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Summary

As a boy, William Bellman commits one small cruel act that appears to have unforeseen and terrible consequences. The killing of a rook with his catapult is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games.

And by the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, he seems indeed, to be a man blessed by fortune. Until tragedy strikes, and the stranger in black comes, and William Bellman starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed.

Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, he enters into a bargain. A rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business. And Bellman & Black is born.

©2013 Diane Setterfield (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Bellman & Black

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I enjoyed this book

I'm glad I wasn't put off by some underwhelmed reviewers. I enjoyed this book, as I have every single one of Diane Setterfield's audiobooks. I love the respect and detail that each character is granted and the beautiful pacing. I also really loved the narrator.

8 people found this helpful

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What's with the obsession with death??

What would have made Bellman & Black better?

Seemed interesting at first, but why so much death everywhere? Eventually I became inured to it, and stopped caring. Deeply disappointing as "The Thirteenth Tale" was so good.

Has Bellman & Black put you off other books in this genre?

No

Would you listen to another book narrated by Daniel Philpott?

Yes

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Bellman & Black?

Most of the second half.

4 people found this helpful

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Save your credit!

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I've no idea who is going to like this book, after writing such an audacious debut novel it can only be read as a painfully dull follow up.

What was most disappointing about Diane Setterfield’s story?

It was told as some sort of parable, very basic and limited - no layering, no complexity. What you read is what you get. A moralistic tale with an achingly dull story at the heart of it.

Would you be willing to try another one of Daniel Philpott’s performances?

No, the narrator had none of the gravitas that might have lifted this dirge to something with a bit more about it.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I stuck with it, so maybe it's not so bad. But then again, I think I only kept listening because I was sure at some point it would become as gripping as her last book. It never did.

Any additional comments?

Save your credit and listen to the unanimously mediocre reviews.

9 people found this helpful

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Stick with it!

I struggled with this story to start with but I am glad I stuck with it. The writing is beautiful and the story is thought provoking. Quite a haunting tale that will stay with me.

1 person found this helpful

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Gave up after about an hour.

Just couldn't get into this. Shame as I've really enjoyed her other books. But this just wasn't going anywhere and I just struggled to keep listening.

1 person found this helpful

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Haunting

Beautifully sad but sweet and deep.

The threads of this tale are wonderfully woven with messages and lessons throughout.

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Disappointing compared to her others

I really wanted to love this, having enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale so much, but it just isn't in the same league and I found myself struggling to care about the characters or the plot. The narration did nothing to add to my enjoyment of the story, and I found it difficult to stay focused at times.

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Disappointing

Not as good as I hope it would be Long and not very entertaining waste of a credit

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Her best!

This is just quite extraordinary and definitely Diane Setterfield's best. Engaging from beginning to end and Daniel Philpott has completely captured its essence.

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Disappointed

I love this author but this book I found lacking . Not much of an actual story . Superb narration though and I did enjoy it

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  • H Angeli
  • 17-11-19

just amazing

honestly I don't even know what to write. if.you're thinking about purchasing this book... just do.it already. it's one of the best. it's the second one I listen by diane setterfield and it's as great as "once upon a river". a shame that there's no audio for "the thirteenth tale".