The narration of this book is amazingly well done-all kinds of accents and characters. I love the reading almost as much as the book. Yes, if you are not familiar with all the characters of Henry VIII's reign, you might have trouble following-wikipedia a bit and you'll get a better picture. But I believe with a little work a novice can enjoy this book utterly. And if you are a Tudor history buff, this book is a special delight. Hillary Mantel has put together both a literary and historical fiction novel. The writing and research are top rate-no wonder she won the Booker. She really gets inside these people's heads and the dialogue is far from trite and ordinary-her research on the culture of Tudor England shows through- what people read, ate, wore, thought, the city landscape, all very memorable. This is no light weight novel.
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