audio book junkie
OK this book has amazing reviews. I love period pieces and I love history but I don't know what went wrong here, in my three years of being a member of audible this is the first book I couldn't finish. I just could not get into this book. I tried three times. Starting over each time, the third time I made it 6 hours in and I was bored and just didn't care about it. Maybe it's because I didn't read the first book "Wolf Hall" I'm not sure. Maybe it was the writing, maybe it was the reading, maybe it was the story... something was a miss for me.
This was the type of experience that I had expected or hoped would be among the best audible could provide. The reading allowed me to passively become part of another world. It was a brilliant read that made me feel as though the people were all real, and that I could know their thoughts, motivations and hopes. A brilliant creation of a lost world.
Was hooked as soon as I heard his voice, with all its cunning and caution. He captured the presumed weary character of Cromwell. A pragmatic, devious, yet mindfully pious and thoughtful man, that was wise enough to know he was playing a deadly game in a jungle where all the animals were predators yet foolish enough to think that he alone would not be devoured in the end.
At the end of the book, when Cromwell becomes introspective and thinks about the effect that a death had on himself, and knowing that even though he was wiser, more intelligent and thoughtful than his adversaries, he never the less would succumb to the awful fruition of historical forces, forces which he himself would unleash. Some of it was intentioned by the protagonist but other forces unpredictable and unknowable until revealed, until the bitter end, thereby like the others Cromwell outsmarted, becoming his own executioner.
Took a lot of purchases at audible to get to the one that made all the other duds worth it.
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
Generally I enjoy historical fiction, however, I didn't really like this book much. For one thing, I felt like names and details were too overwhelming. After a while, I pretty much gave up on TRYING to figure out the characters, and I just let the story wash over me and the characters either stuck with me - or not. Yes, there were interesting parts, learning occurred, and parts were even humorous, but overall I just didn't care much.
Also, I found her writing to be problematic. Here is the best description of it that I could come up with:
From Googreads review by Isis, June 2012:
"Mantel still prefers to overuse her third person pronouns rather than use her main character’s name, which in the previous book could get considerably confusing, however, towards the end of Wolf Hall she begins using “he, Cromwell…” a lot more, and it’s that form that she utilises in Bring Up the Bodies. It admittedly clears up a lot of potential confusion, but I stick by what I said in my review of Wolf Hall, that it renders the “he” altogether redundant and it’s a clumsy solution compared to the simplicity and clarity of just using a character’s name where appropriate!"
I haven't read the print version.
Setting Ann up for her fall.
The title character.
The title character because of his insight and his point of view of the events.
I will listen to it again. Like watching a movie again to see what you've missed the first time.
Cromwell is fascinating, and I loved how Mantel created such a full and complex character.
Cromwell was, no doubt, my favorite, but it was fascinating to witness the ruthless rise and eventual decline of Ann Boleyn.
I don't have a favorite scene in this book, but there are many enjoyable images: the falcons in the opening; the repeated imagery of the Cardinal's ring; Cromwell's flashbacks to his upbringing and his growing nostalgia toward his father. Of course,the final scene is indelible.
I can't wait until the third novel! I am looking forward to reading more of Mantel's work.
Mantel has an interesting take on this period in English history- she tells the story through Thomas Cromwell's eyes.
the continuing conversations between Cromwell and the Emperor's ambassador.
good, overly dramatic
I enjoy listening to books while working out.
The final scene when Queen Anne is led to her beheading.
This book and it's audio-performance were richly textured and nuanced making this one of the best audiobooks I have sunk into. It takes a little bit of time to adjust to the meter of the writing and the language of the times ( 16th century). But it is worth the small amount of effort required. This was a wonderful sequel to Ms. Mantel's Wolf Hall.
Thomas Cromwell was a brilliant strategist and administrator for Henry VIII - both in this novel and in history. His role in history might imply that he had a relatively easy life, but through Ms. Mantel's writing it was wonderful to view the challenges and dangers of being so close to the King. Definitely brought this otherwise somewhat boring historical figure to life - and through his eyes and experiences saw many delightful snapshots of life for the everyday working class and the noble class in 16th century England
I love the name. When I got to the part of the book in which the title was evoked, I exclaimed "Ah! That is perfect!"
The format for iphone is great. Now we need a format for ipad......
The second book in a planned three-book series, Hillary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies continues the story of Thomas Cromwell, advisor to Henry VIII. This audio version fully captures the drama and beauty of Mantell's prose with an excellent reading by Simon Vance.
One of the best!
The book had so many outstanding and memorable moments that I could not possibly single out one.
Vance has the ability to bring life to a variety of men and women with believable sh*ts in accents, intonations, and emotions.
As a student of the Tudor dynasty, I crave historically accurate and compelling interpretations. Until now, my attention has centered on the royals with barely a nod to the supporting cast. Mantel has done an outstanding job fleshing out Cromwell's character and bringing him out from behind the door. My only quarrel with this second book is that Henry VIII is portrayed as a buffoon, driven by his single minded desire for a male heir. Although Cromwell held considerable power, he did not match Henry in intelligence and ability to bring peace to a nation ripped apart by its devastingv civil war that brought the
Tudors to the throne.