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
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!
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.
Brilliant. Just an excellent story and what's more, it actually happened.
Read the other one too - just as good.
The accents, the intonation and the style were excellent.
Henry of course!
A must read for anyone who loves a good story.
Removed me from the 21st century and dumped me in the 16th using brilliant characterisation and imagery.
Enthralling all the way through
Insightful exploration all the way though.
Major and minor characters are both fascinating.
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.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
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.
Yes, factually interesting - want to keep reading, sorry it ended. Will read more Mantel books.
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.
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.
A more in-depth look at a particular passage of time from Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall.
The slow build-up to Anne's execution as she waits in the tower will live in my memory
Thomas Cromwell, consummate politician
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.
Accurate Fascinating Exciting
Execution of Anne Bolyn
First meeting with the jester who plays an old beggar and tricks Cromwell to employ him.
Buy it is a great read, particularly as there will be a further book in the trilogy.
"GOOD HISTORICAL ACCOUNT"
HILARY MANTEL'S BOOK IS VERY WELL RESEARCHED AND VERY MUCH TRUE TO LIFE. THE LANGUAGE, HOWEVER, ALTHOUGH VERY DESCRIPTIVE IS QUITE 'SHARP' AND DEROGATORY IN SOME PARTS. PLEASANT HISTORICALLY THOUGH NOT SO PLEASANT LISTENING TO IT
"just anther fan"
this sequel to Wolf Hall was just as good to listen to. I really enjoyed the different perspective on a well known plot. even though he was clearly a tough character I felt real empathy with Cromwell, and enjoyed the unusual interactions that put him at the centre while the more famous were off to the side of the narrative.
"Bring Up the Bodies (Parts 1 & 2)"
Brilliantly read by Simon Vance, a fascinating discourse between Henry VIII and the people surrounding him during the years of his six marriages. Written in modern language it cleverly captures the essence of the period with humour, horror and shocks in equal measure, keeping the listener constantly interested and enthralled.
"Very impressive and gripping"
This is a gripping audiobook which builds on Wolfe Hall but also stands on its own, it has really ignited my long forgotten interest in history. I can't wait until the next one in the series is released, and I will look out for her other books.
Buy it now!!!!!!!
"Witty, charming and worth your time"
My only regret was not being able to give it longer listening sessions. It pulls you in and before you know it, you are a fly on the wall following Cromwell. A must have for any collection.
A compelling read. I loved this book so much that as soon as I finished it I started it again from the beginning. A worthy sequel to the fabulous Wolf Hall well written and a great story. I didn't know much about ths period of history and I found myself often researching the historical figures and their lives, fascinating!! I look forward to the next book.
"Transport to a bygone era!"
This is a fantastically written novel bringing King Henry VIII court alive. I was completely transported into the intrigues of court life. If you are a lover of history and have struggled to remember his wives and exactly what did happen and to whom this is the book for you! The story follows Cromwell after Thomas Moores death and through his loyalty to the king, read self preservation, helps him with the Kings split from the Catholic Church which occurred with the Kings desire, to severe ties with his wife Anne Boleyn and be allowed to marry Jayne Seymour.
Hilary Mantel gives a chilling reminder of how many deaths were required to achieve the lustful aims of one powerful man.
It was captivating listening while I hung out my smalls and would recommend it.
"A captivating "read""
I do not normally choose historical books and only picked this as a last minute choice as I was travelling and it had such good reviews. Well I am so pleased I did. From the start I was captivated by the story and intrigues surrounded by King Henry's Court. In fact I would have been quite happy for my 9 hour flight to have been delayed so I would not have had to break off from this great book. Narrator was also good.
a diiferent narrator to Wolf Hall, but I think equally effective. we all know about the downfall of Anne Boleyn but this gives a further insight into how events may have turned. fascinating, beautifully written
"A very good listen"
This book brings everything to life - you can imagine being there. I want to hear more.
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