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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 (135 )
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4.6 (116 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Elena Christchurch, New Zealand 06-02-12
    Elena Christchurch, New Zealand 06-02-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "As good as the Wolf Hall"

    Having absolutely loved the 'Wolf Hall', I have expected this book with a mix of excitement and trepidation, and must say that it is absolutely fantastic. I love the way the story is told as perceived by Cromwell and I also loved some original twists in what has now become a very familiar tale (thanks to Philippa Gregory and 'The Tudors').

    The narrator is perfect. I've enjoyed every minute of listening to this book!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helena 02-19-13
    Helena 02-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "History so vividly told"

    As in its predecessor (Wolf Hall), Mantel uses Thomas Cromwell to view the unfolding of critical history - the unravelling of the second marriage of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn. In Cromwell, Mantel re-creates the most fascinating of characters - a consummate man of the world who skilfully negotiates narrow and dangerous paths along the corrupt and unsteady cliffs of the English court. A certain weariness and cynicism can be detected in Cromwell's armour in this second volume of the trilogy-to-be as the compromises of principle heap up. One can only applaud this repeat achievement of massive research presented apparently effortlessly.
    The narrator was perfect for the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Calkin Kapiti Coast, New Zealand 09-13-14
    Richard Calkin Kapiti Coast, New Zealand 09-13-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Wish I hadn't read this yet! A treat!"
    If you could sum up Bring Up the Bodies in three words, what would they be?

    Brilliant. Just an excellent story and what's more, it actually happened.


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

    Read the other one too - just as good.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    The accents, the intonation and the style were excellent.


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

    Henry of course!


    Any additional comments?

    A must read for anyone who loves a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P Armidale, Australia 01-15-14
    P Armidale, Australia 01-15-14 Member Since 2013
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    REVIEWS
    2
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    Story
    "STUNNING"
    What did you love best about Bring Up the Bodies?

    Removed me from the 21st century and dumped me in the 16th using brilliant characterisation and imagery.


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

    Enthralling all the way through


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Insightful exploration all the way though.


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

    Major and minor characters are both fascinating.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved "Wolf Hall" but this sequel is even more enthralling. Dreaded ending the experience. Once finished, I played it all over again. Hilary Mantel's talent is frightening. The narrator, Simon Vance, absolutely nails it. His Henry VIII makes me feel I know him ........which is a worry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 04-05-13
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 04-05-13 Member Since 2010

    Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant, Again!"

    After I finished reading Wolf Hall I had to deliberately stop myself from simply reading this sequel. Perhaps that was a bit indulgent, but it did mean that I was looking forward to this with great anticipation - all positive. I guess I was a bit disappointed when I began to listen.
    In part it was because Simon Vance was different in his reading of Cromwell. Henry's voice too had changed. Queen Anne's accent had changed. What was going on? Vance is better than that, I thought. I can be a bit slow sometimes. Then it dawned on me! Of course the voices were different. The characters were different, so why wouldn't the voices be different.
    This is a different Cromwell from the one of humble beginnings as a blacksmith's son and then climbing the greasy power pole. Here, he is almost atop of the pole; at the height of his persuasive powers. Mocking Machiavelli as an amateur, avenging his patron and mentor's tormentors; reaping the ultimate revenge on each of the "four paws"and repaying the Queen's jealous dismissal of him in cold,calculating steel. Here is a man, a lawyer, a statesman to be reckoned with. And with that reckoning comes a new surety. He is starting to sound a bit more like Thomas More. He is behaving a bit more like a king. The stage is set now for the ultimate confrontation - king against king-maker. I really can't wait for the final chapter.
    I loved the subtlety of this book. Maybe I'm reading too much into it and the change of voice. Maybe it is just a good yarn. But I don't think so. It's much, much better than that. In my opinion, a deserved second time winner of the Man-Booker. Readers of great books should not be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Ivanhoe, Australia 03-19-13
    Jennifer Ivanhoe, Australia 03-19-13 Member Since 2013
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    5
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    "Great book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, factually interesting - want to keep reading, sorry it ended. Will read more Mantel books.


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

    No.


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

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alka Auckland New Zealand 03-18-13
    Alka Auckland New Zealand 03-18-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Thomas Cromwell serving the court of Henry VIII"

    Very well written, great story. The characters are well developed and believable.
    The story picks up from where wolf hall ends, so it is worth reading both in sequence to enjoy the context.
    However, by the end of the book I was ready for something lighter.
    I would have liked the book to end with a final note on how life ended for Thomas Cromwell and his family but I guess that will likely be the next book.
    Rich in detail and imagery, a good historical hit.
    Enjoy!



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Faye Castlemaine, Australia 12-04-12
    Faye Castlemaine, Australia 12-04-12

    Geraldine

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "At the royal court of Henry VIII"
    Where does Bring Up the Bodies rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A beautifully written evocation of life, politics and intrigue in the court of King Henry VIII as Anne Boleyn falls out of royal favour. A worthy Booker prize winner.


