Bring up the Bodies Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD
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‘Picks up the body parts where “Wolf Hall” left off … literary invention does not fail her: she's as deft and verbally adroit as ever’ Margaret Atwood, Guardian
‘Bring Up The Bodies succeeds brilliantly in every particle of this: it’s an imaginative achievement to exhaust superlatives’ The Spectator
‘Historical novel? Of course, and probably the best to be published since “Wolf Hall”' Andrew Motion, The Times
‘Mantel’s genius in the retelling of this oft-told tale is her knack of reaching inside people’s heads into the nooks and crannies of their thoughts, seeing what many others don’t …
I hesitate to use the term ‘genius’ but …’ Kathy Stevenson, Daily Mail
‘Bring Up The Bodies should net its author another Booker Prize’ Amanda Craig, New Statesman
‘Where much historical fiction gets entangled in the simulation of historical authenticity, Mantel bypasses those knots of concoction, and proceeds as if authenticity were magic rather than a science. She knows that what gives fiction its vitality is not the accurate detail but the animate one, and that novelists are creators, not coroners, of the human case … In short, this novelist has the maddeningly unteachable gift of being interesting.’ James Wood, The New Yorker
‘…a magnificent encore from first page to last’ Mail on Sunday
‘An outstandingly good read … Fans of ‘Wolf Hall’ will relish this book, but “Bring Up the Bodies” also stands alone’ The Economist
‘This is a great novel of dark and dirty passions, public and private. It is also an exploration of what still shocks us… A truly great story, it rolls on.’ James Naughtie, FT
‘There is no sense in which Bring Up the Bodies is a simple follow-up or continuation of Wolf Hall. More then most, Mantel is a committed revolutionary novelist’ TLS
About the Author
Hilary Mantel is one of our most important living writers. She is the author of twelve books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Giving Up the Ghost, Beyond Black, which was shortlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize, and Wolf Hall, which won the 2009 Man Booker Prize.
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Top Customer Reviews
As has been observed by others, Mantel is writing at the height of her powers and her language is full of delights. She doesn't burden us with her research, which effortlessly provides the structure to her novel - it is her sensory description which allows us to think we know what it is to inhabit the world of Henry Tudor. She conjures up - with even more skill perhaps - the workings of Cromwell's mind and the political machinations required to serve his king and to remove and execute a queen, according to the law of England. Cromwell has read Machiavelli and clearly thinks he could write better if he had the time - but there are always papers, always business to be attended to if the kingdom is to prosper.
Wolf Hall is an extraordinary novel, fully deserving of its prizes and the praise it gathered; Bring Up the Bodies is its near equal. If Wolf Hall was very much about the fall of Wolsey and the rise of Cromwell to high office, Bring Up the Bodies is about Cromwell holding on to power while Anne Boleyn loses it, and the cost of that to both. Mantel is writing a trilogy and this makes sense for the second act.Read more ›
Firstly, whilst it carried on the tale of Cromwell, I didn't feel that it added much thematically to what had already been explored in Wolf Hall. There were additional considerations on statecraft and age but so much territory had already been covered that it felt like an addendum to the previous novel rather than a discreet work. Compare it, for example, to "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God", which tell two halves of a story but use the two halves to explore quite distinct themes; consequently, both Claudius novels feel fresh in a way that Bring up the Bodies doesn't.
I also found the plot less rewarding - I think because it deals with a difficult transitory period concerning the pomp and fall of Anne Boleyn. Therefore, the actions lend themselves less easily to a novel than the passage of Cromwell from Putney bruiser to Master of the Rolls and Secretary to the King as told in Wolf Hall. There is a less clear direction of travel for our main protagonist and he has less agency in the journey he goes on, at times seemingly 'going through the motions'. This sets up some nice comparisons with the fall of Wolsey but I couldn't escape the feeling that the interrogation of Boleyn's lovers, for example, was a less brilliant literary execution (pardon the pun) than that of Thomas More in the first novel. It just seemed more pedestrian and, I think, that is because Mantel had less juicy historical ingredients to play with.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mantel weaves an immensely readable tale based on the fall of Anne Boleyn. We will never know the true facts of the matter but this version of events brings the era to life even... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent book, a great follow on from wolf hall. The writing style did not bother me, it is the way she chose to write it and made a change.Published 8 days ago by Rob Tappenden
This book is so good, even more enjoyable than it's prequel 'Wolf Hall'.Published 9 days ago by gillyt