This sequel to Wolf Hall moved much more slowly than Mantel's first book in the series. Of course, the ending was never in doubt--we read/listen to such books to see how the characters get to the known end.
I found the book, as interesting as it was and as well written as it was, difficult to follow in audio form. There is a lot of introspective dialogue, even some dream sequences. Simon Vance is a superb narrator, but I wish he had done more to differentiate these introspective sequences for the listener.
I listened to this right after listening the Wolf Hall, read by a different narrator. It took me a while to get used to Thomas Cromwell's new voice in the second book.
I love historical works. Could not put this one down any easier than the first.
At first I was disappointed by the change in narrators that passed however I read the two books back to back. I'm hoping for more.
Lots of going over old ground to catch up those who hadn't read "Wolf Hall." The reading, though good, did not match Simon Slater's performance. Still, a must listen for "Wolf Hall" listeners.
Bring Up The Bodies is a beautifully written book. Hilary Mantel lends her imagination skillfully to depict the live of many characters, primarily Henry the Eighth and his right hand man, Thomas Cromwell.
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!