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.
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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.
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.
No, the narrator had none of the gravitas that might have lifted this dirge to something with a bit more about it.
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.
Save your credit and listen to the unanimously mediocre reviews.
- the typist
What's with the obsession with death??
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.
Most of the second half.