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.
This was a great way to experience a great book. I read Wolf Hall in the print edition and enjoyed it, but this was a much more engrossing experience.
Simon Vance's reading was excellent. It was always intelligible; there was differentiation between characters in his reading voice, but not in an annoying artifical way.
The story is told from the point of view of Thomas Cromwell, and a very complex and complicated man emerges from the story.
Well worth the time spent, whether in print or via audio book. I used the voice sync feature for the first time on this book; listening to audio 80% of the time, but occasionally switching to the e-book. That is a very nice and useful technology if you want to pay the extra cost (I was trying a free demo.)
Unlike any version of history I've read. At first it seemed odd, since I had not read Wolf House (first of the trilogy). Soon the storyline and narration fell into place and I could hardly stop listening to it. Compelling, dramatic, illustrative of life in the court and country of King Henry the VIII. I am no history buff, but this book made me eager to learn more about Old England, its monarchy and politics.
His intriguing voice and intonation. His ability to portray the characters distinctly.