Giving up the Ghost: A memoir and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy Used
Used - Good See details
Price: 1.79

or
 
   
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Start reading Giving up the Ghost: A memoir on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Giving up the Ghost: A memoir [Paperback]

Hilary Mantel
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 4.05  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 6.29  
Paperback, 14 Feb 2007 --  
Audio Download, Unabridged 7.60 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Book Description

14 Feb 2007

From one of Britain’s finest authors, a wry, shocking and beautifully-written memoir of childhood, ghosts (real and metaphorical), illness and family.

‘Giving up the Ghost’ is award-winning novelist Hilary Mantel's uniquely unusual five-part autobiography.

Opening in 1995 with 'A Second Home', Mantel describes the death of her stepfather which leaves her deeply troubled by the unresolved events of her childhood. In 'Now Geoffrey Don't Torment Her' Mantel takes the reader into the muffled consciousness of her early childhood, culminating in the birth of a younger brother and the strange candlelight ceremony of her mother's 'churching'. In 'Smile', an account of teenage perplexity, Mantel describes a household where the keeping of secrets has become a way of life. Finally, at the memoir's conclusion, Mantel explains how through a series of medical misunderstandings and neglect she came to be childless and how the ghosts of the unborn like chances missed or pages unturned, have come to haunt her life as a writer.



Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (14 Feb 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0007793774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007793778
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 616,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hilary Mantel is the author of thirteen books , including A Place of Greater Safety, Beyond Black, and the memoir Giving up the Ghost. Her two most recent novels, Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring up the Bodies have both been awarded The Man Booker Prize - an unprecedented achievement.

Product Description

Review

'She is by turns facetious, matter-of-fact, visionary and comical but always totally riveting.' Daily Telegraph

'Simply astonishing - clear and true.' Guardian

'An extraordinary story, sometimes comic, often grim, but most importantly it is a story of survival.' Spectator

'A masterpiece of wit…[the] past, so thoroughly vanished, is made to live again here.' Rachel Cusk

‘What a remarkable writer she is. She is piercingly, even laceratingly observant … a very startling and daring memoir; the more I read it the more unsettling it becomes.’ Helen Dunmore

‘I was riveted. It’s raw, it’s distressing and it’s full of piercing insights into a first-rate novelist’s mind.’ Margaret Forster

‘A stunning evocation of an ill-fitting childhood and a womanhood blighted by medical ineptitude. Hilary Mantel’s frank and beautiful memoir is impossible to put down and impossible to forget.’ Clare Boylan

From the Back Cover

'At no. 58 the top of my head comes to the outermost curve of my great-aunt, Annie Connor. Her shape is like the full moon, her smile is beaming; the outer rim of her is covered by her pinny, woven with tiny flowers. It is soft from washing; her hands are hard and chapped; it is barely ten o’clock and she is getting the cabbage on. ‘Hello, Our Ilary,’ she says; my family has named me aspirationally, but aspiration doesn’t stretch to the ‘H’.'

Giving Up the Ghost is award-winning novelist Hilary Mantel's wry, shocking and beautifully written autobiography of childhood, ghosts, illness and family.

