National Book Critics Circle, Fiction, 2010
Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2009
Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell - a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.
©2009 Hilary Mantell; (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd
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"substantial but rewarding"
Congratulations to Simon Slater on doing full justice to this complex and often almost poetical novel. His range of voices is most impressive, and he avoids altogether the possible confusion between characters which those who read a print version often experience. Thanks to the expert reading, the listener can enjoy listening to the familiar tale of the conflicts created by Henry VIII's determination to divorce Katherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn - but from a completely different angle. This is a great edifice of a book which examines both the sweep of the historical events and the minute detail of everyday lives. The listener must be prepared to appreciate the measured flow of the work - no hurrying along to see what happened next (we know the familiar story anyway). Attentive listening will be rewarded with a richness of pleasure in this remarkable book.
I have listened to this book at least 3 times each time I have listened I have discovered more the language is spellbinding and simon slater's characterisation is amazing from cromwell to norfolk
He must be the narrator for part two when released
I have to say i did not enjoy this audio book at all.Too much detail, not enough substance. Its rambling, stuttering text and its half finished sentences drove me crazy.
not much to say too much hype , a truly boring book
Good book, although heavy going for over 24 hours. Cleverly woven dialogue mixing fact with fiction. Absolutely brilliant narration, which is keeping me involved.
"A wonderful, intriguing book"
I purchased this mainly because of the Booker link and wasn't expecting such an intriguing, involving and well-narrated book. I really hope there will be a sequel...
"A worthy winner"
Wolf Hall transports you back to the Henry?s world from the blood and brutality of blacksmith to the blood and brutality of the court Thomas Cromwell finds his way on his wits and strength. Interesting to compare and contrast with a Man for all Seasons where Moore is portrayed as the noble hero rather than the torturing fanatic that emerges in this book.
The abrupt and bloody ending came as a surprise, forcing me to rack myself back to modern life which is so close and yet so far from what is portrayed in this remarkable work.
It is said to be historically very accurate; well its the best history lessen I have ever had.
I can?t say I agree with the negative comments about the reading I thought the characterisations were subtle and funny.
I loved this book. It was very well-researched, well-written and provided an interesting take on a man who is usually held up as an evil villain. Looking at the events of Henry VIII's reign through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell was extremely illuminating, putting flesh on the names of history and helping to explain how these characters interacted with each other. An excellent book written around actual historical events and providing a believable account of Cromwell's life and influence in the tudor court.
"Loved this book, pity about the ending"
Great story and characters, and I was engrosed throughout, but felt it drifted away towards the end, which was a little dissapointing.
I loved every minute of this reading, and I'd encourage anyone who struggled with the written word to listen to this. Fascinating and vibrant...dark and sinister.
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