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Beyond Black

by

Beyond Black Cover

ISBN13: 9780805073560
ISBN10: 0805073566
Condition: Student Owned
All Product Details

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Review-A-Day

"Beyond Black is an odd-couple story, of a medium who is fat and generous and her assistant who is thin and stingy. Equally, it opposes the dead to the living, spirit world to our world, the professional to the punter, and the commodified to the real; while, as a side issue, the emasculated antics of contemporary men are compared with the grosser folkways of their fathers and grandfathers, to the keen detriment of both. But these oppositions are never secure. They infect one another, they share boundary conditions, they steal one another's best tunes." M. John Harrison, the Times Literary Supplement (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

Hailed as a "writer of subtlety and depth," (Joyce Carol Oates) Hilary Mantel turns her dark genius on the world of psychics in this smart, unsettling novel.

A paragon of efficiency, Colette took the next natural step after finishing secretarial school by marrying a man who would do just fine. After a sobering, do-it-yourself divorce, Colette is at a loss for what to do next. Convinced that she is due an out-of-hand, life-affirming revelation, she strays into the realm of psychics and clairvoyants, hungry for a whisper to set her off in the right direction. At a psychic fair in Windsor she meets the charismatic Alison.

Alison, the daughter of a prostitute, beleaguered during her childhood by the pressures of her connection to the spiritual world, lives in a different kind of solitude. She cannot escape the dead who speak to her, least of all the constant presence of Morris, her low-life spiritual guide. An expansive presence onstage, Alison at once feels her bond with Colette, inviting her to join her on the road as her personal assistant and companion.

Troubles spiral out of control when the pair moves to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside and take up with a spirit guide and his drowned therapist. It is not long before Alison's connection to the place beyond black threatens to uproot their lives forever. This is Hilary Mantel at her finest — insightful, darkly comic, unorthodox, and thrilling to read.

Review:

"Instead of celebrating the mystical side of 'sensitives,' the people who travel England's contemporary psychic 'fayre' circuit, Mantel (A Change of Climate, etc.) concentrates on the potential banality of spiritualism in her latest novel, a no-nonsense exploration of the world of public and private clairvoyance. Colette is a down-on-her-luck event planner fresh from a divorce when she attends a two-day Psychic Extravaganza, her 'introduction to the metaphorical side of life.' There, Alison, a true clairvoyant, 'reads' Colette, sees her need for a new life — as well as her potential — and hires her as a Girl Friday. As Colette's responsibilities grow, and the line between the professional and the personal blurs, Colette takes over Alison's marketing, builds her Web site, plans for a book and buys a house with her. Colette also serves as a sort of buffer between Alison and the multitude of spirits who beleaguer her. (Alison's spirit guide, Morris, 'a little bouncing circus clown,' proves especially troublesome.) Mantel's portraits of the two leading characters as well as those of the supporting cast — both on and off this mortal coil — are sharply drawn. This witty, matter-of-fact look at the psychic milieu reveals a supernatural world that can be as mundane as the world of carpet salesmen and shopkeepers. (May) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The mark of a great novelist may be the ability to take you where you truly don't want to go. If so, Mantel is the real goods....Superbly odd, but still superb." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A contemporary ghost story told with humor and heart, this novel is sure to conjure up new readers for Mantel." Booklist

Review:

"This is, I think, a great comic novel. Hilary Mantel's humor, like Flannery O'Connor's, is so far beyond black it becomes a kind of light." Terrence Rafferty, the New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

Troubles spiral out of control when a psychic and her assistant move to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside and take up with a spirit guide and his drowned therapist in this darkly comic, unorthodox novel. 25,000.

Synopsis:

Hailed as a "writer of subtlety and depth," Hilary Mantel turns her dark genius on the world of psychics in this smart, unsettling novel (Joyce Carol Oates)

A paragon of efficiency, Colette took the next natural step after finishing secretarial school by marrying a man who would do just fine. After a sobering, do-it-yourself divorce, Colette is at a loss for what to do next. Convinced that she is due an out-of-hand, life-affirming revelation, she strays into the realm of psychics and clairvoyants, hungry for a whisper to set her off in the right direction. At a psychic fair in Windsor she meets the charismatic Alison.

Alison, the daughter of a prostitute, beleaguered during her childhood by the pressures of her connection to the spiritual world, lives in a different kind of solitude. She cannot escape the dead who speak to her, least of all the constant presence of Morris, her low-life spiritual guide. An expansive presence onstage, Alison at once feels her bond with Colette, inviting her to join her on the road as her personal assistant and companion.

Troubles spiral out of control when the pair moves to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside and take up with a spirit guide and his drowned therapist. It is not long before Alison's connection to the place beyond black threatens to uproot their lives forever. This is Hilary Mantel at her finest- insightful, darkly comic, unorthodox, and thrilling to read.

Synopsis:

 
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
 
Colette and Alison are unlikely cohorts: one a shy, drab beanpole of an assistant, the other a charismatic, corpulent psychic whose connection to the spiritual world torments her. When they meet at a fair, Alison invites Colette at once to join her on the road as her personal assistant and companion. Troubles spiral out of control when the pair moves to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside. It is not long before the place beyond black threatens to uproot their lives forever. This is Hilary Mantel at her finest--insightful, darkly comic, unorthodox, and thrilling to read.