It opens in 1995 with 'A Second Home', in which Mantel describes the death of her stepfather, a death which leaves her deeply troubled by the unresolved events of childhood. 'Now Geoffrey Don't Torment Her' begins in typical, gripping Mantel fashion: 'Two of my relatives have died by fire.' Set during the 1950s, it takes the reader into the muffled consciousness of her early childhood, culminating with the birth of a younger brother and the strange candlelit ceremony of her mother's 'churching'. Mantel then moves to a haunted house and mysteriously gains a stepfather. When she is almost eleven, her family flee the gossips and the ghosts, and resolve to start a new life. Teenage perplexity displaces childhood dreams of Arthurian knights as her home turns into a place where the keeping of secrets has become a way of life. Convent school provides a certain sanctuary, with tacit assistance from the fearsome ‘Top Nun.’ After making good her escape to university and her own marriage, the author reveals how, through medical misunderstandings and neglect, she came to be childless, and how the ghosts of the unborn, like chances missed or pages unturned, have come to haunt her life as a writer.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
117 of 118 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and moving 27 April 2005
By A. Craig HALL OF FAME
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have a particular interest in this story because, weirdly, I also have hypothyroidism and endometriosis, and wanted to find out more about this commonly misdiagnosed illness. But I'm also a huge fan of Mantel's highly varied fiction, and was curious to find out where it came from.
In one sense this is a familiar tale about a girl from the Northern mill-town who escapes poverty and hopelessness through a good education at grammar school. Many other British women authors, from Margaret Drabble to Margaret Forster have told it. Mantel's childhood, her apprehension of the Devil (she was raised a Catholic)her fatherlessness and confusion are described in all their black comedy and raw pain. However, the story goes off in an unexpected direction because of Mantel's illness, which colours her time in Africa and Saudi Arabia, her marriage and inevitably her choice of career. Some people are going to like it simply because of its frank account of what it feels like to go from being a size 10 to a size 20 (Yes: it sucks) and as one anxiously waiting to see if the effects can be reversed I'd like more on that... But what it also does is make you very angry on behalf of someone who, despite her formidable intelligence, was advised to become a librarian not a lawyer, and who was medicated as psychologically disturbed when she had a physical illness which rendered her infertile. It made me admire her work even more, knowing the conditions in which it must have been composed.
Was this review helpful to you?
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
By Lady Fancifull TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Any autobiography written by a novelist whose literary craft and imaginative eye appeals to you, will be looked forward to and savoured, since the reader must hope that whatever the writer's life has been like, he or she will bring to bear their fine sense of observation and interpretation onto themselves. The best autobiography won't be just a catalogue of events, but will illustrate something universal. Hilary Mantel does not disappoint!
This is marvellous. She takes the stuff of ordinary beginnings, and of course illustrates how extraordinary we all are, how precious and unique, how our history and memories shape and mould us. I also found her accounts of how her own ill health has had profound effects on her perception of herself extremely moving (side effects of medications which changed her whole physical identity) She chooses to take 'snapshots' of various facets of her life, and expands them into something almost approaching meditations.
A wonderful book!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK 12 Jun 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
It is almost impossible to convey the emotional impact of this memoir. At times it is almost too painful to realise the wrong done to Mantel by the medical profession over several decades, but it is the mark of a writer of depth, intelligence, insight and wit that she has turned such appalling experience into intensely moving prose that is little short of miraculous. But then Mantel is a miraculous writer. If you haven't read her fiction you have a rare treat in store, and if you have you will have fallen upon her memoir eager to discover something about the razor sharp intellect behind such astonishing and varied story-telling. Every woman should read GIVING UP THE GHOST, as should every writer, every doctor, every student of human nature. Everyone, in fact. I defy anyone to remain unmoved by it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So glad you didnot give up the ghost 8 Nov 2012
By limani
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this autobiography when it was first published and having greatly enjoyed 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring out the Bodies' I wanted to reread Hilary Mantel's extraordinary life.It was well worth a second visit and though much of the story is painful she writes with such humor I was laughing and wincing at the same time. It made me admire her even more.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and thoughtful 6 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
I have quite a weakness for autobiographies, especially those by fluent writers becaue, in their hands, an almost ordinary life can become very interesting purely through the way in which they present their experiences. This book fulfils on this front and I'm very pleased to have read it.

Unlike many autobiographies, this one is not exhaustive - there is no scrabbling for every last little bit of detail. Rather, HM centres her story on the sale of a house - a second home - which was a pivotal moment for her on her own journey through life. The message is 'this is me up until now, this is how I got here', and the mood is reflective, thoughtful and deeply personal.

For me, it was a short and interesting read, temporarily satisfying my endless curiosity about other people's lives. If you have the same curiosity, you will probably enjoy this book but if you are looking for a compelling read, you will probably be disappointed.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving 10 July 2012
By Mavie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a life story of how a brilliant writer's life affected her work. It also makes me realise that all obese people are not lacking self discipline.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Giving up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel 7 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
A beautifully written account of a life destroyed by endometriosis, moreover a life adversely affected by the chauvinistic attitude of the medical profession towards women's illness and the eagerness to send a woman patient down the route of psychiatric treatment. I should know: I am the carer for a wife who was sent down the same route over two decades with catastrophic results.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography 12 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the best modern autobiographies I have read - brilliantly written. You are left wanting to know more! Highly recommended reading.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A WONDERFUL INTRODUCTION TO MS HILARY MANTLE TOUCHING ME DEEPLY AND...
I was very happy to of chanced upon , and not because Ms Mantle is not well known in the world of books and more , just speaking for myself , I chanced upon Ms Mantles book while... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Miss S
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Another excellent book by Hilary Mantel. You are drawn in from the first few pages, as expected. Brill a recommended read.
Published 2 months ago by z .a . mcmahon
5.0 out of 5 stars A great piece of writing which left me in awae of the person and in...
On the surface simple, childhood memories, close knit family growing up. But from the start there are promises of a special shared journey that is painful, funny, sad with an... Read more
Published 4 months ago by irene melia
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book but packaging left something to be desired
The book is great and delivery was on time. My only little niggle was that, because the packaging was not good, the back cover was creased. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Maureen A. Jeffs
5.0 out of 5 stars Just an amazing book.
Hilary Mantel is a wonderful writer. I was spellbound by this book it taught me a lot. Everyone should read this.
Published 5 months ago by Spilly
1.0 out of 5 stars Overrated: a poor memoir
Giving up the Ghost – Hilary Mantel

I cannot recommend this memoir

I was looking for signposts for research and links for further study – I was left... Read more
Published 5 months ago by JPSreviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I love Hilary Mantel's writing and this memoir was mesmerising. It arrived at lunchtime and I couldn't put it down. I was enthralled and finished it that evening. Recommended.
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. Teresa Head
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating!
A hypnotic and haunting book - I was transported. Hilary Mantel writes of her life in a way that feels almost other worldly.
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Lynne Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable memoir
Enjoyed reading Hilary Mantel's memoir. What a wordsmith, very moving and for me personal. I now want to read more of Ilary's work.
Published 7 months ago by Christine Callanan
5.0 out of 5 stars So different!
What an amazing writer Mantel is! I don't know when I've been so captivated by an autobiographical book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Rosie Marsh
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Books that have changed your life? 0 7 Oct 2009
See all discussions...  
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback