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Bellman & Black

Written by: Diane Setterfield
Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins

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Publisher's Summary

As a boy, William Bellman commits one small cruel act that appears to have unforeseen and terrible consequences. The killing of a rook with his catapult is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games.

And by the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, he seems indeed, to be a man blessed by fortune. Until tragedy strikes, and the stranger in black comes, and William Bellman starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed.

Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, he enters into a bargain. A rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business. And Bellman & Black is born.

©2013 Diane Setterfield (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • H Angeli
  • 17-11-19

just amazing

honestly I don't even know what to write. if.you're thinking about purchasing this book... just do.it already. it's one of the best. it's the second one I listen by diane setterfield and it's as great as "once upon a river". a shame that there's no audio for "the thirteenth tale".

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  • the typist
  • 11-01-14

Save your credit!

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I've no idea who is going to like this book, after writing such an audacious debut novel it can only be read as a painfully dull follow up.

What was most disappointing about Diane Setterfield’s story?

It was told as some sort of parable, very basic and limited - no layering, no complexity. What you read is what you get. A moralistic tale with an achingly dull story at the heart of it.

Would you be willing to try another one of Daniel Philpott’s performances?

No, the narrator had none of the gravitas that might have lifted this dirge to something with a bit more about it.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I stuck with it, so maybe it's not so bad. But then again, I think I only kept listening because I was sure at some point it would become as gripping as her last book. It never did.

Any additional comments?

Save your credit and listen to the unanimously mediocre reviews.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jo E
  • 11-07-19

I enjoyed this book

I'm glad I wasn't put off by some underwhelmed reviewers. I enjoyed this book, as I have every single one of Diane Setterfield's audiobooks. I love the respect and detail that each character is granted and the beautiful pacing. I also really loved the narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Nibor
  • 28-05-16

What's with the obsession with death??

What would have made Bellman & Black better?

Seemed interesting at first, but why so much death everywhere? Eventually I became inured to it, and stopped caring. Deeply disappointing as "The Thirteenth Tale" was so good.

Has Bellman & Black put you off other books in this genre?

No

Would you listen to another book narrated by Daniel Philpott?

Yes

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Bellman & Black?

Most of the second half.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rose
  • 03-02-20

what on earth is it?

I’m not sure how you’d classify this book. Is it a ghost story? A horror? A children’s book? Certain parts of it are shildlike. A fiction? A classic? Well, it could be any one or even all of these things. I liked it. It’s complex and yet simple. It’s about one man and his rook and his life as well. I liked it but how to talk about it well, read it and you’ll know just what I mean. What on earth is it except a book?

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  • Kath Potter
  • 15-07-14

disappointing

Would you try another book written by Diane Setterfield or narrated by Daniel Philpott?

no

Did Daniel Philpott do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

reader was ok

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

started well then fell away

Any additional comments?

I loved her first novel 'The thirteenth tale' and had looked forward to the second one but found it drab and disappointing.I would have returned this but made a mistake and sent another book back instead!

1 person found this helpful