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Wolf Hall | [Hilary Mantel]

Wolf Hall

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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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There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Ann
    Malaga, Spain
    7/22/10
    Overall
    "Enthralled !!"

    Great book, fabulous narrator. Could not get enough of it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hilary
    Market Harborough, Leics
    3/28/10
    Overall
    "Meandering"

    I think this book is like Marmite - you either love it or you hate it. I did not enjoy it and could not finish it. I found my mind kept wandering while I was listening and I did not have my usual enthusiasm to listen as happens with other downloads I have had.

    I have always found the events surrounding Henry VIII and his court fascinating but this book did not manage to hold my attention at all - sorry!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John
    brightonUnited Kingdom
    3/3/10
    Overall
    "Wolf Hall"

    This is a fine novel with what feels like a very accurate account of life within the corridors of power in Tudor England. Mantel's redefining of Thomas Cromwell makes the story less familiar than the majority of fictional portrayals of these events although at times it feels like she gives him too much of a 21st century sensibility and his modern humanist attitudes do not always ring true. She also conveniently stops the story before he gets into the greatest of his crimes but she does promise a sequel. Unfortunately the reader of this novel is very poor. He gabbles and his characterisations are too exaggerated (Thomas More sounds like a Disney villain from a cartoon film. One would have thought that for a Booker winning novel they might have employed a better actor.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Louisa
    Freshwater Bay, United Kingdom
    2/21/10
    Overall
    "Fascinating"

    It is definitely worth persisting with this book even if it is very long. The reading is interesting and attempts to give a very vivid personality to these historical characters who we have always known from our history books, but upon whose personalities we have perhaps never reflected very deeply. Mantel vividly evokes the extraordinarily challenging dilemmas faced by her characters and attempts to help us understand them, albeit within the context of a modern mind. The problem and the pleasure of this book is its docu-drama quality which means that we tend to believe that what Mantel imagines is actually the truth, and that things really happened that way. So we should keep in mind that Wolf Hall is a work of fiction.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Louth, Lincs, United Kingdom
    1/7/10
    Overall
    "Better to listen to than read"

    I enjoyed listening to this far more than when I tried to read it.
    I gave up because of this tedious jumping back and forth through the years. However the audio version brings it all to life much more and I was able to stick with it and enjoy it. The authors droll way of presenting things seemed to suit the narrative. The only thing is that just as the story gets really going, it fades to a halt. I agree with the other reviewer that there must be a sequel in the offing. All in all a good listen if a bit long.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • kerrymay
    Emsworth
    12/26/09
    Overall
    "Absorbing"

    I feel as though I have visited the 16th century. Evocative, plausible, thought-provoking. Cromwell's world-weariness and cynicism accurately portrayed in the tone of the reader. A reading to keep and dip into.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • D. Thackeray
    Yorkshire, UK
    12/2/09
    Overall
    "Stunning book"

    Quite complex, but a truly rewarding listen. I am part way through and completely entranced. She conveys tudor times extremely well without cod mock tudor language. It's a well known story, but an interesting perpective on it. Well read as well.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wendy
    Southend, ReadingUnited Kingdom
    5/15/10
    Overall
    "A good treatment for insomnia"

    We had 2 months to read this for our book group. Only 1 person managed to finish it. An idea of the extent of the tedium comes from the first appearance of Henry V111 only after about 6 hours into the story. I'm sure the historical detail was excellent and accurate but it was written as if to impress the reader that the author was very clever and had done her research rather than to improve the narrative. The constant use of the term 'he' for Cromwell was confusing and irritating. The audiobook narrator was excellent though. How did this win the Booker Prize?

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
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