Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Review: "Bring Up the Bodies" by Hilary Mantel

It's sometimes difficult to write a review of a book when you are not sure if your enjoyed it or not. I found the first of the Thomas Cromwell trilogy "Wolf Hall", to be a difficult read. Despite the fact that both these books won the Booker prize, I found I had to work hard to understand the prose and keep up with what was going on. I don't enjoy a book if I have to do this, but despite stopping several times (including breaks to read other books) I persevered with "Wolf Hall" to the end. Being reasonably familiar with who Thomas Cromwell was and this period of English history made it easier to understand what was going on.

Image Source: Amazon.
"Bring Up the Bodies" is written in the same difficult to read (for me) style. The story of Thomas Cromwell is a fascinating one and his character as portrayed by Mantel was the one thing that kept me going with this book. However, it was not until I watched the BBC TV adaptation of the two books that I really got to grips with the text. Actor Mark Rylance plays Cormwell to perfection and with every line in the book I envisaged his cold face staring as I tried to understand Mantel's wandering prose. Suddenly it became a lot clearer and finally enjoyable. It was like having someone explain to me what was going on. 

I probably will get the third book in this trilogy which will probably concentrate on his downfall and death - which in itself is a fascinating story.

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