Bookmarks Magazine's Reviews > Beyond Black

Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
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Feb 05, 2009

Beyond Black is just that__so black it reaches beyond the dark and makes the unbelievable believable. A story that normalizes clairvoyance shouldn't work this well, but it does. Mantel discussed her own experiences with illness and ghosts in her memoir Giving Up the Ghost (2003), but this novel is pure fiction. A seedy sideshow of ghosts (at turns helpful, annoying, and evil), all-too-human characters, a British brand of humor, shrewd commentary on the state of the world, and rich prose make for convincing, if not always agreeable, reading. Although Alison's flashbacks never emerge clearly, they create some of the novel's most painful scenes.

This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.


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