3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I really couldn't get into this one...,
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This review is from: Wolf Hall (Paperback)I really couldn't wait to get my copy of this book. I read prolifically and widely--historical fiction, straight history (especially on the Tudors), wacky fiction, biography--you name it. This book sounded like it would combine all of my favourite loves in literature. And on top of all of that, it had won numerous prizes!
Well, I started reading it and couldn't NOT get into it. The writing is very disjointed, and it felt like I was constantly hearing one-half of a conversation. It was as if Hilary Mantel wrote the book and then removed half of the pages. Plus, the viewpoint was strange. Without much context or background information provided by the author (and I write this as someone who is very familiar with the Tudor period), I could not get attached to the characters, the setting or the story line. I found the writing very strange. I would even dare to say that it was not well written (sacrilegous though that may sound, as it is Hilary Mantel, after all).
I hate to give up on a book. In fact, I rarely do. But this one defeated me after 250 pages.
Now, I would say that if a book doesn't grab you after 250 pages, it is not worth continuing.
I have really enjoyed (much more than this) straight historical fiction on the Tudors from Alison Weir and Antonia Fraser. Some of their books are much longer than Wolf Hall and much better reads (more gripping and better written).
I really do not understand how this book could have won so many prizes!! Did the judges actually finish the book or did they go on reputation?!
If you are looking for a good book that is well-written and grabs you--and doesn't let you go until the very end-- then try Kathryn Stockett's THE HELP. Riveting.