Tuesday, September 17, 2013

First Chapter First Paragraph - Bellman and Black

Title: Bellman and Black: A Novel
Author: Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books (November 5, 2013)
Format: eBook; Hardcover Pgs 336
Genre: Gothic
Source: NetGalley

Hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea

Chapter 1

I have heard it said, by those that cannot possibly know, that in the final moments of a man’s existence he sees his whole life pass before his eyes. If that were so, a cynic might assume William Bellman’s last moments to have been spent contemplating anew the lengthy series of calculations, contracts, and business deals that made up his existence. In fact, as he approached the border with that other place – border toward which we will all find our path turning sooner or later – his thoughts were drawn to those who had already crossed into that unknown territory: his wife, three of his children, his uncle, cousin, and some childhood friends. Having remembered these lost, dear ones and being still some moments from death, there was time for one last act of remembrance. What he unearthed, after it had lain buried some forty years in the archaeology of his mind, was a rook.

Let me explain:


Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to have put the whole incident behind him. It was as if he never killed the thing at all. But rooks don’t forget . . . Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William’s life, his fortunes begin to turn—and the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner. Together, they found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born.


Amy Meyer said...

I'm intrigued and would continue reading this book. It's already listed on my tbr and I hope to read it soon.

Enjoy! I'll be keeping an eye out for your review!

Anonymous said...

Awesome beginning! I love that reference to how some thought his life was, but that he actually thought of his family and friends when he was near death. Hope you enjoy this book. I will be putting it on my wishlist now. Thanks.

JoAnn said...

I read The Thirteenth Tale earlier this year and immediately added this one to my wish list. I really like the opening... hope the rest is just as good. Enjoy!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Love the intro and although this one is getting mixed reviews, I do plan to read it --enjoy nancy

kelley jensen said...

hmmm . . . I'm hooked. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

Nise' said...

I enjoyed this book, hope you do as well.