Historical figures and settings enlivened better than any premium cable mini-series.
Had it in my ears all day.
An interesting twist on a familiar tale. By changing the characters placement in this tale of familiar intrigue it allows a view of the whole that is refreshing. Cromwell as an intelligent, almost thoughtful man gives a new perspective.
I really do like Hillary Mantel. I love this series, the period, her point of view.
This series works SO much better in print.
The huge downside of this series in Audio for me was that the books make it clear through use of quotation marks what is internal monologue, and what is spoken aloud. I can't think how else to make this clear in Audio than the constant " ... he said", "... he thought", but that really slowed down the story and makes it much less effective. Cromwell's portrayal as a man who thought much more than he spoke was a critical part of the tale.
Slater was a good narrator, but I got stuck on the constant verbal markers of the difference between thought and speech. That distracted me to the point at which I could not listen to this. Luckily, I had access to the books in another format.
not do another hash-up of the dacinci code. really tired of this stuff.Let's just put the knights templar to rest, along with monasteries that have secret rooms, codes, etc.
only if I knew the book was good
I would cut the entire thing.
Really disappointed. Purchased based on New Yorker review, was planning on travel so I didn't have a lot of time to vet the book before buying. I hate it when I get a real dog from audible as it replaces one of the "good reads" I could have gotten. Won't do that again!
This is an exciting investigation into the life of someone you might have thought was just one more petty bad guy in the snakepit court of Henry VIII. But Thomas Cromwell emerges as uniquely fascinating: intelligent ruthless and yet ethical-in-an-odd-16th-century-way, operating in a very dangerous landscape. Mantel uses a minimalist touch to sketch the intense political maneuverings and treacheries and tragedies that made up daily life at the close of the middle ages. You have to pay attention and work a little, but the reward is that the world of her novel grows up around you, pulling you utterly in.
But, alas, Simon Slater's reading is not equal to the material. His voice carries the same sarcastic bite in every situation and for every character, whether they???re discussing cutlery or murder. The book is a little hard to follow and can be confusing, and although Slater does try to distinguish characters by changing his voice, unfortunately his tone - which I think is actually more important - never changes. The characters all sound like they have exactly the same personality: cynical and ironic, with a nasty little drawl. I gave up listening to it with my husband and I???m reading it aloud to him myself. I'm not a great reader but I can be straightforward and simple, which is a better choice for this marvelous book.
Bonus tip: two paintings mentioned in the book, the portraits of Cromwell and Thomas More by Hans Holbein are hanging facing each other in the Frick Collection in New York. After you've read Wolf Hall, it's a great treat to go see them.
I would recommend this book, because its is real history fashioned into a compelling revisionist history of Cromwell. I could not stop listening to it.
The narrator was a bit over the top, and made Cromwell and Moore both sound like cynical and melodramatic villains. It was distracting, and he spoiled the subtlety of the characterizations in the book, and made them sound far less natural and complex than they in fact are.
Wolf Hall is a substantial commitment of time and patience. It describes the amazing rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in 16th century England. Although a fiction, it gives a strong factual foundation of historical events and attempts to unveil the insight into the psychology and brain of this extraordinary man. His relationship with his family, a series of personal tragedies, support of his mentor cardinal Wolsey and ultimately the relationship with Henry VIII (the one with many wives) and the Boleyn family are described from the Cromwellls perspective.
At the end I felt historically enriched, but the book did not leave a lasting impression, which is unfortunate after 24 hours of listening...
Extraordinary, compelling, brilliant
An amazing look at the true nature of a famous epic period of English history..what Cromwell was actually like and the absurdity of religious wars.
Cromwell's depth in dealing with tragedy.
Surviving a Life of Hell!
This novel is so well written and gave me an insight about Tudor history that was so rich and original. The narration is Oscar worthy!
One of the best fiction books i've read in a long time.
It was written so elegantly. Very simply, but very convincingly.
Maybe Cardinal Woolsey. He was very different that what I pictured, but I still enjoyed the interpretation.
Impossible to pick just one moment, as they all build on one another.
50 yr old medical professional, love historical fiction
I love tudor period pieces and was expecting to love this after all the glowing reviews and was so disappointed to discover that I could barely get through it. The story was choppy and hard to follow, some of the voices were completely ridiculous - when did cardinal wolsey become a regency fop with a lisp? I know a great deal about this period, but still had almost no luck in following the flow of this story. The author did have an innovative and interesting idea in approaching the period from the viewpoint of Cromwell, but failed completely in telling a story that engages instead of confuses. Think very carefully before purchasing