Bellman & Black: A Ghost Story
by Diane Setterfield
Hardcover- $7.00


Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a ...

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  "Bellman & Black" by Silversolara (see profile) 11/14/13

A rook was the beginning and the end for William Bellman.

Black was the color of the day for this book along with rooks, who according to the author never forget.

BELLMAN & BLACK was an unusual read with the premise of death, darkness, black birds (rooks), the color black, and black events...namely funerals and mourning goods.

William Bellman inherited a cloth mill and made it very successful, but when a deathly illness plagued and overran his town, he had another business in mind partnering with the mysterious man in a black cloak.

Who was the cloaked man who took all the light away at Will's mother's funeral? Why was this man always around when there was a funeral?

Was this cloaked man and all the deaths in Will's family the result of Will's killing a rook when he was ten? Was this man with the black cloak Bellman's inspiration, success, or his downfall? Why were these rooks always hanging around?

BELLMAN & BLACK is a bit dark, but it still held my interest. Ms. Setterfield has a way with words and dark themes, but despite holding my interest, BELLMAN & BLACK was a bit dragged out hearing about William's life and then his new-found wealth.

I didn't seem to find the "ghost" in this ghost story until the very end. The "ghost" was a subtle theme even though it was to be the main theme. You will enjoy the wrapup in the ending pages....they were very unique.

Ms. Setterfield definitely did her research when it came to rooks. The different names that a collection of rooks can be called was quite interesting.

I am going to rate BELLMAN & BLACK a 3.5/5 even though Ms. Setterfield does draw you in with her excellent writing skills, her fantastic descriptions of scenes, her brilliance, and her amazing creativity because something just seemed to be off the mark a bit in this novel.

If you like dark themes, and you don't mind being told every detail of someone's life, you will enjoy this book. So please don't let me "frighten" you away from reading BELLMAN & BLACK.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  "Better the Second Time Around" by nbaker (see profile) 01/10/14

I dearly LOVED The Thirteenth Tale and made the mistake of reading Bellman & Black with the expectations that I would receive a similar story. Not going to happen. I closed the book disappointed and confused because I kept waiting for the big wow factor and it did not materialize. The next day I was plagued with the thought that I had missed something in the story - that there was a substance I failed to inhale as I swept over the pages. So I cleared my mind of any pre-conceived notions, tried to forget completely the authors first book and closed the cover with a total different frame of mind. While the story still held no big plots, and really no characters with whom I found much depth or substance, except Mr. Bellman, I think I found the meaning. I don't want to spoil the story for anyone so I won't enter my final opinions. Suffice it to say that Bellman & Black is the story of one man's journey in life, his joys, his sorrow and his own internal torment. I found no ghosts - just the hauntings he brought upon himself. With a hint of Dorian Gray and a sprinkling of the story of the Devil and Daniel Webster, Bellman & Black makes one pause and give thought to the memories they will leave behind when the rook comes to call. I am so glad I gave the book a second chance to speak to me. For Setterfield fans, I hope you will read with an open mind too.

  "Bellman and Black" by JVKorte (see profile) 09/16/15

Gloomy, slow moving. Interesting towards the end. Not a happy book

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