May 19, 2010
I'd give it 9 – I must be one of the few that didn't find it dry, but I might be remembering the audiobook rather than when I read the book itself. I think having a story read to you is a wonderful thing that brings it to life and this was definitely the case with Wolf Hall. The narrator, in my opinion, took some getting used to, but he voiced the characters, especially Cromwell, with his dry sense of humour, the blustering Charles Brandon, and the Duke of Norfolk, excellently.
I felt that the author really captured the essence of court life, and did it in a way that was very respectful of the actual facts. I actually didn't mind the portrayal of Anne – not to say that I agree with it. But I thought her wit was sharp and her determination was clear and she made some wonderful remarks throughout the story that were both piercing and sometimes very funny.
I also really enjoyed the fictional interjections Mantell made when the facts that we know of don't really stretch far enough to tell us exactly what happened.
~ Team Anne ~
August 2, 2010
I agree about Mantel's portrayal of Court life, Bambaleyn. And in regard to Anne: setting aside my thoughts that Anne was very different than she was portrayed, otherwise she would be a good, interesting character I thin. And you're right: her wit, intelligence, determination, and dry humor were all apparent.
"Grumble all you like, this is how it's going to be"
September 8, 2010
I agree that Mantel really did bring court life in Tudor times to life, and thats one of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much.
I also enjoyed her portrayal of Anne, although some readers thought it was too harsh and cynical. I think Anne would have been very defensive at times, after all she displaced Katherine of Aragon, she was a religious reformist, and she was brought up in the French Court which would have made her a lot of enemies.
I loved the scene where she is practising her archery, and she is dressed in green silk and wears a diamond caul on her head.
“She smells of green leaves and lavender. In the dusk her diamonds are as cool as raindrops.”
Slate Magazine has a 45 minute audio discussion of this book. The commentators are not tudor experts, so its not too heavy going – just an entertaining and informative discussion.
P.S. Bambaleyn – love the picture of your kitty… I hope to get a Scottish fold sometime this summer.
May 19, 2010
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