer and the Narrator both makes this an all-star book .

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ova Incekaraoglu -Excuse My Reading
  • 08-05-18

Sad, Beautiful and Dreamlike

Hilary Mantel is a master. This book took me away from the first chapter and I was very much feeling like I was looking at Alison from an arms distance. She is so in flesh and bone, the way Mantel tells all the characters in this book is outstanding.
This is one of the books that will leave a mark on you. Don't read this if you're after a surprise ending, mysteries, or an action packed thriller. Read it if you want to breathe a slice of Alison's life- she is a medium, she is obese, and had a difficult childhood. She is bullied all the time and both by the dead, and the living.
This is a story of two women and English wastelands, suburbs. The people everyone thinks and the people no one cares about.
A well earned 5 stars. Amazing.

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  • Rachel
  • 07-02-18

The Ghosts of Childhood

A medium, her sidekick and her link with the other side of the veil - a despicable old man. As usual Hilary Mantel is stunningly good. I read this story years ago and revisited as an audible book. Anna Betinck does a wonderful job and the book is a many layered exploration of childhood abuse transformed into a medium's shtick. There is no judgement of the protagonist but a peeling back of her reasons and hidden memories. I found this a fascinating insight into how suppressed memories can find their expression in the strangest ways.

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  • Inkypen
  • 06-25-18

Darkly funny

This book is a rollercoaster of sad, creepy, horrific and laugh-out-loud funny. Best book I've read for ages!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • gepocock
  • 06-17-18

Weird and wonderful

I have to say that it was a pleasure to listen to the narrator# once you have it a go. Not at all as I expected. Definitely one to remember.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul D
  • 06-16-18

Unusual and dark

Dark and rather odd 'plot' but wonderful writing and a masterful reading that held the interest to the end

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Misspelt
  • 05-27-18

A so-so rambling story.

Modern day take on people who claim to see ghosts. A couple of interesting sections but not enough to keep any moment. Very well narrated.

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  • tracy allen
  • 02-23-18

Beteljuice by way of Mike Leigh

A great listen. A darkly entertaining story of a medium tormented by her visions and her past in the dormitory towns of the south east. A brilliantly realized imagining of the spirit world if the spirit world existed and was as mundane, cruel and lost as our own. Hilary Mantel's English, suburban and bleak precursor to 'Lincoln in the Bardo'

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  • vicky ross
  • 02-23-18

LOL

definately a LOL book more a chick flick though but a good listen and read brilliantly narrated