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Wolf Hall Hardcover – Large Print, Aug 22 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 975 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Pr; Lrg edition (Aug. 22 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1410450155
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410450159
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #214,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A stunning book. It breaks free of what the novel has become nowadays. I can't think of anything since Middlemarch which so convincingly builds a world." Diana Athill "A fascinating read, so good I rationed myself. It is remarkable and very learned; the texture is marvellously rich, the feel of Tudor London and the growing household of a man on the rise marvellously authentic. Characters real and imagined spring to life, from the childish and petulant King to Thomas Wolsey's jester, and it captures the extrovert, confident, violent mood of the age wonderfully." C.J. Sansom "A magnificent achievement: the scale of its vision and the fine stitching of its detail; the teeming canvas of characters; the style with its clipped but powerful immediacy; the wit, the poetry and the nuance." Sarah Dunant "A superb novel, beautifully constructed, and an absolutely compelling read. Mantel has created a novel of Tudor times which persuades us that we are there, at that moment, hungry to know what happens next. It is the making of our English world, and who can fail to be stirred by it?" Helen Dunmore 'Hilary Mantel's magnificent new novel' Bee Wilson, Daily Telegraph 'Magestically conjures up an England in the throes of epic change ... a Great British Novel' Hephzibah Anderson, Observer 'Mantel has produced, all round, the novel that best delivers what it promises. It never lets you down; the prose gleams and she tells the story in an original and free-flowing style that will entrap you if you let it.' The Times 'Ms Mantel's best novel yet' The Economist "Cromwell has never before appeared as he does in Hilary Mantel's dense, finely wrought 'Wolf Hall'!So convincing is she with 'Wolf Hall' that it is easy to feel that we are seeing the real Cromwell before us, transforming himself from the battered child of an abusive London blacksmith- the boy is bruised and bloodied in the novel's wrenching opening scene-into a cosmopolitan, accomplished Renaissance man! Ms. Mantel has demonstrated that, in her way with Cromwell, she is without peer." Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Hilary Mantel is one of our most important living writers. She is the author of eleven books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Giving Up the Ghost, and, most recently, Beyond Black, which was shortlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Misfit TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 25 2009
Format: Hardcover
Author Hilary Mantel gives the reader a new take on that oft told tale of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn by showing it through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell, who despite humble beginnings was able to raise himself very high while aiding Henry VIII to rid himself of Katherine of Aragon in "The King's Great Matter", as well as his involvement in the Reformation and destruction of the monasteries and abbeys (to his own great gain). I think most of us have read enough about Henry and his six wives and know the basics, as well as enough reviewers have come before me so I don't need to rehash it all again. I'm just here to give my two cents on the book.

While I did enjoy a fresh take on this period, seeing it through the eyes of Cromwell, as well as seeing him interact with his wife, children and other family members, I did find the present tense very distracting and I had a difficult time getting started. Frankly, I picked up (and finished) four different books in between periods working on this one - although one covering the same period helped me a great deal as it served as a *refresher course* on who and what Cromwell was.

I found I couldn't read it during the work week at the end of the day when my brain was tired as well as on weekends when it was getting too close to bedtime - I put it down and read something lighter. That said, by the time I hit page 150 or so I was enjoying it a great deal and eventually I wasn't bothered the present tense at all, nor the excessive use of referring to Cromwell as "he" (it will drive you nuts at first).

I've seen this book described as a "rich meaty stew" and that's pretty much how I approached it, I took it in small bites over several weeks instead of gorging myself all at once and getting heartburn (reader burnout).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Zabe on Jan. 9 2010
Format: Paperback
Over the years I've read many biographies about Henry VIII and his wives. It is an intriguing period, and
I never get tired of a new point of view. Wolf Hall, a novel, brings yet another, and one which puts the
reader into the scene, with Cromwell leading the way. Some of the characters of the period who up until now we've only known superficially, are given voice and feelings, and as a result, a new dimension has been added.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Stupart on Feb. 18 2010
Format: Paperback
Wolf Hall is, quite simply, a literary tour de force. Although much has been written about the momentous political and religious upheavals that marked Henry VIII's tumultuous reign, Hilary Mantel manages to deliver a refreshingly original version of these events as seen through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell, Henry's most trusted advisor and confidant. Cromwell's background as a man of humble origins who has carved out a stellar reputation as a lawyer, businessman, diplomat and political strategist makes him an ideal choice to spearhead Henry's bitter power struggle against the Church. While the historical terrain may be quite familiar, what really sets this book apart is Martel's superb attention to detail and a remarkably intimate present tense narration that draws the reader right into the story. Admitedly, this intimacy can sometimes lead to confusion, especially since Martel consistently identifies Cromwell simply as "he," even when the antecedent would seem to suggest that a different character is being referred to. On the whole, however, this technique is highly effective. We are made to experience events just as Cromwell himself does and are privy to his innermost thoughts and opinions. This, in turn, helps us to better understand the complex political climate in which these events are played out. It also gives us an opportunity to explore not only the public persona but also the private life of this enigmatic historical figure. What emerges is not the conventional portrait of Cromwell as an intellectual bully but that of a multi-faceted, charismatic man, full of personal ambition yet sympathetic to the plights of others. In Martel's skillful hands, Cromwell is transformed from a one-dimensional political animal into a highly believable flesh and blood character who is more a humanist than a villain.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Miki on Jan. 19 2010
Format: Paperback
I loved this novel, it was brilliant, intelligent, witty, sad, funny, utterly captivating: really created the world of Tudor England, King Henry's court, his courtiers and mostly gave a terrific portrayal and story to Cromwell. You cannot help rooting for him with his staggering intelligence, vast experience and his kindness towards those less fortunate while he ensnares those high-born wastrels with priveledged positions into his debt.
Nevertheless, if you are not passing familiar with the facts of Henry's 'Great Matter' and the players involved, then this novel will be very confusing because there is little offered in the way of explanations of who is who and what they are after. If you watch 'The Tudors' or have read any of the histories of Henry's wives, then you will love this fictional account of history through the eyes and mind of Thomas Cromwell.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Sharp on Nov. 27 2009
Format: Paperback
Although historical fiction is one of the most popular and prevalent genres available to us today, it is rare that we find a book that goes beyond retelling familiar stories to actually making the past come alive. We are all familiar with the story of the famous Tudor monarch who's multiple marriages are a staple of book and film, but Wolf Hall make the alien universe of 16th century England come alive to us. I found, reading this book that I could smell, hear and experience a long lost world. Mantel dares to re-imagine the roles, experiences, and stories that we thought we knew and I found her version compelling. This book is not to be compared to popular historical fiction, it is serious reading based on tremendous research and it well repays the effort made to read it.
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