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Wolf Hall Audiobook

Wolf Hall

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Publisher's Summary

National Book Critics Circle, Fiction, 2010

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2009

In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political powerEngland in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king's freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph? In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage.

With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.

The program includes a pdf containing a cast of characters and family tree.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2009 Hilary Mantel; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (3504 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Devra 09-25-12
    Devra 09-25-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting history made personal and memorable"
    What did you love best about Wolf Hall?

    This was a turning point in English history, and in fact in the history of Christianity. Mantel makes the character personal and makes Cromwell likeable, which one would not expect from other history texts. I recommend this book strongly.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Cromwell. It is his story.


    If you could rename Wolf Hall, what would you call it?

    Cromwell, the man behind the legend.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AShirley Springfield, IL 09-15-12
    AShirley Springfield, IL 09-15-12 Listener Since 2006
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    REVIEWS
    8
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Might be better on paper or reader than audio"
    Where does Wolf Hall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I loved everything about this book, but had to listen to some (most) parts over and over again to catch the details. There are many characters to keep track of and, it seems, more than the average use of pronouns. I often had difficulty discerning who "he" was, and whether "he" was thinking or speaking. In audio the reader also does not have the benefit of paragraphs and other kinds of visual breaks in the text and on the page to convey a change in scene. I think all these distinctions would have been easier to make if I had the print right in front of me. Despite all that it was well worth the read. I may download it onto my reader and try again.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Slater’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've never heard Simon Slater before, but he does an excellent job of narrating and using different voices to help distinguish between characters. Despite this great effort, however, I still struggled to sort out at times who was who.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judge Illinois, USA 09-08-12
    Judge Illinois, USA 09-08-12 Member Since 2012
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    16
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    "Excellent narrator."
    What did you love best about Wolf Hall?

    In-depth view of the Thomas Cromwell.


    What other book might you compare Wolf Hall to and why?

    none


    What about Simon Slater’s performance did you like?

    His voices were astounding.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    no comment


    Any additional comments?

    A very long, but compelling, book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Middleton, WI, United States 08-30-12
    Peter Middleton, WI, United States 08-30-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mixed experience"
    What did you like best about Wolf Hall? What did you like least?

    The narration was superb. The characters were richly drawn. The story, however, dragged on much too long, and in the end, I was not particularly interested in Henry's dilemma of wanting a new wife


    What was most disappointing about Hilary Mantel’s story?

    It took a long time to develop and was ultimately about a rather mundane failed marriage. The characters were interesting in their time and place in history but shallow or undeveloped pshycologically.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The opening scenes of Cromwell's early life at home.


    Was Wolf Hall worth the listening time?

    ultimately no


    Any additional comments?

    I made it through 75% of the novel and finally realized that I didn't care about the characters and although the portrayal of the court in Henry's time was interesting (but very confusing to listen to), it wasn't worth continuing on. I kept waiting for the story to move beyond a guy who wanted to have a male heir but couldn't. Cromwell was very interesting but there wasn't enough of a story to sustain my interest. The narration, however, was incredible.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brock 08-30-12
    Brock 08-30-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
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    Story
    "Slater's fantastic performance"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall is a rich and rewarding novel with a somewhat challenging narrative technique that puts you sometimes inside the protagonist's head in 3rd person and sometimes outside, dialogue that can be difficult to decipher at times. Slater's performance give each of the many characters a distinctive voice, which helps enormously in enjoying the clever exchanges and asides of these rich characters and brings them to life marvelously. I am currently rereading and listening to Wolf Hall simultaneously for maximum enjoyment.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alyssa 08-20-12
    Alyssa 08-20-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    "Excellent Performance"
    Have you listened to any of Simon Slater’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not heard him before, but Simon Slater does an excellent job of giving a wide bredth of characters distinctive voices, so the intricate story is always easy to follow. I am disappointed to see that he is not narrating the next book in the trilogy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-20-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "A rarity, a book I could not get into."
    What would have made Wolf Hall better?

    Some action in the first three hours.


    What was most disappointing about Hilary Mantel’s story?

    In my alloted time(3hrs) to get into a story, the narrative lacked vigor, action, and was a plodding, boring story. Historical novels is my usual fare, but not this one. I assume I lacked patience on this one, May try to listen again later. Presently, I have other enjoyable storiies to hear,


    What three words best describe Simon Slater’s voice?

    OK


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I did not stick around long enough to know.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren W. Ferris Vermont 08-17-12
    Lauren W. Ferris Vermont 08-17-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Book, Excellent Reader"
    Where does Wolf Hall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very high. This is a great story, beautifully researched, written, and then the choice of readers is also excellent.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Plot, writing, characterization, and performance. In short, the whole enchalada.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Slater’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I would follow his readings anywhere! I am disappointed that he's not performing BRING UP THE BODIES, but I also love Simon Vance's reading.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hasenpfeffer 08-16-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    9
    5
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    "Every Story Has Two Sides."
    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Historical figures and settings enlivened better than any premium cable mini-series.


    Any additional comments?

    Had it in my ears all day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sima L'ville,NJ 08-13-12
    Sima L'ville,NJ 08-13-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
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    Story
    "Familiar but different"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wolf Hall to be better than the print version?

    An interesting twist on a familiar tale. By changing the characters placement in this tale of familiar intrigue it allows a view of the whole that is refreshing. Cromwell as an intelligent, almost thoughtful man gives a new perspective.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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