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
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Even though I had recently watched the TV series, Wolf Hall, I was still engrossed in this book and could not put it down....even taking it outside while pruning the roses!. Extremely well read. Thoroughly recommend it. Delighted that I bought it as a 'Daily Deal' - what a bargain!
"Made Cromwell likeable"
It took me some time to accept the style in which Wolf Hall was written. Once I go used to it I really looked forward to Bring Up the Bodies.
Really enjoyed this second instalment which makes Thomas Cromwell likeable. He is equipped with retorts for all occasions and methodically works for revenge against those who dishonoured the memory of Wolsey.
Great narration by Simon Vance, a favourite of mine from the Dune novel audiobooks.
"Who'd have thought we'd get fond of Cromwell?"
Excellent. This is far easier to get into than Wolf Hall, as it picks up in sequence and we're already familiar with Cromwell's persona and back history. (Scrub that for anyone who skipped Wolf Hall, your experience may be very different.)
I raced through this to keep ahead of the BBC dramatisation, and did start out by missing Simon Slater's narration. I had hoped that he would follow from Wolf Hall as well, but once I got used to Simon Vance I have to say he was really good.
Lots in here that vary from the history I'd always read before, particularly the treatment of Mark Smeaton. Hilary Mantel will have had reason for her interpretation and it certainly made a very familiar story fresh and thought provoking.
Her ideas on Thomas More, on whether Anne really was the innocent victim of Henry's petulant hatred, or whether Henry was genuinely persuaded of her guilt and she was guilty, well, you pays your money and you takes your choice. One day I hope I can find out more about the sources for Mantel's theories, but she is convincing.
The fact that the toad we've all been told was a nasty, evil man turns into a flawed but sympathetic human being before our eyes - or rather ears - is a measure of the genius of her writing. All plaudits well deserved.
"A very British story."
It distinguishes just how unsteady are the necks that surround a King.
An exceedingly well written and researched novel that reflects the environment and social conditions of the times.
the narrator is highly commended.
"Riveting History brought alive"
If you enjoyed Wolf Hall you must follow straight on with this. Cromwell's revenge against those who brought the Cardinal down and his disposing of Anne Bolyn to please Henry VIII are amazing to witness. Cronwell's loyalty to those who treat him well and are loyal to him is a very touching portrayal by Mantel. The sense that his personal grief following the deaths of his wife & 2 girls & the cardinal drives him to relentlessly pursue the King's wishes comes through strongly. Mantel & the excellent narrator truly brought this historical figure alive for me. I've listened to this & Wolf Hall several times & it never fails to please. I would thoroughly recommend
Yes well written but too long. Story does go off on tangents makes more difficult to understand.
"bringing history to life"
For me this is an absolute pleasure. beautifully written and narrated. An excellent title for audible.
I was genuinely excited as the tale progressed and when the evidence for the case against Mary is first uncovered you can feel as Cromwell felt .. Revenge at last. Plotting, intrigue and impeccable manners!
"Best Overall Book / Entertainment Ever."
Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies gave me an unusual insight of Tudor Times presented in a story format that I found unusual, but never the less, compulsive reading. The story of Thomas Cromwell, a person of whom I had little previous knowledge, and his wheeling and dealing, a virtual power game, kept my attention throughout. Nowadays I read by audible books all the time and the presentation was absolutely first class. Speaks out the quality of the listened book these days. Overall an absolute cracker of a read aid absolute first class piece of entertainment. Thanks, from Colin.
"I keep reminding myself that it's fiction."
Mantel's writing is so good that I have to remind myself that it's a work of fiction and not an academic study. She is so convincing that it's sometimes difficult to ascertain where the facts end and fiction starts.
The whole series is a must read/listen. The mastery of narration and the performance on the audio make it an unforgettable experience.
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