Anything by Hilary Mantel is worth reading or listening to, but Wolf Hall remains her masterpiece and Bring Up the Bodies is not quite up to the standard set by that novel. What I really miss here is the sound of Simon Slater's voice (who read Wolf Hall for audio). Vance's performance, while above average, lacks Slater's pitch-perfect delivery.
The narration was a delicate verbalized painting of the people and events in the book. The book itself is a well organized picture of the events in the life of King Henry VIII and the life of his court and courtiers. It is easy to begin to see the realm from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell. He has been called many unflattering things by various writers. I believe that one behind to see Mr. Cromwell as ,perhaps, one of the brightest and influential men of his time. Though he undoubtedly became rich, obtaining wealth and status was never the motivation for his actions. This was a man who,far better than many, seemed to grasp the basics of survival in Henry's Relm, while maintaining and living by his own personal code of ethics and morals. A most enjoyable read/ listen!
No. I would consider it as good as the print version (high praise!) I used Whispersync along with the Kindle edition I already owned, and the transitions were seamless (technically, but also aesthetically.)
In a book about Cromwell, from Cromwell's point of view, it's hard not to say....Cromwell. Gregory, Christophe, and Jane Seymour all come into focus in this novel, and through the narration. (Readers remember them in the first book, but they get more time on-stage in this one.)
I was glad to know the correct pronunciations of some of the place names.
Thurston. Because he's a cook.
I love Hilary Mantel's work, but it can be off-putting at first. Just remember that every single thing in WOLF HALL and BRINGING UP THE DEAD is from Thomas Cromwell's point of view and dive in! Highly recommend....
Yet again the closely woven narrative that, this time, documents the decline and fall of 'the concubine' is utterly enthralling in both the writing and performance. Double Booker Mantel is peerless in her command of the language and the form; while Vance performs with flawless aplomb.
Although clearly well researched it was methodical and slow. Characters narrating instead of drawing you into an actual story line.
Mantel is truly a great writer. I was wary about reading this book because I can't be bothered with another novel about Henry VIII but this was a surprisingly fresh perspective. I wasn't expecting much but Thomas Cromwell is truly an amazing lead character for this novel. Its just the right breadth and length for someone like him who is important to history but not one of the famously major players. I appreciated the way Mantel used Cromwell to espouse some of what I believe to be her own views on the value of books, reading and writing. Mantel is truly an excellent storyteller! And I'm a tough critic!
Note: I read this book before Wolf Hall and I believe it is a great stand alone book. That being said, reading Wolf Hall definitely adds any missing pieces to the story. Wolf Hall can be read before or after 'Bodies' although its the first in the series.
It was a good retelling of the Henry VIII/Ann Boleyn story.
The plot developed at a good pace and the characterization was engrossing.
I was a little surprised by the overwhelmingly depiction in Wolf Hall of Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell. In this book, the same laudatory tone continues. If there is any way to view a positive version of the politics of the time, Hilary Mantel will. The characterizations are well done, but I have a hard time accepting the wildly favorable view taken of the Protestant movement in England. I don't have any strong feelings on the matter, but I feel pretty sure that the reality is not as one-sided as it is in this novel. On the other hand, it is a very interesting version of a well-known story
Narrator brings you into cold, dark settings of castle chambers, into open fields and dark forests and into loud, festive banquet halls.. But at times it became monotonous. Great read for people interested in Henry VII during Anne Bolen's court.
This audiobook is unlike most of the books I order. For whatever reason, I started this book before Hilary Mantel's first one, Wolf Hall. Still, I found it fascinating. You learn a good bit of history, and the story is entertaining. Highly recommend it to others.