A Place of Greater Safety Paperback – 1 Jul 1993
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"Mantel's writing is so exact and brilliant that, in itself, it seems an act of survival, even redemption."--Joan Acocella, "The New Yorker" "More people really need to get with the concept that Mantel is one of the best writers in England." --Zadie Smith, author of "On Beauty" "Brilliant, edgy historical fiction that captures the whiplash flux of the French Revolution with crisp immediacy on the page."--"The Seattle Times" "An epic of extraordinary detail and depth . . . [it] moves beyond the realm of an absorbing yarn into the arena of a literary masterpiece."--"Booklist" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Hilary Mantel is the bestselling author of many novels including "Wolf Hall," which won the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. "Bring Up the Bodies," Book Two of the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy, was also awarded the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Book Award. She is also the author of "A Change of Climate," "A Place of Greater Safety," "Eight Months on Ghazzah Street," "An Experiment in Love," "The Giant, O'Brien," "Fludd," "Beyond Black," "Every Day Is Mother's Day," and "Vacant Possession." She has also written a memoir, "Giving Up the Ghost." Mantel was the winner of the Hawthornden Prize, and her reviews and essays have appeared in "The New York Times," "The New York Review of Books," and the "London Review of Books." She lives in England with her husband. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The three main characters are diverse: Danton the bluff orator, the patriot who expects to make a good living out of the revolution; Robespierre the incorruptible, ruled by logic, who believes that the revolution is an essential reform more important than mere individuals, and the magnetic hell-raiser Camille - brilliant, immature, seductive, amoral, driven. Their wives, lovers, friends and enemies swarm through the book creating a riot of events and ideas.
This is wonderful writing with sparkles of genius: Camille's wife imagines the 'semi-demi-half life' of existence without him; a major character dies leaving a book marked with her place, 'And this is it' - it is twinned with her place as a character in this book, the place she got up to.
Hilary Mantel teases fiction out of history, leaving the imaginary indistinguishable from the facts. Both are compelling and thrilling, from the young Camille's subtle humiliation of his host at a dinner party, as a means of seducing his hostess, to Danton's theft of the French crown jewels for diamonds to bribe the enemy to lose a battle.Read more ›
Mantel's research must have been immense and her eye for detail and character mean that what might be seen as dry history never suffers that fate. It leaps off the page in a kind of glorious technicolour. The characters, bloodthirsty and morally ambivalent though they are, are also portrayed as fascinatingly human and at times sympathetic.
Despite the length, the complexity of the story and the huge cast of characters Mantel achieves the nigh on impossible task of making this book as easy to read as a holiday blockbuster and just as compelling. A tour de force
However, somewhere past the midpoint it started to get really interesting - characters and events started unfolding and falling into place, and became more than the sum total of their parts. Although I still didn't feel it was great writing, the research was detailed and the fiction so well observed it became compelling. The plot and main characters are well documented both historically and in other reviews so I won't go on about them. But I did want to say if anyone out there is having a problem with it - I've been there - and it's well worth seeing it through; Hilary Mantel shows such great insights into the complexities of human nature and events, making fact and fiction work skilfully together, without allowing the fiction to undermine the documented facts.
After I'd finished the book it was a relief to read that Hilary Mantel herself had echoed my sentiments; it was the first book she wrote and was rejected by publishers, and sat on a shelf for a few years. After success with later novels, she was asked to reveal whether she had a first unpublished novel lurking around, she said she nearly lied and said no - the rest is history.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Took ages to read,but v well researched,complicatef keeping track of all the characters.Published 22 days ago by Mrs. S. Hann
One of my favourite books of all time. You'll never take your freedom for granted again.Published 2 months ago by Emma Foster
absolutely gripping. I feel as if I am there! insightful and human.Published 3 months ago by Mrs Angela Dewar
To many characters and too long! This flabby narrative is just too unwieldy to cohere. There is no sense of dramatic propulsion and I gave up half way through.Published 3 months ago by KC
I loved. Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. I think this was because I already knew the main characters and plot so the novel added flesh to the bones. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Grumy old Geoff
Her later writing is better written. Good content, but not easy to read.Published 4 months ago by A. M. Cumming
Great fan of Hilary Mantel but have to agree with many of the other reviewers. This book is LONG and it is really hard to keep up and warm to the characters because of having to go... Read morePublished 5 months ago by A E Summers