A Place of Greater Safety Hardcover – 1 Mar 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.
Top customer reviews
I also appreciate the sheer amount of research of research that went into this book, and how historically accurate it is, even being so true to every historical character. I must also note that whilst the sheer number of names and new characters may leave some lost, I never lost track as with so many other such novels. Mantel also takes the time to give historical context at major turning points, as well as POV's from other historical characters (Orleans, Lafayette, Mirabeu and others) to give us the reader the full picture, as well as show how the world reacts to the actions of our protagonists.
The only real warning I'll say-other than that this book is very long and can get sidetracked-is that you should not expect this novel to be an even split between these three characters-Camille Desmoulins, Danton and Robespierre. Desmoulins really is the main character here, being the bridge between the other two, as well as being interesting in himself. Danton is close behind, while Robespierre is missing in his POV for large stretches. I did mind this however, as Robespierre has enough written about him anyway..whilst his shadow remains large over the story, for obvious reasons.
In conclusion, anyone who wishes to learn about the French revolution and the men (and women) behind it but find Non fiction too dry, this is ideal. Great characterization, great story, great scenes..just keep track of the characters.
The Paperback version is better than the Kindle in my opinion as you can more easily refer to the character list if you get confused by all of the names. I started with the Kindle and then bought a paperback version. It is that good. Do not be intimidated by the length of the book, it is one you never want to end. I am now on my second read and listening to it on audible too. If you like Mantel, you should thoroughly enjoy this book.
But most if all it's Camille! Wonderful Camille Desmoulins. I always had a little crush on him, like many a schoolgirl in France. But now it's love. Mantel is perhaps a bit in love as well to write him so beautifully. I find humour very sexy, and I laughed out loud so many times. Mantel must have dug very deep in his prolific writings to recreated this particularly brilliant sort of humour, especially as it often also shows the depth of his sorrow.
This review will start being boring if I don't say please go on reading. The saddest thing is that I can't share my joy of it with anyone, even true Mantel fan, as when I mention it I invariably get 'oh yes I tried but I couldn't get on with it' I too tried, perhaps 3 times to get into it. It's huge, incredibly dense, doesn't waste any time coaching the reader in the facts and timeline of the French Revolution, basically she isn't patronising the reader.
I suspect it's no more difficult to read than the Wolf Hall books, it's just that her readership is so much more familiar with the Tudors. (I've now understood, after 25 years in this country, that it's a national obsession) But it's nothing a little Wki catch up on the French Revolution won't cure. It's also 3 tomes into one. With 3 fascinating men, as well as a few wonderfully drawn women.
"Allons enfants ......" Read it!
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