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The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by [Mantel, Hilary]
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The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Review

‘An exhilarating, if dark, collection … ‘The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher’ is a small triumph: a lesson in artfully controlled savagery’ Sunday Times

‘Remarkably good: taut, engaging and shocking … acutely observed’ Evening Standard

‘I would recommend the brilliantly chilling …The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher over most other long or short works this year.’ Telegraph, Books of the Year

‘What a fabulously nasty concoction Hilary Mantel has served up … It’s a fugu fish of a book; parts of which will leave you dizzily elated, while other parts may make you very ill indeed … The venom is distilled, bottled and dripped like slowly staining bitters into the cocktail of the entertainment … That title story, wickedly good, is alone worth the price of admission to the book’ Simon Schama, Financial Times

‘The best stories in the collection … combine sharp observation and sly wit with a subtle burrowing into the recesses of her protagonists’ heads. The darker stories recall both the metaphysical speculations of Jorge Luis Borges and the trickery of Roald Dahl’ Mail on Sunday

‘Infused with Mantel’s almost lush evocations of isolation and distress … All in all, these are alluring portraits of interior disquiet’ Observer

‘No one else quite sounds like Mantel in this vein, although a top-level summit of Muriel Spark and Alan Bennett might conceivably come close. Mantel takes absolutely nothing on trust. Bodies can, and will, malfunction; ditto minds, and marriages. Malice, power or simple chance may always undermine the ground beneath your feet’ Independent

‘These are the sticky slices of suburban noir that Mantel served up so well in her pre-Wolf Hall output and they never fail to deliver’ The Times

‘Much of Mantel’s glorious power comes from her unsentimental, forensic gaze and willingness to describe the uncomfortable … Mantel’s brutally dissecting eye is much in evidence here … Her prose is sublime … the glittering details exquisite’ Independent on Sunday

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 details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 913 KB
  • Print Length: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (25 Sept. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JZBTR4K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,099 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I decided to give this book a go as I'd heard a lot about Mantel and I was intrigued by the titular story. However, I for the most part found it tedious. A couple of stories were engaging, but it wasn't enough to save this from a largely pointless affair.

I personally like my stories to have a general purpose... and with short stories you can be particularly punchy and go anywhere you want and tell stories without consequences.

However most of these stories just appear, then disappear. There are people, but very little story. A couple are about writers, and I'm sat there wondering if they are almost auto biographical which then starts to detract from the characters in question.

Mantel does have a way with words, and she writes in quite an evocative fashion. She inhabits the voices of her characters well. Towards the end, a couple of stories grabbed my attention quite a bit and I flew threw the pages and I didn't mind the lack of true mind blowing story. I liked living in the worlds and I wondered if I they were better stories or if I was just getting into Mantel's writing style. I'm not sure. The ghost story certainly threw me off course again, thinking what the hell is this?

I was leaning towards two stars, but then I got to the assassination of Margaret Thatcher. I was expecting a divergent reality - a look at what would happen to the UK after her death. But no... just some blathering story that has nothing to do with the title. There's no Margaret and no assassination, so it's grossly mis-titled.

This is not a cheap book, given her stature, which makes it even harder to recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Many of these short stories have been published or broadcast elsewhere, so this collection has a familiar feel. One Amazon reviewer suggests that there is no unifying theme, but I would say that the authorial voice fulfils this function - ironic, satirical, cynical and above all, sour. And it is the sourness which flavours the entire collection, despite a few sparks of (inevitably) black humour and some cracking descriptive one-liners. Perhaps the editor should have asked her/himself, "would I want to read a novel which was so relentlessly negative in tone?" The best story is probably "How Shall I Know You?" which has a nicely enigmatic ending and a thoroughly creepy feel throughout, but some are simply depressing, e.g. "School of English." The final story is nothing special, despite its headline grabbing (Daily Mail enraging) title.
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By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having previously only read Mantel's Booker Prize-winning historical novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, both of which I loved, I was intrigued to see how her rather slow-burning style in those books would convert to short, contemporary fiction. I'm pleased to say the answer is very well indeed - Mantel shows she is a mistress of this format just as much as the novel. Although the ten stories in this book weren't written specifically as a collection, there is a common theme that runs through them of women somewhat trapped in their lives, usually either by physical circumstances or by social constrictions; and several of the stories feel quite autobiographical in tone, giving the impression that Mantel has perhaps drawn heavily on her own experiences.

I was expecting beautiful writing and I was hoping for some moving, thought-provoking subject matter and the book has both in spades. What came as a surprise to me though was the rather wicked humour that appears in many of the stories - Mantel uses her keen observation of human nature to make us laugh out loud with the characters at some points, and at others traps us with a kind of wry cynicism into laughing at them. She brings an almost conspiratorial edge to some of the stories, where she and the reader know more than the narrator, allowing us to share a deliciously guilty feeling of superiority.
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Format: Hardcover
‘The only disappointing thing I can see about this book is that the title isn't true!’ is how one reader commented about Hilary Mantel’s newest book The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. I don’t know what he is insinuating at but it pretty well sums up the general mood about this collection of short stories which is quite unlike the author’s earlier books Bringing up the Bodies, Wolf Hall, A Place of Greater Safety, Fludd and Beyond Black.

Beautifully written, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel is a collection of short stories which will be relished by many readers but loathed by some on account of its title story. Some of the stories are truly well-imagined and executed to perfection by the author. Though a collection of short stories, Hilary wordplay, humor, penetrating observations and characterization make the stories come alive through the pages of this delightful book.

I’m particularly fascinated by some of the stories, including "Sorry to Disturb" which is set in Saudi Arabia during the 1980s. It is about a Pakistani businessman Ijaz’s unwelcome visit to the married narrator's flat in Jeddah after she lets him in one day to use her phone. It is outrageously funny and a real delight to read. Then there is "How Shall I Know You?" which is about a writer travelling to a small town to attend a book club reading. The young girl who attended to her in the hotel evoked both disgust and sympathy at the same time. “The Heart Fails Without Warning” is a distressing read about a young anorexic. The title story "The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher – August 6th 1983" is about an IRA assassin whom a wealthy woman has mistaken for a plumber, and who wants to use the window of her flat to take a shot at Margaret Thatcher.
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