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Bring Up the Bodies | [Hilary Mantel]

Bring Up the Bodies

By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. In Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.
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Publisher's Summary

Costa Book of the Year, 2012

UK Author of the Year - Specsavers National Book Awards, 2012

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2012

By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church.

In Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn. This new novel is an audacious vision of Tudor England that sheds its light on the modern world.

©2012 Tertius Enterprises (P)2012 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (130 )
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4.6 (111 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Benita Brisbane, Australia 11-22-12
    Benita Brisbane, Australia 11-22-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    Story
    "Literary classic of Tutor England"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Beautifully scripted book.Great Listending


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

    Most memorable is Cromwell's recall of Christmas with his daughters who have since died.


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

    Undoubtedly Cromwell and his struggle to stay afloat in a society where betrayal and greed rules and the Kings word is absolute.


    Any additional comments?

    A really great classic. Hilary Mantel's second classic which surpasses the first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben WaterkloofSouth Africa 11-20-12
    Ben WaterkloofSouth Africa 11-20-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read Wolf Hall, listened to Bring Up the Bodies"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bring Up the Bodies to be better than the print version?

    Both books were excellent. I whipped through Bring Up the Bodies without listening to any of my usual podcasts (which is saying a lot!)


    What did you like best about this story?

    The human and political intrigue was gripping throughout.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    I loved the dry assuredness of the narrator!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Castle Cove, Australia 11-12-12
    Jonathan Castle Cove, Australia 11-12-12
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    "Better than Wolf Hall !"
    If you could sum up Bring Up the Bodies in three words, what would they be?

    Exquisite Historical Novel


    Who was the most memorable character of Bring Up the Bodies and why?

    Cromwell is a deep, rich and complex character, beautifully scripted by Mantle


    Any additional comments?

    I read Wolf Hall but listened to Bring up the bodies. Much to my surprise, I preferred the listening ! The 'voices' attached to the characters seemed more colourful than those I had created in my own head, and the delightful use of the .......pause.....to give weight to Cromwell's real meaning was a great touch. Was totally caught up in the intrigue of Henry VIII court.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-05-12
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    REVIEWS
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    "Superb historical novel"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bring Up the Bodies to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print version, but Simon Vance's delivery surely makes the words come alive.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Apart from Cromwell, the development of Jane Seymour and the decline of Anne Boleyn made them both flesh and blood characters rather than historical personages.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny Woodlands, Australia 10-29-12
    Jenny Woodlands, Australia 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Who am I to criticise?"
    Would you listen to Bring Up the Bodies again? Why?

    I would most definitely listen to this book again. It was clearly written to be read silently, but both this, the 2nd in the trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, and 'Wolf Hall', the 1st book of the trilogy, are excellent when read aloud.A good narrator, and in this instance I refer to Simon Vance, brings the characters alive in your ears. I expect to listen to this book many times again.The prose is magnificent. Written mainly in the present tense, it is vivid and living. I found myself understanding the choices and foibles of Thomas Cromwell, sympathising with Anne Boleyn who is far from a sympathetic character, and wishing Bluff King Hal had more balls!!Mantel's gift for bringing her characters to life, especially given that there has been much written on the main characters in 'Bring Up the Bodies', is very, very good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the immediacy of the narrative. I was swept along in the events of the era and the decisions made and the atrocities committed, just as if I were a member of the Royal Court surrounding Henry VIII. Hilary Mantel has chosen to use dialogue a great deal of the time. Long descriptive passages are kept to a minimum and as a reader I was right there, watching and listening.These events of Tudor history are so well known that it is easy to forget the drama and anxiety that Henry would have felt knowing that he was aging and had no son to inherit his throne. Henry could not know that the greatest of his children would be his younger daughter. Indeed he could not imagine a woman reigning in her own right. He HAD to find a legal wife who would bear him at least ONE living son.I guess Henry was also driven by his own carnal needs and lusts. Anne Boleyn certainly had it all over him for years.So it is the way in which Mantel has been able to show me, her reader, how desperate Henry felt about the circumstances in which he found himself without legitimate male issue, that has drawn me to this trilogy of books.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    As the book closes, Anne is beheaded and Thomas Cromwell realises that he must move on to befriend Jane Seymour. He realises that Henry will want to visit Wolf Hall, the seat of the Seymours sooner rather than later.The last Queen is dead. Let her lie. Forget her, forget she ever was. Move swiftly to the new Queen and get ready for a new marriage, for new possibilities, for a son, please God. Clear the way for His Majesty, make it easy and discreet for him to find his new love and to wed her.The pragmatism of Thomas Cromwell is so well demonstrated.


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

    The moment when Anne Boleyn realises that there is no option but her death for Henry and thus the Tudor line. She will not be allowed to live out her life discreetly in a convent. The only way that Henry can be certain that his next marriage is legal in the eyes of God and men - is for his current wife to be dead.Anne has no power left.


    Any additional comments?

