©1986 Margaret George; (P)1998 Books on Tape
"A remarkable achievement....Magnificently researched and admirably written." (Mary Stewart)
"It doth brim with lust, violence, cruelty, and living conservation....Margaret George has found a new and fresh way to tell the story." (Detroit Free Press)
"Her novel is a...banquet feast for most readers...astonishing. There's rousing drama, robust atmosphere, and consistently solid characterization; and finally, Margaret George's triumph is anchored in the urgent rhythm her writing attains." (Forth Worth Star Telegram)
I rated this book 5 stars from my reading of the print version several years ago and would rate it even higher, if I could, after finishing the audiobook. It's clearly a novel; the author takes the liberty of revealing Henry's thoughts which, of course, are unknowable. However, the background is so well-reserached that Henry's "thoughts' fit well with what is recorded about him and the times. Will Somers' comments helped provide counterpoint to Henry's perspective and occasionally add needed objectivity. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the Tudors.
Probably one of the better audiobooks, both in regard to narration and story.
The Catherine Howard sex scenes were my favorites, I'm ashamed to confess. I giggled my way through all of them because the narrator seemed so embarrassed to be reading them that his voice became very rushed and even more clipped than usual. He sounded like he was rushing through a reproductive organs lecture to a sixth grade class.
" Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the altar..."
I really enjoyed the book, although I did fast forward through the Catherine of Aragon chapters. I found her as boring as Henry did, I'm afraid. I thought the book was very insightful into how UNinsightful and deluded Henry probably was in life.
I read this book many years ago and loved it!
I have toyed with buying the audio version but always moved on because I'm not a big fan of David Cases' narration. I finally took the plunge and what a pleasant surprise! After about an hour, Mr. Case IS Henry VIII and you become totally engrossed in his conversational delivery of the life of this complicated man.
The book is painstakingly researched as are all Margaret Georges books, the story from Henry's subjective point of view is a refreshing take on what has been delivered so very many ways. One finds oneself sympathising with Henry at one moment, and being totally infuriated with him in another. This is due in part to David Case and his totally believable interpretation of Henry's character.
The interjections of Will, Henry's friend and fool allow the author to offer points of view the King could not know, it adds humor and at times pathos to the overall story. David Case does a great job of differentiating the two men in voice and inflection.
If you are remotely interesed in history, this book is for you. While the title suggests "augobiography," it is really an entertaining biography told from Henry's point of view. The narrator makes the book most enjoyable.
Henry's wife Katherine of Aragon was my favorite character because I had alredy learned to love her from reading one of Phillipa Gregory's novels.
I have read a number of historically based books about this era in history, However, Seeing Henry VIII in a light other than a lustfilled executioner was enlightening.
RPG, history and movie fan
I would recommend this audiobook to a friend, with the caveat that the reader's voice comes across as thin, high and not the way I felt Henry VIII would/should sound. His high-pitched whine, which he uses to voice the women and many servants, is a tad off-putting.
Despite that, I would still recommend it, as the story is so well done.
My disappointment with the reedy sound of the reader.
Will, as he was able to give the third person viewpoint to Henry's actions.
I wish this could be recorded with another reader with a deeper voice. Or with a male reader and a female reader; each to portray all characters of each gender.
I really enjoy a nice historical fiction that entices me to start “google-ing” for more information. This author did a great job of presenting the dry historical facts in an entertaining and intriguing manner which made the motivations, from Henry VIII’s perspective, seem plausible; particularly since she did not attempt to absolve him of all guilt.
The narrator was pretty good as a “strait narrator.” He was not what I would call a “voice actor,” though. To be fair, however, this book did not lend itself to a multi-rolled vocal performance.
I was leery about this one at first but was pleasantly surprised. I enjoy this type of book when it's a story and not just a dry, text book sort of thing. This one really delivlers!
Since this is an Autobiography being narrated to you by the actual king himself it is the perfect setting for the audiobook format. However even though David Chase is an excellent reader, he was a miscast for this particular story.
His voice is perfect for inserted comments of the aged Will Sommers, and other characters. However due to the raspy, 10 cigarettes a day quality his particular voice does not sound as if the King is reading his own biography, and thus dampens the experience somewhat, but not enough to make it unenjoyable.
The story is superb and engaging, and raspy voice aside David Chase is a good narrator and so I would definitely recommend this as an audio book that will bring you many entertaining hours.
This has been one the greatest books I have ever read! The audio book is spectacular! Henry the 8th is a larger then life historical person, and this is a perfect audiobook! I highly recommend it to anyone!
I'm a Henry VIII fan. I watched every episode of The Tudors: The Complete Series, and numerous movies about him. I've also read books, like The Lady in the Tower: The Wives of Henry VIII, Murder Most Royal: The Story of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard and a few others that feature him. They all give a different side of him, but this was the best book if you want to read about Henry.
Why? Because it's as if Henry wrote it himself. The other books were written from the outside looking in. You can only get their opinion of this monarch, but George, writing an "autobiography" was able to capture what he was probably like and really thought. One review said she failed at this, but Henry wouldn't have seen himself as wrong, scary, or anything, but the awesome man he thought he was. He wasn't to be crossed and in every way George achieves this outlook.
It's a huge book. It covers from the time he was about 3 or so to his death. You'll read about all 6 wives, and none are treated like footnotes in this book. They're all given the respect and treatment they deserve. You're treated to snippets from his fool, Will Somers. Not as funny as I thought they'd be, but very insightful. Totally worth reading and not skipping over. They become fewer as the book goes on, which I didn't wish they did. There were some parts I'd like to have had him expound on.
If you're a fan of Henry this has to be in your library.
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