Jennifer Uhlich's Reviews > Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
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's review
Jun 21, 12

really liked it
Read in June, 2012

** spoiler alert ** i feel a bit like i did as a kid, when a favorite band would come around . . . and of course like a true fan i am going to reread wolf hall beforehand, the better to get myself back into the groove. will my googly-eyed five star review be tamed this second time around? will i still be as excited for this book after my second spin through mantel's history? will you still need me, will you still feed me when i'm 64? so many questions!

and UPDATE: yes, i am still excited.

still puzzling and pondering the many nuances of cromwell that we have seen (and that are more clear, i think, for reading the two books back-to-back, i highly recommend it). but that's book group stuff, the why? and what did this mean? kind of questions.

as a piece of work, it's on a par with wolf hall, which should be enough for folks who have already started the series.

my only real criticism is that it felt one degree less polished than wolf hall. perhaps it's just my assumption, based on this sudden appearance of a slimmer-than-expected volume, and mantel's interview statements about breaking the sequel into sequelS. a few key elements, though, were a hair's too nuanced for my liking--nuanced to the point of nearly being missed, yet they provoke big changes in master secretary's personality and modus operandi. similarly, i thought that there were a fair number of "he, Cromwell" qualifiers, moreso than in wolf hall, that made me wonder if a slightly less leisurely edit had been performed.

but perhaps i'm just nitpicking because i dislike the direction master secretary is taking, and with history in mind i very much want to lean over his shoulder and whisper instructions, advice, offer him a free ticket to antwerp . . . oh, men who like their women sharp and their daughters educated, i always root for you, even when you're acting atrociously.

which is all testament to just how much flesh mantel has managed to put on cromwell's skeletal biography. i do recommend it--and then tell me what you think about cromwell's behavior towards wyatt? am i right in feeling like there's something missing between the two books, in regards to jane? and what about jane, and how she's depicted? and is the end that surprising, the way he's been talking to call-me? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

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