Bring Up The Bodies

Hilary Mantel

Why didn’t I review Wolf Hall here? Was I still too excited? Bring Up The Bodies is just as good, I think, although it wasn’t able to give me quite the same eerie feeling I had in the first half of Wolf Hall: that the jealousies and quarrels of the Tudors  were the shiftings of a prism casting its light and shadows down the centuries, a shadowplay we still inhabit.

I’ve read more than one reviewer describe Bring Up The Bodies as “austere”, which only makes sense if language and character don’t count as luxuries.

Both books gave me so much pleasure that all I want to do is gesture in a way which somehow combines  magnanimity with envy and which says “go read them now, you lucky bastards”. (I wish I could read both novels again for the first time.)

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2 responses to “Bring Up The Bodies

  1. I haven’t seen the greatness of Wolf Hall summed up quite as well as in your first par. The first half is mind-blowing, and so strange. I would have regretted that the second half wasn’t as (in your apt word) eerie, if it wasn’t so utterly absorbing in its own right. More was evidently more of a prick than I had hitherto expected, but his downfall… god, so vicious. I’m 100 pages into Bring Up the Bodies and I’m finding it excruciating, in a good way.

    Btw, I’ve been listening to your tracks on Soundcloud. Great stuff!

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