Bellman and Black

So advertising works – and thank goodness it does. I’ve seen various ads for Bellman and Black on Goodreads, Amazon and elsewhere. I took a quick peak – Victorian ghost story ? – not my cup of tea, I think. They keep popping. OK, what else has the author written? The Thirteenth Tale.


Hey that looks more like me. So my internal dialog goes. Well, I just started it. Oh my. Her writing is like beautiful ballet – it seems effortless, graceful – as if she’s the one author on this planet that need not edit. It appears to just drip off her pen and is published. Which means, of course, that re-writing must be her life. Anyway, words haven’t captivated me this much since Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus and Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane. – Stories have done so, but not the lyrical phrasing. So, you see, even though I just started The Thirteenth Tale (how I had missed this publishing event, I’m not quite sure – definitely behind the 8 ball), I am smitten with Ms. Setterfield’s writing and now see what a high standard she has set for herself in sophomore offering of Bellman and Black. So, getting back to my point, Popcorn Reads has allayed my fears. Read their review here: http://popcornreads.com/fiction/bellman-black-by-diane-setterfield-book-review-giveaway/

Diane Setterfield

Diane Setterfield

If you, like me, had the misfortune to not be introduced to Ms. Setterfield’s writing, here is a description of a letter in The Thirteenth Tale which describes my reaction to her own writing:

How long did I sit on the stairs after reading the letter? I don’t know. For I was spellbound. There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic. When I at last woke up to myself, I could only guess what had been going on in the darkness of my unconsciousness.

Finally, I’ve been listening to the audio version. narrated by Bianca AmatoJill Tanner. I’m not sure who begins the book, but the voice is as musical as the writing itself. This book was meant to be read aloud. Get the audio version if possible. Fabulous.

Ms. Setterfield could write about 20th century French literature for all I care. I would read it. Looking forward to the rest of The Thirteenth Tale and Bellman and Black (which is read by Jack Davenport whom you probably know best by his role as Commodore Norrington in Pirates of the Caribbean movies – nice voice.)