HILARY MANTEL is the bestselling author of ten previous novels, including Wolf Hall, which sold more than 200,000 copies and won the 2009 Man Booker Prize. Her previous works include her novel, A Place of Greater Safety, and her memoir, Giving Up the Ghost. She lives in England with her husband.
In Mandel's taut sequel to Wolf Hall, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn have been married for more than two years, but unable to produce a male heir. Boleyn's position becomes tenuous-especially with Thomas Cromwell and young lady-in-waiting Jane Seymour working against her. Narrator Simon Vance shines in his portrayal of the characters, creating a range of distinct voices-including the increasingly tense Anne Boleyn and the earnest Gregory, Cromwell's mild-mannered young son who is eager to prove himself. Best of all, however, are the measured tones Vance employs for the conniving Cromwell. The narrator captures the soul of this complex character, a man of innate pragmatism and confidence who is also quietly haunted by regrets. Vance also nails the bone-dry wit of the character. In all, this is an exemplary audiobook. A Henry Holt hardcover. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The second volume of a trilogy and sequel to Mantel's Wolf Hall, this installation brilliantly portrays the events leading to the downfall and beheading of Anne Boleyn. Equally fascinating is Thomas Cromwell and his role in Anne's tragic end. Mantel excels at presenting the fine and fascinating details of this monumental event in English history as seen through Cromwell's eyes. Was Anne guilty or innocent or did the king simply use Cromwell to get what he wanted? The truth will never be known, but it is intriguing to follow the path on its terrifying pace as Anne's death nears. Her last moments are literally heart stopping to hear. Narrator Simon Vance's skillful presentation enhances Mantel's outstanding description and dialogue. His gorgeous sound, tone, and accent add to the beauty and horror of the compelling story. VERDICT Historical fiction lovers and also those who enjoy history and biography will be greatly satisfied. ["Mantel is a consummate setter of scenes: descriptions of stunning poetry are embedded amid savagery and earthiness. The historical novel does not come any better than this," read the review of the John Macrae Bk: Holt hc, LJ Xpress Reviews 4/20/12.-Ed.]-Susan G. Baird, Chicago, IL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"Mantel knows what to select, how to make her scenes vivid, how to kindle her characters. She seems almost incapable of abstraction or fraudulence; she instinctively grabs for the reachably real...In short, this novelist has the maddeningly unteachable gift of being interesting." --The New Yorker"[Bring Up the Bodies] is astringent and purifying, stripping away the cobwebs and varnish of history, the antique formulations and brocaded sentimentality of costume drama novels, so that the English past comes to seem like something vivid, strange and brand new." --The New York Times Book Review"Two years ago something astonishingly fair happened in the world of prestigious prizes: the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction for 2009 both went to the right winner. The book was Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, and it would have dwarfed the competition any year...It was a hard act to follow. But the follow-up is equally sublime...That ironic ending will be no cliffhanger for anyone even remotely familiar with Henry VIII's trail of carnage. But in Bring Up the Bodies it works as one. The wonder of Ms. Mantel's retelling is that she makes these events fresh and terrifying all over again." --The New York Times"Bring Up the Bodies isn't just her boldest book; it's also her best -- and it reaffirms Mantel's reputation as one of England's greatest living novelists." --NPR"Hilary Mantel made waves in 2009 with her Man Booker Prize-winning page-turner, Wolf Hall...The second in her planned trilogy, Bring Up the Bodies stalks Anne Boleyn and the soap-opera worthy machinations of Cromwell and his evil allies to bring down the powerful wife of the king. Who knew history could be so sexy?" --Vanity Fair"What's being called the Wolf Hall Trilogy is a remarkable work in progress, a series that makes the past feel immediate and--this is the best part--unpredictable. Even if you know the history, you'll find yourself racing through these pages to find out what happens next." --People"After pulling off this literary feat twice, you realize the smartest person in the room isn't Cromwell after all--it's Mantel." --The Huffington Post"the finest works of historical fiction in contemporary literature." --The Washington Post"Fans of Wolf Hall will relish this book, but Bring Up the Bodies also stands alone...Her characters are real and vivid people who bring to life the clash of ideals that gripped England at the time. She makes the past present and vital." --The Economist"Bring Up the Bodies stands magnificently on its own...such is [Mantel's] skill" --LA Times"You won't be able to tear your eyes away." --The Seattle Times"The worst that can be said about Mantel--her latest book makes you angry, because you want more." --Slate"In Mantel's hands, Cromwell's cunning, morally complicated orchestration of that historic slice through the royal neck is as exciting as any thriller." --Entertainment Weekly"With wit, daring style, and a staggering breadth of historical knowledge, Mantel breathes new life into reclaimed territory." --Bookslut