About the Author

Among Hilary Mantel's major novels are A Change of Climate, A Place of Greater Safety, and Eight Months on Ghazzah Street. She has also written a memoir, Giving Up the Ghost. Winner of the Hawthornden Prize, she reviews for The New York Times and The New York Review of Books, and lives in England.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

kriskeil, January 5, 2007 (view all comments by kriskeil)
Hillary Mantel's Beyond Black paints a compelling portrait of Allison, an English psychic, whose painful childhood frequently intrudes itself into her daily life. The book combines ugly realism with quite believable otherworldliness and acid humour. A good portrayal of the squalid side of English life, with several well-developed supporting characters, also from the world of the psychic community. Impossible to put down!
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(8 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805073560
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Mantel, Hilary
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Humorous
Subject:
Divorced women
Subject:
Occult
Subject:
Female friendship
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
John MacRae Books
Publication Date:
May 9, 2005
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
16.8 x 11.9 x 7.6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Beyond Black Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.00 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805073560 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Instead of celebrating the mystical side of 'sensitives,' the people who travel England's contemporary psychic 'fayre' circuit, Mantel (A Change of Climate, etc.) concentrates on the potential banality of spiritualism in her latest novel, a no-nonsense exploration of the world of public and private clairvoyance. Colette is a down-on-her-luck event planner fresh from a divorce when she attends a two-day Psychic Extravaganza, her 'introduction to the metaphorical side of life.' There, Alison, a true clairvoyant, 'reads' Colette, sees her need for a new life — as well as her potential — and hires her as a Girl Friday. As Colette's responsibilities grow, and the line between the professional and the personal blurs, Colette takes over Alison's marketing, builds her Web site, plans for a book and buys a house with her. Colette also serves as a sort of buffer between Alison and the multitude of spirits who beleaguer her. (Alison's spirit guide, Morris, 'a little bouncing circus clown,' proves especially troublesome.) Mantel's portraits of the two leading characters as well as those of the supporting cast — both on and off this mortal coil — are sharply drawn. This witty, matter-of-fact look at the psychic milieu reveals a supernatural world that can be as mundane as the world of carpet salesmen and shopkeepers. (May) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Beyond Black is an odd-couple story, of a medium who is fat and generous and her assistant who is thin and stingy. Equally, it opposes the dead to the living, spirit world to our world, the professional to the punter, and the commodified to the real; while, as a side issue, the emasculated antics of contemporary men are compared with the grosser folkways of their fathers and grandfathers, to the keen detriment of both. But these oppositions are never secure. They infect one another, they share boundary conditions, they steal one another's best tunes." (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)
"Review" by , "The mark of a great novelist may be the ability to take you where you truly don't want to go. If so, Mantel is the real goods....Superbly odd, but still superb."
"Review" by , "A contemporary ghost story told with humor and heart, this novel is sure to conjure up new readers for Mantel."
"Review" by , "This is, I think, a great comic novel. Hilary Mantel's humor, like Flannery O'Connor's, is so far beyond black it becomes a kind of light."
"Synopsis" by , Troubles spiral out of control when a psychic and her assistant move to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside and take up with a spirit guide and his drowned therapist in this darkly comic, unorthodox novel. 25,000.
"Synopsis" by ,
Hailed as a "writer of subtlety and depth," Hilary Mantel turns her dark genius on the world of psychics in this smart, unsettling novel (Joyce Carol Oates)

A paragon of efficiency, Colette took the next natural step after finishing secretarial school by marrying a man who would do just fine. After a sobering, do-it-yourself divorce, Colette is at a loss for what to do next. Convinced that she is due an out-of-hand, life-affirming revelation, she strays into the realm of psychics and clairvoyants, hungry for a whisper to set her off in the right direction. At a psychic fair in Windsor she meets the charismatic Alison.

Alison, the daughter of a prostitute, beleaguered during her childhood by the pressures of her connection to the spiritual world, lives in a different kind of solitude. She cannot escape the dead who speak to her, least of all the constant presence of Morris, her low-life spiritual guide. An expansive presence onstage, Alison at once feels her bond with Colette, inviting her to join her on the road as her personal assistant and companion.

Troubles spiral out of control when the pair moves to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside and take up with a spirit guide and his drowned therapist. It is not long before Alison's connection to the place beyond black threatens to uproot their lives forever. This is Hilary Mantel at her finest- insightful, darkly comic, unorthodox, and thrilling to read.

"Synopsis" by ,
 
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
 
Colette and Alison are unlikely cohorts: one a shy, drab beanpole of an assistant, the other a charismatic, corpulent psychic whose connection to the spiritual world torments her. When they meet at a fair, Alison invites Colette at once to join her on the road as her personal assistant and companion. Troubles spiral out of control when the pair moves to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside. It is not long before the place beyond black threatens to uproot their lives forever. This is Hilary Mantel at her finest--insightful, darkly comic, unorthodox, and thrilling to read.
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