Tracking Books Read: Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield

Posted November 21, 2013 by Felicia S in 2013 Read, 3.50 Wine Glasses, Reviews / 13 Comments

Tracking Books Read: Bellman and Black by Diane SetterfieldSource: Audiobook Review, Edelweiss EBook Review, Provided by Simon & Schuster, Provided by Simon & Schuster

Format: Audiobook

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
Narrator: Jack Davenport
Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins

Date Read: November 2013

Genre: Ghost, Horror

Bellman & Black is a heart-thumpingly perfect ghost story, beautifully and irresistibly written, its ratcheting tension exquisitely calibrated line by line. Its hero is William Bellman, who, as a boy of 11, killed a shiny black rook with a catapult, and who grew up to be someone, his neighbours think, who "could go to the good or the bad." And indeed, although William Bellman's life at first seems blessed—he has a happy marriage to a beautiful woman, becomes father to a brood of bright, strong children, and thrives in business—one by one, people around him die. And at each funeral, he is startled to see a strange man in black, smiling at him. At first, the dead are distant relatives, but eventually his own children die, and then his wife, leaving behind only one child, his favourite, Dora. Unhinged by grief, William gets drunk and stumbles to his wife's fresh grave—and who should be there waiting, but the smiling stranger in black. The stranger has a proposition for William—a mysterious business called "Bellman & Black" .

More Information:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Tracking Books Read
Tracking books that I have read but didn’t write full-blown reviews for. These will only have a rating and maybe a thought.

Listened/Read for Review (Simon and Schuster/Edelweiss)
Overall Rating: 3.50
Story Rating: 3.50
Character Rating: 3.50

Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)

First Thought when Finished: Bellman and Black is extremely well written with beautiful prose and wonderful imagery! The book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting but the story quietly pulled me in and kept me interested. If you are looking for something slightly gothic, beautifully told, and a little off the beaten path then I think Bellman and Black will work for you.

Audio Thoughts: Jack Davenport knocked it out of the park. I really liked his voice for this setting and these characters. The pacing could have been a little quicker but otherwise fantastic job!

FTC Disclosure

Clean out your E-reader Challenge hosted by Fantasy is More Fun ( & Because Reading is better than real life(
Clean out your E-reader Challenge hosted by Fantasy is More Fun ( & Because Reading is better than real life(
Overall Rating
3.5 / 5
Story Rating
3.5 / 5
Character Rating
3.5 / 5
Narrator Rating
4 / 5
Felicia S
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13 responses to “Tracking Books Read: Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to anything by Jack Davenport, but I going to keep my ears perk for his name from now on.
    Do you ever listen to an audiobook in a different speed? I have found that it does wonders when you find the pace a little slow, and it makes a world of difference 🙂
    I with some narrators I always use 1.5 speed with their books.

    • Have you ever seen Pirates of the Caribbean or BBC version of Coupling? That is Jack Davenport in both of them. He is just delish.

      I always when listening on my phone listen at 2x speed (on most) or 1.5x (on the rest). With this one though it was mostly the pacing in general. It was very methodical but I think that is the way it was written 🙁

  2. I have this one on netgalley just waiting for me. It sounds like a good one and I haven’t read The thirteenth tale.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and way to go continuing to clean out your e-reader! I’m amazed at how quickly you go through books

    • When I have both the audio and written copies of a book, I get through them quick. I can listen at work and then finish them up in written form. It is harder for me to get through a book when I only have one or the other 🙂

      Plus, I listen on 2x speed which makes it a quicker listen 🙂 Though I never recommend that to someone just starting audiobooks LOL

  3. I am recognizing the author’s name but I can’t remember her other work. I love a good ghost story and I am always up for gorgeous writing. I would definitely like to read this.

  4. I absolutely loved this one in ebook form but bet it would have been even better on audio. I loved the eerie atmosphere she created and the fact it was so different from other books was exactly what I needed at that moment.

    • The audio was outstanding and her imagery was amazing. I have hard time looking at black birds now without trying very hard to be very nice to them LOL