Getting back into the swing of things each week is hard. So is finding the quiet time to write a review over the weekend. In order to ease out of the weekend, I’ve decided to begin my blogging week with a mini review.
As someone who loved the stuffings out of The Thirteenth Tale, I was excited to pick up this audiobook despite the less than glowing things I’d heard about it. I hate to give you a spoiler to my review here, but I’m glad I’ll always have The Thirteenth Tale.
When some of my most trusted book pushers told me that they couldn’t recommend Bellman & Black I wasn’t worried. Liking or not liking a book is a personal thing after all. Surely the book would work for me. I listened to the the audio sample on Audible’s website and grew even more certain that I’d enjoy the book. Jack Davenport has a fabulous British accent and listening to that little snippet excited me even more. The first few hours were equally pleasant. I loved the story of William Bellman’s early childhood and marriage. Usually when I like characters and tragedy strikes I am glued to the story. Here, that’s where it all fell apart for me. Somehow along the way I stopped caring. Davenport certainly did his best to breathe as much life as he could into the story and I would eagerly pick up another of his audiobooks. With him as company, I tried my best to soldier on, but not even Black could keep me awake. I didn’t care who he was (although I had my suspicions) or why he became part of William’s life. As Bellman & Black opened, I gave up the ghost myself. There was some excellent material here, but I found Setterfield’s execution lacking. Gothic novels can be many things, but boring isn’t one of them.