“Beyond Black” by Hilary Mantel is not an easy book to read. Not because the writing is inaccessible, but because it’s well, dark. The protagonist is a very large medium, whose life is constantly marred by ugly, uncouth and unkind spirits as much as it is marred by her weight problem and her abused childhood.
Apart form the originality of the ideas, there is really very little to like about the book. Most of the characters are as mean as the spirits, and their pointless ugly lives seems to seep through their fingers like grey plasma.
I would recommend this book to anyone who feels that life is too beautiful. As for myself, I’ll try to forget I’ve ever read it.