Nikki 's Reviews > Bellman & Black

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
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it was ok
bookshelves: received-to-review, mystery, horror, historical-fiction-alternatehistory

I got Bellman & Black from Netgalley a while ago, without really knowing anything about it. It turned out to be a smooth, easy read, but it didn't really get any emotional hooks into me. The narration is very straightforward after the opening chapter, which seemed to promise more by way of emotion -- the main character's courtship of his wife takes barely a chapter, and a short chapter at that! So with all that it's very hard to get involved in the rest of the novel. Despite all the death and so on, it felt... bloodless.

It was interesting that Diane Setterfield clearly spent quite a long time on the research for this, and wove the life of the mills into the story. That was somewhat compelling to me, but like everything else it slid by so fast...

There's nothing major wrong with the novel as a whole, really, but I have very little to say about it -- perhaps it'd be good for a train journey, or a flight, or something like that. I'm somewhat interested in Setterfield's first novel, though partly because I'm told it's quite different and some people seem to consider it better.
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Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Sandi (new)

Sandi I loved The Thirteenth Tale. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like this one. I'll probably read it anyway. Just hope I'm not disappointed.

message 2: by Sam (new) - rated it 1 star

Sam Quixote I read about 50 pages of this and couldn’t understand Setterfield’s popularity. It’s easy to read – that’s probably why it’s a good transit book in that regard -but it’s also easy to forget.

message 3: by E.C. (new)

E.C. Sheedy Nikki, when you said this: It turned out to be a smooth, easy read, but it didn't really get any emotional hooks into me."
You read my mind. I loved The Thirteenth Tale, but B&B just did not do it for me. Yes, beautifully written. But, for me, no emotional punch. :-(

message 4: by Nicole (new) - added it

Nicole You'd probably like Thirteenth Tale better. It's twisty.

Nikki I have got it to read, so we'll see!

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