Monday, September 16, 2013

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book via NetGalley!)
about book:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Thirteenth Tale comes a dark and mesmerizing ghost story guaranteed to haunt you to your very core.
 As a boy, William Bellman commits one small, cruel act: killing a bird with his slingshot. Little does he know the unforeseen and terrible consequences of the deed, which is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to be a man blessed by fortune—until tragedy strikes and the stranger in black comes. Then he starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, William enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born. 

my thoughts:

What a waste of time!  I should have known to put this book down as soon as I got to the part about rooks.  UGH!  Why did I not listen to ME?  Instead I plowed ahead thinking that the story would get better, or that it would turn into a story.  You see, Bellman & Black did not feel like a story, nor did it read like a story.  Nope, it felt more like a long-winded, verbose expository on the following subjects: mythology of the rook, ways to run a mill, and how to open a funerary store. At times it even felt like a history of William Bellman, instead of the story of William Bellman.  I just could not get lost in the words I was reading - there was no spellbinding! ACK!  Talk about disappointment!

So, no I would not recommend this book, unless you want to read about rooks or funerary retail.  Seriously, there was no ghostly spookiness to get frightened by.  Here I was, all excited to get lost in Setterfield's latest (especially, since it would count towards R.I.P. VIII) and instead I had to force myself to skim-read just to finish the story.  Of course, I'm probably the only one who feels this way about Bellman & Black, so maybe you shouldn't listen to me.  Just be forewarned that if you expect a creepy ghost story, you will be sorely disappointed.
Another book for R.I.P. VIII is done - hurrah!  I feel like I am on fire for R.I.P. VIII this year.  Last year I think I barely read one book and this year I've already read five books - FIVE!!! I can't believe it!  I feel rather pumped and am excited to read more spooky books for R.I.P. VIII.  So, I'm off to read The Returned by Jason Mott.  Happy reading!!


Bellezza said...

We often have the same books, and almost always have the same opinion of them (when I finish mine, unlike The Never List). So, I can't imagine liking this any more than you did. I didn't like The Thirteenth Tale so very much, and therefore I'm not surprised this disappointed.

Wish I could read as fast as you do! I' still only halfway though The Historian!

And yes, let's listen to ourselves and not be coerced into reading what doesn't please us.

jenclair said...

I loved The Thirteenth Tale, but Bellman & Black left me cold.

picky said...

Well darn. This one sounded so spooky and wonderful, but you aren't the only one I've seen mention being disappointed.

I absolutely hate that feeling. Sorry this one was a dud.

Ti said...

I finished!! What a waste, is right. Ghosts?? When I first saw the write-up for this book, it was called a Ghost Story. Hello... where were the ghosts? Yes, there was an element of the supernatural but man, I don't think she could have played it down anymore than she did. Goodness!!

I see now that the write-ups more properly reflect what the book is about but there aren't even any mysterious elements to drool over. It was so... blah. I have to write up the review. Joy!

Nadia said...

Bellezza, we do, don't we? And, I'm thinking you won't like this one either. I'm with you about The Thirteenth Tale - I just didn't love that book like everyone else. I enjoyed parts of it and then it all fell apart for me. For some reason, I really thought B&B would be better - I was wrong. Oh well. As for The Historian - enjoy it! I love that story :)

jenclair, me too :(

picky, it sounded so good that I couldn't wait to read it - too bad it didn't live up to the hype.

Ti, I know! Where were the ghosts!?! Did I miss them? Definitely not what I expected at all. UGH!

Dot said...

Oh no, I loved The Thirteenth Tale but I think I'll give this one a miss!

Nadia said...

Dot, this one was not good at all. At least with the Thirteenth Tale we get a story to lose ourselves in - not so with B&B.

Beth said...

I really loved The Thirteenth Tale so was very disappointed that this one wasn't as good. I thought that it would be much better. I see that you didn't love that one either so that's a bummer that two have failed you! I haven't been able to sit down and write a review because I just don't remember enough (and I JUST FINISHED IT). Oh well... I guess it happens sometimes. On with the other challenge reads...

Mystica said...

I have been also looking forward to this one. Now I don't know.

Elizabeth said...

Darn...I was so looking forward to this since I LOVED The Thirteenth Tale.

THANKS for your thoughts.

Silver's Reviews
My Blog

Aarti said...

Oh, no! I have this one on my shelf to read and now that I read this review and all the comments, I have no real desire to pick it up any more. Not that I was likely to do it any time soon, anyway, with the rate at which I am reading these days! Thanks for the heads up - what a bummer!

Lisa said...

Yikes! I know a lot of people have been really disappointed in this one but I'm so sorry to hear that it was such a waste. I have it downloaded but may just ditch it.