Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

sevenstories’ #CBR4 Review #50: Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

“By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith’s son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. But Henry’s actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as he falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour. The minister sees what is at stake: not just the king’s pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, its miasma of gossip, he must negotiate a ‘truth’ that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne’s final days.” 

In short, this novel is superb. It perhaps doesn’t quite reach the heady heights of Wolf Hall, which is one of my all-time favourites, but it is certainly significantly better than nearly everything else I have read recently and is a wonderful, lyrical look at the next section of Thomas Cromwell’s life, which follows Anne Boleyn’s reign and downfall and Jane Seymour’s rise. Mantel creates an enigmatic Cromwell, so different from what the history books tell us, who is aggressive and single minded and yet intelligent and sympathetic. The real draw though, is Mantel’s phenomenal writing, the book is a joy to read and to wallow in the wonderful way that she writes. This book is magnificent and I am unsurprised but pleased to see it on the Man Booker longlist, and am fairly confident it will make it on to the shortlist, if not win. Mantel’s soaring, beautiful language is playful and clever and a joy to read.

You can read my full review here.

First Line: “His children are falling from the sky.”

Why I read it: I adored Wolf Hall and so this is one of the books I was the most excited to read this year. I read this when it first came out, but it has since been announced as being on the Man Booker longlist.

Who I would recommend it to: Fans of literary historical fiction, people who enjoy beautifully crafted novels.

Single Post Navigation

One thought on “sevenstories’ #CBR4 Review #50: Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

  1. Great review. I really appreciate you taking the time to write on this subject.

    Have you ever considered writing reviews about Internet Marketing systems designed to make money online?

    Rick

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 608 other followers