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

    A more in-depth look at a particular passage of time from Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The slow build-up to Anne's execution as she waits in the tower will live in my memory


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

    Thomas Cromwell, consummate politician


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Susan 12-03-12
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    "Better than Wolf Hall"

    I enjoyed this 2nd book about Thomas Cromwell more than the first book as the author's writing of dialogue was clearer. Hilary Mantel deserved the Booker Prize for this one. She is able to transport you into the court of Henry the 8th and she knows how to flesh out her characters. The reader was fine. Highly recommended. I am looking forward to the final book in this trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Toowoon Bay, Australia 11-24-12
    Robert Toowoon Bay, Australia 11-24-12
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    "A worthu sequel to Wolfhall"
    If you could sum up Bring Up the Bodies in three words, what would they be?

    Accurate Fascinating Exciting


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

    Execution of Anne Bolyn


    Which scene was your favorite?

    First meeting with the jester who plays an old beggar and tricks Cromwell to employ him.


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

    Not really


    Any additional comments?

    Buy it is a great read, particularly as there will be a further book in the trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • bibliophile
    England
    9/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb"

    Superb entertainment, both the narrative and the performance. It cannot be faulted! Can't wait for the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gabrielle Harvey-Jones
    9/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb!"
    What made the experience of listening to Bring Up the Bodies the most enjoyable?

    Came to this straight from Wolf Hall and, although it was a little slow to begin with it rapidly gripped me, with the kind of grim horror that this story always has induced in me. Superbly written, obviously, and the feeling of the period wonderfully brought to life!


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

    Wolf Hall, fairly obviously!


    What three words best describe Simon Vance’s performance?

    Not quite as riveting as Simon Slater was with Wolf Hall, but still easy to listen to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Di
    9/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible Imagination to detail"

    I have to admit that this book started slowly for me as well at first. However, once engrossed in the story, it started to flow. I was amazed by Hilary Mantel's imagination to the tiniest detail, describing both environment and characters so well, that the story comes alive, and the reader can understand everyone's perspective in this very complicated political plot. At the centre of events is Master Cromwell, who is the person orchestrating on behalf of Henry VIII. Mantel's fascination with Cromwell's character is evident and she portrays him as one the most skillful politicians and diplomats in English history. Although the story is about Ann Boleyn, she is not really a character in the book, and there is actually very little of her words in the story. It shows that women had little power over their own destiny in the dark medieval times. This book is a great take on Tudor history and those of you who love historical fiction will love it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
    7/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wolf Hall part two"

    If you have enjoyed Wolf Hall this is more of the same. It continues the story with the same style and pace and is none the worse for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cathubodua
    5/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great novel, shame about the audible file"
    Would you listen to Bring Up the Bodies again? Why?

    I really enjoyed the story of Bring Up The Bodies, great sequel to Wolf Hall, but I wouldn't listen to it again - the Audible file didn't work on my iPod, and even on my laptop, kept skipping words and sentences. Not enough to lose track of the story, but annoying, especially as I contacted Audible several times about this issue and never had any satisfaction from them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ginger
    4/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Should be reinterred"
    What would have made Bring Up the Bodies better?

    Sorry but the story did not grab me, nor did the characters. I think this subject has been done to death. I read Wolf Hall and on the back of that i bought Bring up the Bodies but sadly very disappointed. I have only read part of this book and I wont be finishing it.
    Phillipa Gregory's books about this period add a new dimension and interest to the subject.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Hilary Mantel again?

    Not if I had to pay for it


    How could the performance have been better?

    Yes


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Bring Up the Bodies?

    Only listened to a small part of the book so cant comment


    Any additional comments?

    Can you still return books that you don't enjoy???

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Avril
    Cinderford, United Kingdom
    3/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful, enthralling prose, read beautifully"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Had I had the time I would have devoured this in one go, However the prose is so marvellous it is worth a slow 'read'


    Any additional comments?

    The Tudor period is of great interest to me, and it was delightful to find a book that brought history and its protagonists to life without the obligatory bodice ripping style that often infests the work of other commentators on historical characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • cassie
    UK
    3/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes brilliant author has a great way of bring history to life and gives the opportunity to live feel like what it was like in the time of Henry 8


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

    No quite heavy going at times and again took me a while to get into it


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R. Card
    UK
    2/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Okaaay I suppose!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not. I have read/listened to better books on the period and events


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

    The end.... finally!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Simon Vance’s performances?

    No.


    Could you see Bring Up the Bodies being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sure what those who praise this book so highly are praising. The general details of the story are well known, so it cannot be that. I suppose yes, you are hearing the story from a different point of view to usual, but I'm not sure how much that added to what I already knew!I listened to this because I usually enjoy anything from the Tudor/Henry Viii era, but between the slow laboured story and the equally slow and laboured narration I was just glad when it was over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roz Cunningham
    Oxfordshire, UK
    2/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just found it incredibly dull"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Hilary Mantel again?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I just couldn't get into this book at all. I felt like I was in school being forced to study something dull. I really tried to get through it, and am now towards the end of the first half but it has made reading (well listening) boring for me and despite my efforts I am giving up on this one (I hate not finishing!) I am going to try something that will revive my joy of books again. I suppose this one just didn't work for me on audio. Maybe its one to read on paper...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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