Well Rounded Reading Cooperative (WRRC)

Category-Based Online Book Club ~ To Learn and Share our Literary Treasures
 
HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Man Booker Prize 2009: Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel (c. 2009)

Go down 
AuthorMessage
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 123
Join date : 2008-10-22
Age : 50
Location : Geneva, Illinois

PostSubject: Man Booker Prize 2009: Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel (c. 2009)   Fri 23 Oct 2009, 7:37 am



Hot off the prize shelf and in from England, heard about this one through a teacher at a painting class. Wolf Hall is a fairly classic story of Tudor/York England at the time of Henry VIII (starts where he is pining for Anne Boleyn and desperate for a divorce/annulment from Rome as to Queen Katherine). However, the approach in this book is a bit unique as it is predominantly told from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, an attorney, who is initially advisor to Cardinal Wolsey, then after Wolsey's fall from grace, befriends Henry. Cromwell is fascinating and his impressions of Henry, Thomas More, the Boleyn clan and Wolsey are unique and interesting. I especially love how the author describes the entirety of the setting, inside the castles, the grounds, the food, the entire ... time. I can practically smell it!

I'm about 200 pages in (of the 532 page book) and if you love that era, you're going to love this book. However, it's not for the uninitiated. Mantel assumes her readers have at least a working knowledge of that time, I'm guessing, because wow, it assumes a lot of "facts not in evidence" so to speak. But there is an extensive "player list" at the beginning and a great timeline for the Tudors/Yorks, so a reader can follow along. I have to refer to it a LOT and I've read quite a few books on Henry VIII, et al. Once you get into it though, wow, it's awesome. I feel like a fly on the wall, listening to all the gossip. And I don't know what it is, but I never tire of reading of all the intrigue, drama and such revolving around Henry, all the wives, the interplay with Rome, France, Spain, etc. ~ as long as it is well told (there is so much garbage out there right now). I began Mantel's book on the French Revolution and had a hard time sticking with it, but will try again after knowing how this one unfolds. I think to really get into such a world, there is a lot of editing of a massive amount of information. Must bring your full wits about you.

If you like this time in history, sit back, grab Wolf Hall and enjoy! Full review to follow.

Carolyn
Admin
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://wrrc.4umer.net
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 123
Join date : 2008-10-22
Age : 50
Location : Geneva, Illinois

PostSubject: Re: Man Booker Prize 2009: Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel (c. 2009)   Fri 30 Oct 2009, 3:25 pm

Review:

I am not sure if it is Mantel's writing style or what it is exactly, but I had a difficult time following what she was saying and about whom, through much of the reading (this was true of the French Revolution book of hers as well) of Wolf Hall. I had to go back numerous times to re-read sections, use the chart in front, etc. I've read my share of Henry VIII sagas (still find Margaret George's the best), many of which pale in comparison to the rich detail and history Mantel presents, yet still, I have to say the experience was more of a chore than a pleasure. Historical fiction should be a bit more of an escape and less like a text. Part of it is there is normal dialogue (quotes, paragraphs, etc.), then all of a sudden she will switch to grammar-less dialogue in the middle of the paragrah ~ and I'm left going huh, who is talking, why, to whom? That was juxtaposed with a weird sort of second person approach to Cromwell's thoughts, from time to time, add in multiple persons by the names of Henry, Mary, Thomas, well, it's just confusing a lot ~ or perhaps I'm just not an adept enough reader for the style. But with a bit of tenacity and a desire to learn a fresh approach to such well-tread material, I did get through this one. Mantel does know how to set a timepiece, the research was great; and getting to know Cromwell and More (and Holbein too) in a different way was unique, at times witty, and fun. It did not add up to Man Booker prize material for me, not even close, but if you love the time period, you will probably enjoy this book. Even though nothing new was said about Anne Boleyn, I did rather like the handling of her, her snottiness, myopic drive to the throne and how non pulsed she was when she got everything she wanted. There were many times I felt like a fly on the wall when the gossip ran rampant. That was fun. Overall, tepidly recommended, but only for those who have a real desire to read more about the reign of Henry VIII, especially the years during his annulment from Katherine and ultimate marriage to Anne Boleyn.

2.5 out of 5 stars

Carolyn
Admin
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://wrrc.4umer.net
 
Man Booker Prize 2009: Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel (c. 2009)
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» I won the Grand Prize (iPad) THANK YOU ALL!!!
» Charley Chau Birthday Prize Draw
» Starpulse: New Year's Eve Prize Pack *US only* ends 12/14/11
» I won the 3rd prize !!!
» Drawing Contest!

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Well Rounded Reading Cooperative (WRRC) :: The Twelve Categories - 2009 :: 1. All The World's A Stage-
Jump to: