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Falling in love with Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall"

At long last, I've conquered Wolf Hall.

Wolf Or perhaps I should say, Wolf Hall has conquered me. I read Hilary Mantel's Man Booker-winning novel about Thomas Cromwell last week when I was off, and I fell completely in love with it, though I am not ordinarily a  fan of historical fiction. Often I find it too stiff, too mannered. But Wolf Hall feels as contemporary as a modern-day political drama, only much more compelling, what with all the burnings at the stake, accusations of heresy and sexual intrigue. Knowing how Henry VIII's battle with the Catholic Church worked out won't hinder a moment of your pleasure as you immerse yourself in this story. I don't think I've ever whipped through a 600-page novel quite so eagerly.

Herald reviewer Ellen Kanner could not have been more on target when she wrote: "Reader, you're in excellent hands with Hilary Mantel for this thrumming, thrilling read. . . . Part of the delight of masterfully paced Wolf Hall is how utterly modern it feels. It is political intrigue pulsing with energy and peopled by historical figures who have never seemed more alive — and more human."

The book is out in paperback now, so what are you waiting for?


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This was a completely predictable "love" for you, because I really couldn't get into it. I found her writing style unnecessarily obtuse and her time-skipping unnecessarily oblique. I certainly didn't hate it (which is the only reason I'm surprised you loved it THAT much), but I didn't see what all the fuss was about.

It's reassuring to know that our tastes aren't changing. :)

G.M. Malliet

The more I thought about this book after reading it, the more I realized what a great job she had done in drawing me into Cromwell's rough-and-tumble, dangerous world.


Ahhhh, Matt, things are right with the world again if we're disagreeing! I don't remember the last lengthy historical novel I made it through. I didn't find the language obtuse at all, and the time skipping was so minimal as to be barely noticeable... I truly enjoyed it, even knowing what was going to happen. And I'm not a fan of the show "The Tudors," either...

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