Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Beyond Black: Hilary Mantel

Round and round the London Orbital, driving from venue to venue, go Alison and Colette, the psychic and her manager, one fat, one thin, one with too much imagination, the other with too little- bringing a kind of comfort to hollowed out people in hollowed out towns. In the back seat sits Morris, Alison's spirit guide, a little man with disgusting habits and equally disgusting mates- Mr Aitkenhead, Keef Capstick and Pikey Pete.

Once upon a time Alison was a little girl ("if anyone asks, say you're sixteen") living with her mother and her mother's imaginary friend in a squalid house in a garrison town- and Morris and his mates (then all still alive) were the "uncles" who were always dropping by and leaving tenners on the sideboard. There were fighting dogs in pens at the back of the house. There was a bath in the front garden. Alison once imagined she saw a disembodied head in that bath...

Like is drawn to like. We get the ghosts we deserve. The feeble and silly are haunted by feeble and silly ghosts. So what does it say about you if the ghosts that trail round after you are fiends?
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