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The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times best seller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn. Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head?
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ry Young on 09-18-12
Perfection in story and the telling
Would you listen to Bring Up the Bodies again? Why?
After listening to this and the preceding Wolf Hall, I despair of ever having so much satisfaction on an audiobook and its performance. Mantel's writing is exquisite. Each sentence is carefully crafted, balanced, purposeful. The story is amusing, engrossing, horrifying, comforting, and always compelling. If feels like history but somehow one is transported into Cromwell's head and behind his eyes.
And Vance must feel the same way I do. His reading...his performance....is absolutely spot on.
I will NOT enjoy any other book, or pair of books, as much. It's all downhill from here.
I just wish we would get another volume...perhaps it will yet come. The last words in the book state that the end is the beginning.
What other book might you compare Bring Up the Bodies to and why?
I feel like I have had a course in Tudor history, but with a lot more of the important social and economic detail than you would ever get in a classroom.
Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Pure magic. Seriously, there must be a lot of scholarship....the details are so dense and believable. But the primary thing is the lyrical writing.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
It was too short.
Any additional comments?
Regret that I am done with it. Play it again, Sam.
26 of 26 people found this review helpful
By Darwin8u on 11-22-12
Mantel Pulls the History out of the History
100 pages in and it is hard to miss that this isn't just a nominal sequel to Wolf Hall, but rather the first book's logical annex. There is no drop-off in complexity. No laxity of language. Still Mantel manages to shift form, change structure and reinvent her style. She even manages to give the character of Thomas Cromwell more depth and complexity, a feat which seemed near impossible after finishing Wolf Hall.
Anyway, Mantel is one of the finest writers of English prose living. Each sentence is crafted like a unique piece in an Italian inlaid music box. She has a purpose for each comma and can make words seem to dance, fall and recover right off the page. She pulls the history out of the history and has written Tower interrogations so deft and chilling, one is left afraid of both language and the law. As readers, we watch Cromwell destroy men, overthrow queens, and change history with words, paper and a sharp understanding of men's motives. We aren't afraid because Cromwell is a monster, but because he is so heroically human.
64 of 68 people found this review helpful