Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Simon Vance is one of the top audiobook narrators and the first two books in Hilary Mantel's Tudor trilogy have both been awarded the Booker prize, so there isn't much I can add in praise of Bring Up the Bodies audiobook [MacMillan]. It's fourteen and a half hours well spent.

Thomas Cromwell is introduced in Wolf Hall. He is a fascinating character, portrayed believably and sympathetically by Mantel. He was the guy who took on the pope in order to arrange Henry VIII's divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, so Henry could marry Anne Boleyn. That was covered in Wolf Hall. Three years later, Henry wants to be rid of Anne because he has his eye on Jane Seymour. It is Cromwell's job to fix things again.

I wonder if readers who object to spoilers avoid reading any historical fiction that closely follows fact? Knowing the outline -- and outcome -- of the historical events ahead of time makes no difference to enjoyment of Bring Up the Bodies because it is all about the characters and how it all happened. Highly recommended.

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