Sunny's Reviews > Bellman & Black

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
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did not like it

A Ghost Story. Pffttt! A ghost story my ass. How did that even get IN the title here? Because, it's not ANYWHERE in my book. Not on the cover. Not on the title page. Nowhere. It's Bellman & Black, A Novel. Full stop. No mention of 'A Ghost Story'. Anywhere.

I feel so cheated.

Imagine me, a grown woman, throwing myself onto the floor, kicking my feet, pounding my fists, and screaming in frustration. That just about perfectly describes the tantrum I envisioned myself having at the end. Because, I really, REALLY liked The Thirteenth Tale, and this was a total disappointment. C'est la vie. They can't all be winners, I suppose.

I have friends who absolutely refuse to continue with a book if they haven't been 'hooked' within the first 50 pages. So, I obviously won't be recommending THIS to them... since the whole thing was RIDICULOUSLY BORING!

*sigh*
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Reading Progress

November 2, 2013 – Shelved
November 2, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
November 29, 2013 – Started Reading
November 29, 2013 –
page 1
0.3% "OK, Setterfield. I'm prepared to be enthralled by your magic. Please, please, please don't disappoint."
November 29, 2013 –
page 34
10.37% "Still waiting for the hook..."
November 30, 2013 –
page 145
44.21% "Part II. When do we get to the good stuff?"
December 2, 2013 –
page 192
58.54% "New group reads starting, and I'm stuck trying to finish this snoozefest. :("
December 2, 2013 –
page 231
70.43% "Dora. Is SHE the rook?"
December 3, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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MountainShelby I'm also finding this one dreadfully dull, even with a terrific narrator on audio.


Sunny Yeah, this one just didn't hit the mark for me. It was a real bummer, because I enjoyed her first book soooo much. :(


message 3: by Delee (new)

Delee I just took this off my "to read" list. Too many people that have similar tastes as mine are saying the same thing. I am one of those 50-100 pages people you mention. Sometimes I try to go back and start them again..but sometimes the book just sits on my shelf.


Sunny I guess I'm just a sucker, Delee! LOL! I kept thinking through the whole thing: It'll get better next chapter... It'll get better by mid-way... It'll have a cool twist at the end that will make it all worth while... Only one more chapter, so surely...

I could have kicked myself for sticking with it when I was done. I'll continue to recommend her first book, though, which I really enjoyed!


message 5: by Delee (last edited Jan 08, 2014 01:30PM) (new)

Delee I loved her first book too!

lol..I just read all your updates while you were reading it. Too funny!...but yes sooo disappointing. I was looking forward to it before the reviews starting coming out.


Shauna Rumbaugh It's interesting to see how differently people interpret books. IMHO, there *was* a twist at the end, and there was also a ghost in the book.


Sunny There are definitely some folks who enjoyed the book, considering the average rating on this site is 3.09 (as of today, anyhow.) And, I concede that there was somewhat of a twist at the end - although I didn't have my typical strong twisty-reaction. (Maybe because by then, I was just too bored to care?) But, I'd argue about the "ghost" in the story likely being more of a manifestation of the guy's guilty conscience. That one fell flat with me. I also think it says something that this author took seven years to complete a second novel. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but it does leave me wondering whether she had a good story idea that she just struggled to flesh out.


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