Good "read". Sometimes tedious, but the story moves along despite knowing how it's going to end.
Good background and fun read for Henry 8 fans.
Recommned putting the book on fast narration speed if you have that option. Normal speed is much too slow.
Wolf Hall, the first book in this "series" was superb, earned its Booker Prize. The narration, by the hitherto unknown Simon Slater, was miraculous, one of the greatest performances of an audiobook I've heard since Jeremy Iron's performance of Lolita. This book was more one-dimensional, we hear much less about motivation, and the downfall of Anne Boleyn gets surprisingly little attention given the buildup to it, and Cromwell's utter dependence upon her for his own success. The reading, by the ubiquitous Simon Vance, is his usual workmanlike performance, but nothing at all approaching Simon Slater's tour-de-force. It is really too bad they couldn't/wouldn't get him to do this volume as well.
I enjoy listening to audible recordings while exercising and doing tasks around the house. My interest is mainly on historical nonfiction.
I would enjoy this book in either audio or print.
The in-depth look at the reign and purported affairs of Ann Boleyn are very well done. You do not really know if any affairs were actually consummated, just as history does not really know. It is a mystery for which we will never really know the answer, but as told here the probability is low. The characters are well fleshed out and believable. Cromwell of course is portrayed as a very complex and deep individual. You come away from the book with a nuanced look at the period and its characters. I especially like the examination of the thought processes Cromwell goes through in dealing with the events of the time.
My primary reaction is a feeling of sadness for the fate to which so many individuals get caught up in as a part of the court intrigues surrounding Henry the 8th. It reminds me of insects getting caught up in a spiders web. They struggle but the outcome is foreordained.
The continuing saga of Crum and his rise to power. At the end of this book he is made a Baron. But from beginning to the end he reveals the persona that gave him the reputation of such a Bad Guy. I still had sympathy for him as a character, but he does bend toward revenge and his revenge is total. We all know Ann loses her head but Ms Mantel gives us an insider's view of why such an act was considered "necessary".
The writing continued to draw me in as one of the best historical fiction pieces I've read. The down side? It's not long enough. But I have hope for a 3rd piece, Crum is still alive.
I have already recommend this audiobook to all my reader friends. I use my iPod on the treadmill and cannot wait each morning to get on my machine and listen to Simon Vance recount the machiavellian machinations of Thomas Cromwell.
The book is a brilliant account of Henry VIII's relationships with Cromwell, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. I will be sorry when I have finished the book.
I have not yet finished the book. Ask me again in two weeks.
Simon Vance brings voices, accents, drama to the experience.
Brilliant, thrilling, dramatic, gripping.
It is a long time since i have read anything of this quality.
Thomas Cromwell, of course!
All of them--he was unbelievably good at inhabiting each character with slight changes of inflection and accent.
When angels and devils switched places by the minute.
Those who have an interest in 16th century English history, espcially the reign of Henry VIII,will find this book very interesting. My concern, however, is that Anne Boleyn is characterized as mean spirited and venial. There may be truth in that characterization, but I would prefer to think of her as evangelical and dedicated to reformation. Cromwell was her problem leading her to her demise. The story is well written and told engagingly. This is a novel and not a historical description of events and people. Setting up Anne Boleyn as a protagonist probably makes it a better story.
The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Claire Ridgeway and her sequel, The Anne Boleyn Collection -- The Real Truth about the Tudors. Other related books are the Six Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser, and A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt.
Not that I am aware of.
This is not a moving story. It is a story of deceit, conspiracy, and ultimately state murder. I guess I am moved by the idea that absolute power and tyranny must be stopped by the people. There is no hope if all the people of government join in the conspiracy to terrorize the people.
This book is worth listening to.
This is a bridge twix the magnetizing first book and the third yet to drop. Historical accuracy painted with rare choices make for an engrossing world in which one continues to live. Have listened to both twice.
Despite Hilary Mantel's sometimes obscure writing style, Simon Vance does a fantastic job with this audiobook, bringing the characters and the story to vivid life. I am looking for excuses to take long drives just so I can listen to longer stretches of this audiobook. It is probably the best I've "heard" on Audible. Absolutely superb. It's better than reading the actual book.
love to read, love to listen
Absolutely. The writing is beautiful.
The characters have become too one-dimensional and less is said about their backgrounds to help us understand their motivations. Where Thomas Cromwell was heroic in Wolf Hall, he has become a petty villain by the end of this novel. Is he really just getting back at people who wronged him and Cardinal Woolsey? It seems such a step down for him and without explanation. For instance, it's difficult to understand why he tried so much to save Thomas More from himself in the first novel while he almost seems to enjoy killing the various courtiers who had much less or nothing to do with Woolsey's downfall.
Probably where Henry lost consciousness and the ambitions of the courtiers came right to the surface.
As another reviewer noted, this novel has been edited more than the first, which has its upside, but at the same time, I think we've lost something of Cromwell that we needed to understand his transition here.