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Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel | [Hilary Mantel]

Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel

Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down.
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Publisher's Summary

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2012

The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times best seller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn. Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head?

©2012 Hilary Mantel (P)2012 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    marlene PALM BEACH, FL, United States 09-25-12
    marlene PALM BEACH, FL, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    "Brilliantly Written - Thrillingly Recounted."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.



    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bring Up the Bodies?

    I have not yet finished the book. Ask me again in two weeks.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Simon Vance brings voices, accents, drama to the experience.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Brilliant, thrilling, dramatic, gripping.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a long time since i have read anything of this quality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine St. Johnsbury, VT, USA 09-17-12
    Katherine St. Johnsbury, VT, USA 09-17-12
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    "Absolutely stunning."
    Would you listen to Bring Up the Bodies again? Why?

    Yes!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Thomas Cromwell, of course!


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    All of them--he was unbelievably good at inhabiting each character with slight changes of inflection and accent.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    When angels and devils switched places by the minute.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William F. Bellais Chillicothe, MO 08-22-12
    William F. Bellais Chillicothe, MO 08-22-12 Member Since 2012

    Fr. Bill

    ratings
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    1
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    "Bring up the Bodies"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Bring Up the Bodies to and why?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not that I am aware of.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is worth listening to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hasenpfeffer United States 08-16-12
    Hasenpfeffer United States 08-16-12 Member Since 2011

    Roast Rabbit.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
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    Story
    "Engrossing World"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ivonne Bexley, OH, United States 08-12-12
    Ivonne Bexley, OH, United States 08-12-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Extraordinary performance!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Lynnwood, WA, United States 08-08-12
    Deborah Lynnwood, WA, United States 08-08-12 Member Since 2011

    love to read, love to listen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listen, but not as good as the first"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Absolutely. The writing is beautiful.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably where Henry lost consciousness and the ambitions of the courtiers came right to the surface.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Absolutely.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isabel Archer New York, New York United States 07-30-12
    Isabel Archer New York, New York United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2009
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    5
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    "Exciting, absorbing historical fiction"
    If you could sum up Bring Up the Bodies in three words, what would they be?

    exciting historical fiction


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I like this narrator very much. He is effective, but understated. He does not get in the way of the book. He is an excellent reader, and his is far better than the performance of the reader of Wolf Hall.


    Any additional comments?

    You ought to read or listen to Wolf Hall first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Chicago, IL, United States 07-30-12
    David Chicago, IL, United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
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    "Performance Art"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bring Up the Bodies to be better than the print version?

    I did not read "Bring Up the Bodies" in Print. I did read "Wolfe Hall" the first of the trilogy and was captured equally by the prose and the character development. I loved the reading by Simon Vance. Its a bit like modern Shakespeare.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bring Up the Bodies?

    There were many, the execution of Anne Boleyn, told from the perspective of the one who did her in and knew her well was a chilling masterpiece of dispassionate observation. One could feel the force of the resistance of any compassion.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Cromwell and Katherine verbally jousting. Their characters were finely honed by this interaction


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was such a dispassionate recounting of a story repeatedly told that it opened my senses to the grinding of history, the rise and fall of champions and the superficial and transitory nature of glory and riches. It left me with a cold and detached perspective on life that stayed with me for days.


    Any additional comments?

    I am in love with HIlary Mantel's use of language and how dramatically readable it is. The cold dispassionate ruminations of Cromwell as he tells his story and those around him reveal a full character for whom I ultimately felt compassion. It is worthy of the great masters of English drama and could stand alone as a performance art piece.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    IthacaNancy Ithaca, NY, United States 06-27-12
    IthacaNancy Ithaca, NY, United States 06-27-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Continuation of Wolf Hall"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bring Up the Bodies to be better than the print version?

    I haven't tried the print version but I really enjoyed listening to Simon Vance as the narrator.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character was quite interesting. He had many skills and insights and didn't allow the hostility of the rest of the court to keep him from succeeding as an advisor to Henry VIII.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've enjoyed everything I've heard Simon Vance read


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! I had to work at controlling my regret at my husband's intrusion into my listening time!


    Any additional comments?

    I want more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica New York City, NY 05-26-12
    Monica New York City, NY 05-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    3
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    0
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    "Good story; good reading"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bring Up the Bodies to be better than the print version?

    Not sure


    What did you like best about this story?

    Well-written


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Very good acting and reading skills


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Unrealistic details in some place--a small example is that king Henry's bed would have been enclosed by brocade hangings but he is described as staring at the ceiling while in bed. We need to often willingly suspend disbelief at some of the very modern reactions and thoughts of the characters.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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