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European Royalty Group Reads > Wolf Hall: Parts 1 - 2

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message 1: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Please discuss Part One and Part Two here.


message 2: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments I had planned to read this with the group but last night I read the Kindle sample and really, really didn't like the way it was written. I didn't realize it was written in present tense, which I don't normally like. And why is Cromwell only ever referred to as "he"? It's really confusing when there is more than one male in the room! I can't believe this is so highly rated, I think I'm going to pass on it, sorry!


message 3: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Robin wrote: "I had planned to read this with the group but last night I read the Kindle sample and really, really didn't like the way it was written. I didn't realize it was written in present tense, which I do..."

Well, you completely summed up my main issues with this book so far. I've adjusted to the style for the most part (I'm into part two and about 1/6 of the way through according to my location on the kindle), but it is still a little weird. I don't normally care for first person POV, but I think I'd prefer that to the use of present tense. The use of "he" was confusing to me too, but either I've gotten used to it or it's not being used as often because I don't really notice it anymore. "You" has started to pop up (and not in the dialogue). Overall, the story itself seems like an interesting take on Wolsey, Cromwell and Henry VIII, etc., but the style is hard to ignore.


message 4: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 55 comments It took a while for me to get used to the style but now I can't put it down.
What do others think about how radically different Cromwell is from his father?

Also, the Cast of Characters at the beginning is the kind of thing that really appeals to me. Love it!


message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Bass (lisadbass) | 6 comments Although I have previously commented on "Wolf Hall" someplace on GoodReads, I have no idea where the post went. But, anyway, I am with Robin, concerning the consistent but confusing use of "he". I gave the book a fair shot, and read about one third of it, and had to put it down. It became too much work to read...reading should be for pleasure not deciphering!


message 6: by Freda (new)

Freda Lightfoot (fredalightfoot) | 2 comments I'm afraid I too gave up on this book after about 250 pages. The third person present tense was far too distancing for me. I never felt as if I got under the skin of the main character, never in Cromwell's head, always in the author's. Consequently I lost interest. I also thought it lacked narrative drive. It frequently wandered off at a tangent, obsessing with detail at the expense of the story. It wasn't for me.


message 7: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Bass (lisadbass) | 6 comments Freda,
I think you "nailed" this book exactly, for some of us who attempted to read it. I am in total agreement with the comment you made of the inability to really reach into Cromwell's thoughts; consequently, the plot suffered due to distractive nature of the writing style.


message 8: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 55 comments I guess that is the beauty of reading we all interpret it in our own way. I felt like I was in Cromwell's head and thought it was the most realistic portrayal of Anne that I had read in a long time.


message 9: by Joann (new)

Joann | 10 comments MichelleCH wrote: "I guess that is the beauty of reading we all interpret it in our own way. I felt like I was in Cromwell's head and thought it was the most realistic portrayal of Anne that I had read in a long time."

I also felt that I was seeing Cromwell's life -- the ordinary mundane things that you really don't read about in historical fiction -- the housekeeping, worrying about the children, the business, etc and all from his point of view.


message 10: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments Joann wrote: "the ordinary mundane things that you really don't read about in historical fiction -- the housekeeping, worrying about the children, the business, etc"

For a lot of royalty-based historical fiction, that's true. But there is a lot of HF out there that does include everyday life details of the times.


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