Liviu's Reviews > Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
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's review
May 07, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012_release_read, mainstream, read_2012, t_notable_books_2012

A major novel - sequel to Wolf Hall - and i would say a shoo-in for a Booker nomination. Continuing the saga of Thomas Cromwell, this time in a relatively short period of time (mid 1535 till May 1536) and dealing with the downfall of Anne Boleyn, but the book is about much more - there is a quick recollection of the events in Wolf Hall for example - while the writing is just masterful and draws you in; this time the narration is less convoluted than in Wolf Hall and follows Cromwell through his machinations, his larger than life lifestyle and his generosity with the common people, but does not gloss over his ruthlessness - he needs bodies for the scaffold, he makes sure he gets his enemies and not his friends despite that Anne seems to be involved with both kinds...

Should have a coherent full review with quotes this month, but in the meantime I strongly recommend to check this one and see how high class literature that is genre-like in subject is written.

This short dialog between Cromwell and his nephew Richard encapsulates well the novel:

"The hours to that event seem long. Richard hugs him; says, ‘If she had reigned longer she would have given us to the dogs to eat.’
‘If we had let her reign longer, we would have deserved it.’"
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Judy Thanks Liviu for the thumbnail review. I cannot wait to read this. Wolf Hall was a major reading event for me and Cromwell, despite his ruthlessness (of maybe because of, I was never sure) won me over completely. Now I get to hang out with him again. Plus I understand there will be a third novel, making it a trilogy. I saw an interview with Hilary Mantel, done shortly after Wolf Hall came out. She is wildly intelligent and fully deserves your compliment: "high class literature that is genre-like in subject."

Liviu I plan to have a full review for next week (of course this year my plans about reviews have been mostly fulfilled late if at all but one can hope...) but I have to say that I was a bit afraid that this book will be a let down (for one Wolf hall was excellent for another this one takes place in a short period and essentially deals with one storyline) and the book just delivered in spades; literary this may be even better than Wolf Hall but i have a weakness for the larger canvas stories and Wolf Hall had that

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