I had already read and enjoyed Wolf Hall, but wanted to experience it through a narrator as well. I am so glad that I did! This is hands down, one of ..Show More »the best audiobooks in my library. Simon Slater is a marvelous narrator. Although it took me a little while to get used to his 'Cromwell' voice, it made me feel as if I actually was getting to know the man. For those unfamiliar with the story, Cromwell is the protagonist and it shows him as a man who is caught between beliefs and the king and with a huge desire to protect his family, pay back the nobles who brought down his beloved master Cardinal Woolsey and to advance and safeguard his country. In most histories, Cromwell is shown as a scheming, grasping man and Thomas Moore, despite the atrocities he committed in the name of his religious beliefs is almost always shown as a saintly character.
Not so here- Moore is a sanctimonious academic snob who bullies his household. Cardinal Woolsey is a wealthy and satisfied prince of the church before his downfall, but also kind and wise. Simon Slater's voices for ALL of his characters are wonderful, but he outdoes himself with Moore and Woolsey.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough if you are interested in history, religion and politics and learning the many different viewpoints of this time period, as well as a wonderful slice of how life was lived in the 1500s in England. Simon Slater is such an excellent narrator- I will be seeking out his work on other books. His voice, coupled with the excellent writing made me fall just a little in love with ugly Thomas Cromwell!
This is an extraordinary book written by an extraordinary writer. I read first the print version, but found myself at times lost in the story telling ..Show More »- now who is speaking - now whose story is being told. This audible version brings the characters to life wonderfully and adds a depth to the story. I give the narrator, Simon Slater, five stars also.
100 pages in and it is hard to miss that this isn't just a nominal sequel to Wolf Hall, but rather the first book's logical annex. There is no drop-of..Show More »f in complexity. No laxity of language. Still Mantel manages to shift form, change structure and reinvent her style. She even manages to give the character of Thomas Cromwell more depth and complexity, a feat which seemed near impossible after finishing Wolf Hall.
Anyway, Mantel is one of the finest writers of English prose living. Each sentence is crafted like a unique piece in an Italian inlaid music box. She has a purpose for each comma and can make words seem to dance, fall and recover right off the page. She pulls the history out of the history and has written Tower interrogations so deft and chilling, one is left afraid of both language and the law. As readers, we watch Cromwell destroy men, overthrow queens, and change history with words, paper and a sharp understanding of men's motives. We aren't afraid because Cromwell is a monster, but because he is so heroically human.
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 fantas..Show More »tic. 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!