• The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher

  • By: Hilary Mantel
  • Narrated by: Jane Carr
  • Length: 4 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 09-25-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.0 (4 ratings)

Regular price: $8.25

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Publisher's Summary

A brilliant collection of short stories from the double Man Booker Prize-winning author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.
Hilary Mantel is one of Britain's most accomplished and acclaimed writers. In these ten bracingly subversive tales, all her gifts of characterisation and observation are fully engaged, summoning forth the horrors so often concealed behind everyday façades. Childhood cruelty is played out behind the bushes in ‘Comma'; nurses clash in ‘Harley Street' over something more than professional differences; and in the title story, staying in for the plumber turns into an ambiguous and potentially deadly waiting game.
Whether set in a claustrophobic Saudi Arabian flat or on a precarious mountain road in Greece, these stories share an insight into the darkest recesses of the spirit. Displaying all of Mantel's unmistakable style and wit, they reveal a great writer at the peak of her powers.
©2014 Hilary Mantel (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Earnest on 11-21-14

Insightful overall but patchy in its quality.

Would you listen to The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher again? Why?

No. There are few universal themes and even less, riveting stories. Just once off, well written stories.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

It is fascinating to link Mantel's known, personal story with her fiction. Particularly the nasty aspects of medical misdiagnosis. The space between these lines is worth the intellectual exercise. Of least interest is the perceived intransigence on certain issues which trudges on without being of any value to another human being. For the first time I really saw the more unattractive side of this author's personality.

Which scene was your favorite?

In short stories this is hard to choose. The characters trapped in Saudi Arabia were my least favourite.

Who was the most memorable character of The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher and why?

The assassin in the last story was memorable because he lacked all credibility. Come to think of it, I did not believe the representation of the remarkably calm old lady.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anthony on 04-03-15

Brilliant writing; wonderful collection of stories

Superb collection of beautifully written and narrated stories.

The first story in the collection describes a woman in Saudi Arabia who offers assistance to a chance visitor, a stranger, who then becomes a persistent, and unwanted, admirer. Hilary Mantel herself describes the story as one of a person being trapped and constrained, whose agency is limited by circumstances and cultural difference.

The book title is derived from a story, in turn based on an experience of the author, in which her apartment overlooks the grounds of a nearby hospital at which Margaret Thatcher has received dental attention. In the story, the woman is expecting a plumber at the time Margaret Thatcher is scheduled to be leaving the hospital and in full view of the apartment window. The 'plumber' arrives and sets about assembling a rifle, engages in conversation with the apartment owner, and turns out to be an IRA assassin. After discussing Mrs Thatcher, fully aware of the intended assassination, the apartment owner brings the IRA operative a cup of tea...

The most beautifully written story concerns an author coming to talk about her work in a small town where she is booked overnight at a crumbling local hotel. There she converses and engages with a physically disabled girl, an employee at the establishment, who attends to her needs. Their exchange is brought to the foreground and the tired run-of-the-mill greying bookclub recedes in importance.

Wonderfully written with Mantel's characteristic blend of evocative language, psychological insights, and humour. Superb.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mrs on 09-29-14

Excellent !

What did you like most about The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher?

The originality of the work

What other book might you compare The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher to, and why?

None really, it is a 'stand alone'

Which character – as performed by Jane Carr – was your favourite?

I liked most of the 'cast'

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The endings

Any additional comments?

A classic and much as expected by HM in a class of her own

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ms. F. Miller on 03-31-15

Queen of the storytellers

Hilary Mantel's short stories are just brilliant. Superbly read. Exceptionally enjoyable. Each story was a novel in itself. Thanks, Audible.

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