Michael’s review of Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2) > Likes and Comments

26 likes · 
Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Lisa (Harmonybites) Even though I liked this more than you I think, as reflected in my rating, I think it's a great review because it hints at why some might, and some might not, like these books, and I do think the reaction to Cromwell is key. I don't know I can say I liked him or felt for him--part of why neither book got a fifth star from me, but I was often fascinated by the takes on secondary characters--and FWIW, I think Cromwell does pay a price in this book, even though its not something I alluded to in my review because I think it's a spoiler--as much as anything can be said to be a spoiler in a work dealing with historical fiction.


message 2: by Michael (new)

Michael Lisa (Harmonybites) wrote: "Even though I liked this more than you I think, as reflected in my rating, I think it's a great review because it hints at why some might, and some might not, like these books, ..."
Maybe my approaching historical fiction on monarchs has me looking either for Shakespeare light or a soap opera of manners and morals or social dissection of the classes with an Upstairs-Downstairs scenario. Don't love reading how they are just modernly ruthless or irrelevantly ribald.


message 3: by Lisa (Harmonybites) (last edited May 04, 2013 08:13PM) (new)

Lisa (Harmonybites) Michael wrote: "Maybe my approaching historical fiction on monarchs has me looking either for Shakespeare light or a soap opera of manners and morals or social dissection of the classes with an Upstairs-Downstairs scenario. Don't love reading how they are just modernly ruthless or irrelevantly ribald. "

Hmmm--I thought actually both books did well in depicting a rather alien mindset that befits a different time and that tends to be my touchstone for good historical fiction. I think this was mentioned in a review--a professional one? But someone pointed out for instance how in that time being "new" in any sense was not a virtue--it was a point against a man, an idea, a way of doing things and it was nice how Mantel used that.

But I'd agree this Cromwell doesn't have the grandeur or nobility you'd find in many Shakespearean characters--although you know, Shakespeare had ruthless (Richard III) and ribald (the Porter say in Macbeth) characters too.


message 4: by Lynne (last edited May 06, 2013 02:04AM) (new)

Lynne King This book was recommended to me Michael and my husband insisted I purchase it, for after all this is one of those books that has received a prize and so it has to be excellent.

I love Cromwell, I love the Tudor period and I started this book with anticipation. It bored me to death, it was very slow and I hated it. I am obviously a literary heathen but I'm an indvidual and I have choice. Well so everyone tells me!


message 5: by Michael (new)

Michael Lynne wrote: "...I started this book with anticipation. It bored me to death, it was very slow and I hated it. I am obviously a literary heathen but I'm an indvidual and I have choice. Well so everyone tells me! ..."

I can see the brilliant parts of the Cromwell books. My stars relate to how much I enjoyed reading them. And how much I would recommend the book to friends. The Booker Prize folks have their reasons. The quotes taking up real estate in the review are good enough to sway some toward wishing honor. I am glad we can together push for more excellence while rooting for promising writers to reach for the gold, to become the chef of a masterpiece. Its a hard job but someone has to do it--go Mantel!


Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh You did save the best for last:) There is a lot of depth written into her characters, must give her that. Loved Wolf Hall, wait-listed 4 months to get this, read about 80 pages & just couldn't keep going. That is so rare with me - I couldn't bring myself to admit I 'abandoned' it, so it's sitting in a new shelf I created just for it - called 'back-burnered'. The quotes you've noted do encourage to pick it up again. Sometime...Great review as always - thanks Michael.


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael Florence wrote: "...it's sitting in a new shelf I created just for it - called 'back-burnered'. The quotes you've noted do encourage to pick it up again. Sometime...Great review as always - thanks Michael..."

We're so mean to writers. First I get stingy with 3 stars and now you put her in a simmering bean pot to cook some more. It it just didn't have a Monty Python sounding title: Bring Out Your Dead skit


message 8: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Keeten I still have Wolf Hall gathering dust on my shelf. I need to queue it up before I get too far behind on this series. Although from your review I wonder if she is losing juice. Great stuff Michael as always.


Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh Michael wrote: "Florence wrote: "...it's sitting in a new shelf I created just for it - called 'back-burnered'. The quotes you've noted do encourage to pick it up again. Sometime...Great review as always - thanks ..."

LOL Michael, 2 booker's, where's the respect? I'm TRYING to consider this as serious lit & get around to reading it... Now I'll forever equate it with that Monty Python skit, your not helping...


message 10: by Lynne (new)

Lynne King Jeffrey wrote: "I still have Wolf Hall gathering dust on my shelf. I need to queue it up before I get too far behind on this series. Although from your review I wonder if she is losing juice. Great stuff Michael a..."

Interesting comment Jeffrey. I think that I've "done" the Tudor period for the moment. I suggest that you let "Wolf Hall" gather dust on your shelves and search new fascinating avenues.


message 11: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Keeten Lynne wrote: "Jeffrey wrote: "I still have Wolf Hall gathering dust on my shelf. I need to queue it up before I get too far behind on this series. Although from your review I wonder if she is losing juice. Great..."

I'm a Plantagenet so to me these Tudors are really just usurpers. Henry vii's claim on the throne was tenuous at best. His main claim was the strength of his sword arm.


message 12: by Lynne (new)

Lynne King Hello fellow Plantagenet. I've never met one of those personally apart from within a historical context. Welcome...

Is that true though about Henvry VII? I know little about him.


message 13: by Michael (new)

Michael Jeffrey wrote: "I still have Wolf Hall gathering dust on my shelf. I wonder if she is losing juice. Great stuff Michael ..."

Thanks kind sir. I saw a gain in juice from Wolf Hall to this one. Am just egging her on to get more heart and soul into the otherwise masterful efforts.


message 14: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Isn't it ironic that your favourite quote was the one that convinced me to finally give up reading the book. I could not like Cromwell's character nor the banality and mundanity of the lives portrayed despite their enduring fame; I wanted more, or maybe different. I applaud your spurring on of the author!


message 15: by Michael (new)

Michael Elizabeth wrote: "Isn't it ironic that your favourite quote was the one that convinced me to finally give up reading the book. I could not like Cromwell's character nor the banality and mundanity of the lives portr..."

Concerning taste there is no dispute. Admiration for an author's skills, marvels in effort and imagination, and clever plotting can still fall short for personal pleasure amd emotional impact.


message 16: by T (new)

T Moore M: It is hard to like a book when you like nobody in it.


back to top