    So who am I to criticise the 2012 Man Booker prize winner? A delighted reader who has enjoyed every one of the many minutes it took to read the story to me. Whenever I look at my freshly painted bathroom walls, I think of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Catharine of Aragon (more so in 'Wolf Hall') and the other sundry players in this wonderful book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adele 09-06-12
    Adele 09-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wolf Hall it isn't, but well worth the read"

    Only 4 stars, which feels a bit mean, but it's not Wolf Hall (which must be read first for this book to make any sense at all). Wolf Hall was truly exceptional, and any book would be hard pressed to stand up to comparison. The same comment goes for the narrators - which isn't to say that Simon Vance wasn't excellent. I really enjoyed Bring Up the Bodies. Not a lot happens but the cut and thrust of court politics and interpersonal conflicts are utterly intriguing. It is refreshing to read something so intelligent, original and really well written. I hope the final book in the trilogy will be as good as Bring Up the Bodies and don't mind waiting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy Cape Town, South Africa 08-30-12
    Sandy Cape Town, South Africa 08-30-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What an introduction to Audible.com"
    Would you listen to Bring Up the Bodies again? Why?

    Yes, so beautifully written and exquisitely narrated. A very hard act to follow.


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

    Anne at the tower


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scenes in which Cromwell gathers "evidence" of Anne's betrayals.


    Who was the most memorable character of Bring Up the Bodies and why?

    Cromwell, naturally


    Any additional comments?

    I will listen to this again and again. Simon Vance truly does Hilary Mantel justice. It took my breath away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia Australia 08-14-12
    Virginia Australia 08-14-12
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    "Fabulous book"
    What made the experience of listening to Bring Up the Bodies the most enjoyable?

    The content is historically fascinating and the author's writing very evocative. The reader was also excellent. Couldn't take off my earphones!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celia Merriwa, Australia 07-30-12
    Celia Merriwa, Australia 07-30-12
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    14
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    "Beautifully written and read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bring Up the Bodies to be better than the print version?

    No - I nearly always prefer the print version but there are many occasions when audio works best for me for one reason or another. Actually, well read audiobooks can have an edge because of the accents etc used by the reader. So, both are excellent!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    Telford, United Kingdom
    6/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Confusing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If it were easier to understand which characters were speaking.


    What will your next listen be?

    Robert Galbraith Silkworm


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I just didn't get on with him


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I tried twice but found I drifted and had to rewind so many times I just gave up. That's not happened before, and I listen to lots of audio books.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Becca
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    3/12/13
    Overall
    "dull"

    I've read and listened to many books about historical figures but this was painfully dull. I haven't even listened to it all as it make me feel sleepy so I can't focus on it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rosemary
    Rojales, Spain
    2/28/13
    Overall
    "Bring up the YAWWNN"

    A long winded and ponderous novel about the well known and much reviewed life and times of Henry 8th and his wives. Boring, boring, and more boring.even the narrator got on my nerves as his voice sounded the same for all the characters so that I found it hard to differentiate between them. The squeaky voice he attributed to the "King" was nothing like that which was historically recorded as "booming and commanding".

    Sorry Ms.Mantell, I dont think I will bother reading anything of your works again

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • K. Hutchings
    the "shire" england
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Tudors but from a different perspective."

    My favorite period of history is the Tudors, but there in lies the problem because its been done to death as far as historical novels go. I tried to read Wolf Hall in book form but found it hard to focus so I downloaded it from audible and within half an hour I was lost in the story. When I heard it was going to become a trilogy I was so excited and bring up the bodies didn't disappoint. It continues where wolf hall left off and it's main character is still Thomas Cromwell. The book is well written and doesn't turn into murder mystery/bodice ripping drivel that most novels about Henry VIII and his court turn into lately.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Luton Beds, United Kingdom
    11/20/12
    Overall
    "First Class!"

    Incredibly well researched and presented. I was hooked from the first chapter. I had not read any of this author's books before, but I am a fan now. The characters are so lifelike you feel almost as if you are there with them! A fantastic feat for someone writing about events of the 16th century. It even had my teenage son listening in and he hadn't the slightest interest in Tudor history-until now. Well done Hilary!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • MTDICKINSON
    lancaster, United Kingdom
    2/4/13
    Overall
    "Not for me!!!"

    I agree with the minority on this book. It just didn't go anywhere. I have downloaded books like "The hunger games", "Name of the Wind" and many more which are amazing books. This was to be fair, boring! Sorry.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Heike
    Heidelberg, Germany
    1/14/13
    Overall
    "Sorry - can't understand the hype about it"

    I appreciate that my opinion about this book is contrary to all these raving reviews. However I found it boring, confusing and tedious to listen to. Maybe it was the monotone voice of the narrator but I had problems following the story line and had to rewind several times. For me it was an ordeal to finish the book and I only did it because it had won the Booker Prize (hence I feel guilty for not liking it..)

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    6/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent read"

    mind challenging as well as being thought provoking, challengea an time thar sets our pasr and future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. M. J. Walker
    UK & Spain
    6/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling!"

    A compelling tale. Beautifully read by Simon Vance. A must for fans of Hilary Mantel and a superb follow-up to Wolf Hall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    6/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"

    Brilliant. Loved it. Wonderful narration. Compelling read. Highly recommended. Looking forward to Hilary Mantels final book in the trilogy of Thomas Cromwell.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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