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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This took a little while for me to get into really, mostly because I was worried about the time it would take to complete the book. But actually I think this is the most time effective and enjoyable way I could have experienced this book. As ever, the character of Thomas Cromwell is utterly believable and the details of history are flawlessly interwoven with Mantel's vivid fiction. It's a great buy and cost effective if you use points.
"Bring on the applause"
This excellent sequel to Wolf Hall further demonstrates Hilary Mantel's careful research enlivened by a fertile imagination. The world of the Tudor court under the increasingly tyrannical Henry V111 comes to life on the page. Thomas Cromwell is slowly changing and becoming increasingly ruthless as the book progresses. All of this is enhanced by excellent narration by Simon Vance. A real treat!
"Bring up the Bodies."
The follow up to Wolf Hall - if you thought Wolf Hall was good - this is better !! Set in a period of about a year, it charts Thomas Cromwells life during the 'fall' of Anne Boyeyn. Hilary Mantel makes Cromwell a real and likable character and Simon Vance's voice is perfect for the book. While the book stands on its own - it is better if you have listened to Wolf Hall
An amazing book, absolutely riveting, and beautifully read. I couldn't believe the follow up to Wolf Hall could be anywhere near as good - but it is. Mantel has produced another masterpiece. Her descriptive skills are breathtaking and I found myself totally absorbed in the reading. Even though we all know what happened at this well-documented time in our history Mantel still had me on the edge of my seat as the doomed queen is skilfully outmaneuvered. I can't wait for the third instalment...!
Excellent recount of a very special time. I have listened to this book several times to absorb all the details.
I was concerned that this would be a challenging listen, so I bought Wolf Hall first and was immediately hooked and then dived into Bring up the Bodies.
Wonderful descriptive style that allows the listener to become an active spectator of the time. A great delivery and style, bringing history alive.
"An incredible treat!"
Rarely have I enjoyed an audiobook as much as this one. It is narrated with perfection by Simon Vance (I'm going to check out more by him) and I think in this one, more than in Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel really hits her stride. The language is so rich it's like sitting down to a feast. I usually buy the hard copy as well, since I like reading in the evenings, without my earphones on, but this time I have to say Vance's narration beats my own inner voice and I find I am willing to listen again to passages I have already read just to hear his voice narrate them. He brings this extraordinary novel to life. I cannot wait for the next volume in the trilogy.
"Incredible. Step back in time to 1530."
I genuinely cannot think of a listen that I have enjoyed more. The Tudors are tangible. Cromwell is plausible and even likeable. The machinations of politics are mirrored today. It is all too familiar! I fear for him and yet should I? I cannot wait for the last in the trilogy.
"Excellent - as usual"
What more can I say. Really good stuff, well told and narrated. Extremely enjoyable.
"Mantel sets new benchmark"
Historical fiction is difficult to get right, and with this work Mantel creates a new standard of excellence. Writing in the New Yorker James Woods provides the most balanced view of this great achievement. He correctly points out that Mantel's strength is that she does not dwell on historical detail but weaves it seamlessly into the plot so as never to slacken its pace. She is a literary craftsman - every sumptuous sentence drips with character and context. She paints a masterpiece of Thomas Cromwell - his deeds, thoughts, motives and desires. It is a balanced portrait which shows his cunning; his ruthlessness as well as his kindness towards those who have walked the same path but have not shared his good fortune. The narrator is superb - light, incisive, precise and calculated. I cannot recommend this book enough and truly hope it wins the Booker in two weeks time. It is certainly of the same quality as Wolf Hall.
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