I guess if you are into Henry and Cromwell this might not be too bad, but it is very confusing. I don't think I will finish it. I won't get it, sorry I bought it.
Yes, it is long, yes it is literary and intelligent, so if that's what you like, you will love this AND the narrator who uses his voice not to dramatize, but to bring out character, and help immerse you in a setting that couldn't be more human and at the same more different than our own lives. I would listen to many, many more hours of Hilary Mantel's brilliant writing and Simon Slater's deft characterizations. I recommend listening to it 3 times, each time you will appreciate more.
I love Tudor fiction, history etc, so I really looked forward to listening to this book. Imagined conversations between historical persons can be very interesting but in this recording is grating and irritating. The narration is so over the top that the story gets lost. This book should have a tag that reads "Highly Theatrical Narration Like Unto Farce."
It was very hard to keep track of who was speaking; the timeline was too complex; this might be a good story to read but it was so convoluted that I quit before the end.
I'm appalled by some of these reviews. Perhaps your ADHD can only handle james patterson. I appreciate the attempt to better your general understanding through works of literature, if that is what your attempting, but i imagine if you rated this book less than four stars you may need to stick to those glossy paperbacks with the shallow material and the one dimensional characters. I would suggest you stick to your guns, kidnappings, murder mysteries and sex. i mean come on... i hope this review gets through. somebody's gotta say it. I'm quite tired of the real literature on this site getting besmirched by reviews with the wit, focus, concentration and understanding of a cucumber.
I have several problems with this historical fiction - it begins with the narrator whom I found to be confusing because he would adopt a stylistic voice for a character and then maintain that style for another character during a lengthy dialog. It's as if he forgot who was speaking for. My second problem is that I have read so much Tudor history, and other historical novels by Phillipa Gregory, that I can't help but compare this to The Other Boleyn Girl which gives far more insight into the political aspirations of Anne and her family. I'm just a mere reader, and I know Wolf Hall was the recipient of several prestigious awards - so maybe it was the narration because I couldn't keep the characters straight. Maybe it was the repetitious recounting of past characters/events...this was one I couldn't get through.
I LOVED this book, but it was nearly impossible in audio. You can't properly convey family trees and relationships as reference in an audio book.
Listen when commuting
This audio book succeeds on two fronts. The book is so wonderfully written that there were numerous times that I rewound the audio to hear a passage over again. Simon Slater's narration is superb. I wish there was another title narrated by him on Audible so I could listen to another performance.
Readers can make or break a book, and if I could, I would not give this book a single star. The reader was terrible. He was unable to highlight the transitions from dialogue to description. As a result, the intricacies of the plot and supporting dialogue were lost. Think: speaking with rocks in the mouth with a monotone voice. What a shame for a Man Booker prize winning book to be "showcased" in such a terrible way. Plot? Rich with it, but impossible to follow due to the ham-handed way the production was made. Save your credits/$$.
Perhaps the finest reading of a great novel, yet. Simon Slater's narration adds a new dimension to a rich source text. He does voices, he has a measured cadence, but his reading is neither extravagent nor unctuous. His narration is an aid to bring to further life the characters as Mantel depicts them. Read the book and listen to the audiobook.