Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mini Review: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Title: Bring Up the Bodies
Winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize

Author: Hilary Mantel
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company (2012) 432 pages
Alternate format: Macmillan Audio 14hr, 35 min
Narrator: Simon Vance
Genre: Historical Fiction
Subject: Oliver Cromwell
Setting: England in the reign of Henvy VIII
Series: second book in Wolf Hall trilogy 
Source: personal purchase of audio -through Audible, contest win of Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies from Henry Holt
Why did I read this book now? arrival of the winning hard copies made them too appealing to resist

I really enjoyed Wolf Hall, the first of Hilary Mantel's trilogy about Oliver Cromwell, but this one is even better.  I can't possibly say anything in a review that hasn't been said by the hundreds of reviews posted.  Continuing the technique she employed in Wolf Hall, Mantel has the story told from the point of view of Cromwell, as he threads his way through the intrigues of Henry VIII's court, the maneuverings of rival families to maintain control through the women closest to Henry, and the ultimate downfall of Anne Boleyn.

The historical detail and the dialogue ring so true to the period.  Mantel shows us Cromwell as he manipulates people and opportunities to advance Henry and himself.  She does not spare the sensitivities of her readers, giving us an unvarnished glimpse of the brutal, bloody, and traitorous mores of the Tudor Court.  It is historical fiction at its best.

If you haven't had the chance yet to read these books, run out and grab them. 

1 comment:

  1. I've read two of her books and was not enamoured by either but I'd like to read this one. I like the Tudor period - Cromwell is anyway an interesting character. This one is for me I think.

    Marlene Detierro (Fishing The Rogue River)


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