Other Worlds

by Charlotte Reads Classics

Beyond Black, Hilary Mantel

… If the universe is a great mind, it may sometimes have its absences.

This was recommended very highly to me, but I don’t think I can pass on much enthusiasm for it. I like Hilary Mantel and this novel is written well, but it was miserable reading with little reward. Amusingly, I’ve been wanting to read it for about a year and had completely convinced myself that Mantel only wrote historical novels. So in my head I had likened Beyond Black to Ariana Franklin or Karen Maitland. And that was what I was in the mood for… So perhaps this was doomed from the beginning.

Beyond Black is about a medium and is set very much in the nineties and is not at all a historical novel! It was interesting because whilst I do not believe in anything that the book goes into, it did get me thinking what a horrible affliction being able to hear messages from the dead would be. Its about a world completely foreign to me, but I don’t think I’d come back to more for further insight. However, I picked this as a warm up to Wolf Hall; whilst I didn’t enjoy this novel, it hasn’t put me off reading more Mantel. Maybe just stick to the historical ones.