Bring Up the Bodies Audio CD – May 8 2012
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“This second volume in Hilary Mantel's planned trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, right-hand man to Henry VIII of England, is a perfect marriage of the written and spoken word…Simon Vance's silken tones and expert pacing keep us engaged throughout…Vance enhances the story with instructive vocal portraits of key players and a listenable tempo that keeps us clear and entranced until the end.” ―AudioFile Magazine, winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
“Can one improve Hilary Mantel's tale of Tudor intrigue, Bring Up the Bodies, which has racked up both sales and awards? Well, yes, if you add Simon Vance's acclaimed voice. In an Audie-nominated performance, Vance doesn't simply narrate the Man Booker winner – he seems to inhabit the characters.” ―USA Today, four out of four stars
“If you listened to Simon Slater's riveting reading of the Booker Prize-wining ‘Wolf Hall,' the 2009 opener in Hilary Mantel's trilogy, the news that the sequel has a different narrator won't be good. Fear not. Simon Vance's narration is every bit as versatile and nuanced as Slater's, his intonation for each character is as uncannily distinctive – a critical requirement with so many characters. Even better, Vance's voice portrayal of the historically maligned Thomas Cromwell, chief adviser to King Henry VII, is almost indistinguishable from Slater's in ‘Wolf Hall'” ―Newark Star-Ledger
“We all know the story, but hearing it described through Cromwell's eloquent words and inner thoughts on power and ambition, his own included, make it new again, and riveting. Mantel's language is extraordinary – it's as though she's channeled Cromwell from beyond and burrowed into his mind – and Simon Vance's impeccable reading is a perfect match. A wonderful way to celebrate audio month.” ―BookPage
“Narrator Simon Vance's skillful presentation enhances Mantel's outstanding description and dialogue. His gorgeous sound, tone and accent add to the beauty and horror of the compelling story.” ―Library Journal, starred review
“Narrator Simon Vance shines in his portrayal of the characters, creating a range of distinct voices – including the increasingly tense Anne Boleyn and the earnest Georgey, Cromwell's mild-mannered young son who is eager to prove himself. Best of all, however, are the measured tones Vance employs for the conniving Cromwell. The narrator captures the soul of this complex character, a man of innate pragmatism and confidence who is also quietly haunted by regrets. Vance also nails the bone-dry wit of the characters. In all, this is an exemplary audiobook.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Vance takes commence of the complex story, reading Mantel's complicated prose with assurance…Tensions leading up to Anne Bolyn's execution run high, and Vance relays the emotions with precision and grace, showing that he is attuned to the complicated plot.” ―Booklist
“I downloaded Hilary Mantel's majestic ‘Bring Up the Bodies' and was pleasantly surprised to hear Vance's gentle and authoritative voice once again. It was like running into an old friend and knowing that we were about to have a long and satisfying visit.” ―John Schwartz, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Hilary Mantel is the bestselling author of ten previous novels, including Wolf Hall, which sold more than 200,000 copies and won the 2009 Man Booker Prize. Her previous works include her novel, A Place of Greater Safety, and her memoir, Giving Up the Ghost. She lives in England with her husband.
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Top Customer Reviews
In the first book in this planned trilogy, Wolf Hall, we saw the unexpected and adept rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in serving King Henry VIII. At the end of that book, Henry was smitten with Jane Seymour and Cromwell had a sense that this was an opportunity to overcome Anne Boleyn whom he had helped to become queen at the king's request.
In Bring Up the Bodies, we follow the plottings leading up to the death of the former queen, Katherine of Aragon, the failed attempts by Anne Boleyn to provide a male heir, the rise of the Boleyns, continental power politics, and the king's (and Cromwell's) desire to gain income from church lands. The book culminates in the trial and execution of Anne Boleyn and those found guilty of adultery with her. We also see Henry VIII as an aging man, grown more foolish in his desires to stay young. With lots of dialogue and stream of consciousness narration, we see the delicate balance that Cromwell had to keep in all of his endeavors. It was a mighty challenge.
The strength of this historical novel is making the events of a distant past more understandable and emotional for us at this distance in time. I applaud Ms. Mantel again for choosing Thomas Cromwell as her narrator. He is the ideal character to cast these events into a more objective light. She lightly trods the balance between real events and guessing what Cromwell thought of them in a way that seems wholly accurate . . . while making the telling much more compelling by placing us in it as we identify with Cromwell's desire to properly serve the king's and England's interests.
In this sequel to Mantel's widely acclaimed Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall we listen to the machinations at court in 1536 when Henry has wearied of the now imperious Anne Boleyn who in addition to boring his majesty has been unable to give him a son. She has alienated many and forgiven few. With the death of Henry's first wife, the exiled Katherine of Aragon, only Anne stands between the king's desire for Jane Seymour.
It is up to Cromwell to satisfy Henry. Thus, over what seems to be a short period of time Anne finds herself the center of a plot to find her guilty of adultery and treason. Mantel examines this in vivid detail so well that it is as if one were eavesdropping on the characters, whether it is Cromwell thinking, remembering his youth or the Boleyns fighting to protect their place or the quiet Jane waiting, waiting.
Simon Vance is enormously talented as is noted by his four Audie Awards, 38 Earphone awards, and other honors. Listening to him is both pleasure and privilege. Don't miss his narration of Bring Up The Bodies!
- Gail Cooke
Most recent customer reviews
So sorry to find that Bring Up the Bodies is not on par with the magnificently written Wolf Hall. The information leading up to Anne Boleyn's beheading is good, but not much... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Caroda
I enjoy this writer for both the story and the information it providesPublished 2 months ago by Allan C. Crimmins
Brilliant evocation of the Tudor era with Wolf Hall. The quotations by Cromwell were easier to follow than in Wolf Hall. Read morePublished 2 months ago by nance
Seamlessly continues Mantel's "Wolf Hall," which is a good thing. At the end of the book she indicates that she's looking forward to continuing to tell the story of Thomas... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Pauline Mosher
A worthy sequel to "Wolf Hall", this book continues the saga of Thomas Cromwell, and the twists and turns of court intrigue in Henry Tudor's England.Published 15 months ago by Anne Martin