Rich characterization and intricate plotting.
I particular enjoyed the scenes where Cromwell clashes with Thomas More. Let the philosophical and theological wool fly!
No, the book was much too rich and dense to consume I one sitting. This book is not like popcorn or potatoe
Chips, think of it more like 4 course meal at a 5 star restaurant. You want to take your time and savor every moment.
A nice some what lugubrious treatment of the Early Protestant reformation and view of Henry VIII/ Boleyn court.
Librarian and long-car-trip enthusiast.
I've read assembly manuals that were more compelling than this novel. While this book may have succeeded on the page, as an audiobook it falls flat. The narration is confusing and between the pronouns with no referents and the limited descriptions of the setting or circumstances, I spent most of the time trying to figure out wtf was happening. I was also unsure of how much time passed between the chapters. Months? Years? Why did the Cardinal Wolsey die? The confusion made it very hard to care about Thomas or his family.
Unlike some other historical fiction - I'm lookin at you, Phillipa Gregory - the novel felt contextually truthful.
Save yourself the headache and just read the book.
Currently a local truck driver who has hours to listen to my audio books. I am hooked, some of my fellow drivers enjoy them also
History with insight
Liked Henry 8th and of course Cromwell
First one and I look forward to reading many more
Cromwell to chatt about his life experiences
Glad I read this series and am better informed alittle about History
I loved reading this book enough that I dreaded it's ending. I have enjoyed listening to it just as much!
Simon Slater differentiates between voices, but he doesn't get to the point of making the differences too cartoon-y.
Becoming a Person
I admit, I was a little apprehensive listening to this book. Sure, I have a fascination with the Man Booker prize book winners and their fantastic story telling gifts but I really had a disdain for Cromwell from my early childhood. Cromwell never got a positive look-in through my history lessons at school and always looked like an overgrown Friar Tuck. After watching ‘Man for All Seasons” which paints Sir Thomas More as an angel, I had some doubts about the Tudors and their times. So, putting my prejudices aside I gave a chance to Hillary Mantel to provide her own fictionalized story of a reviled figure in English history. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Yes, it is long and arduous at times and quite detailed on historical names and places. But it is never boring. You always wanted to know the next chapter in the intrigue and poor More does get a good bashing – especially by the narrator. There are no heroes in this book – just old fashioned conniving royals in their fancy Court trying to upend each other. A thoroughly good read and I will now have to see what happens to Ann Boleyn in “Bringing up the Bodies”. I hear it’s a trilogy and Cromwell will get his just deserts soon enough.
Superb history story
Cromwell, of course. The author and narrator combine to humanize him and the mid 1500s as no other account I have ever read.
This is the first time I have heard him. But now I will look for him.
I like to take Cromwell out, but he might be bored.
This should be required reading in any college English or Western European history course.
The switches and turns in the book (mainly breaks in chapters and narrator's voice) as well as the complexity of the story made this a very very challenging audio-book. I have to admit I gave up on it when I lost my place (accidentally fast-forwarded) and decided it was not worth my further investment to go find it and try to pick up the thread again. I think this is probably a great book, just very difficult to track in audio-book form.
I love historical fiction.
I have no response
I have no response
Bottom line - this does not seem like a good book to be an audio-book
Hilary Mantel is very good at telling a story. This piece of historical fiction tells the infamous tale of Henry the Eighth and Ann Boleyn from the point of view of Thomas Cromwell, Henry's personal Secretary. Full of pertinent dates and real events to spice up the narrative, we learn of Cromwell's humble origins, his loves and finally his service first to Cardinal Woolsey and then to the King. We are anxiously awaiting the Third Part to this compelling history.
There was times that I could not put this book down. I listened to it while I cooked, cleaned, drove around. I love historical fiction and have always been a fan of the Tudors. I originally tried to read the actual book but it was really long so with work and kids I didn't get a chance to sit and read it , but this story is one you can forget yourself in
I enjoyed the inner thoughts of Thomas Cromwell. I felt like I really got to know him as a man, his background and past, the love of his family and his wards. The most memorable moment is his last night with his wife Liz
He really did a good job giving all the characters their individual voice, a little over the top at times, but captivating
I wouldn't want to make a film of this story, because so much of what I liked about the book were Thomas's thoughts, memories and wit. It would be so hard to capture
I'm hooked on Hilary Mantel. She is the most descriptive writer without getting too long worded. I felt like I was right there in the midst of it all
While it is hard to imagine, I was sorry to have this book end, even after 24 hours of narration. And that was even more surprising because, like others, I had a hard time in the beginning of the story becoming engaged. I needed some time to hear the rhythm of Simon Slater's voice and sort through the characters, but very soon I was engrossed in both the story and the performance. I found myself stealing away to listen more to the story and couldn't wait until my next session with Simon as Cromwell, Henry, and the rest of the characters. The story is the perfect balance between fiction and history. I learned a lot about Henry and the period that he seeks a divorce from Catherine, but was never bored. I do wish I had printed out the list of characters - it would help with following the story. I highly recommend this selection. I am only disappointed that there wasn't other books narrated by Simon Slater that I am interested in.