Anyone Else Underwhelmed By 'Bring Up The Bodies'?

(20 Posts)
LaQueenOfHearts Tue 25-Feb-14 20:46:49

I loved Wolf Hall, so much so that as soon as I finished it, I read it all over again smile

I was just spellbound by her use of language, and the richness of the text. And, I fell totally in love with Thomas Cromwell.

Have just finished Bring Up The Bodies, and feel decidedly meh about the book sad

I can't put my finger on it, but it just doesn't have the same magic...

TamerB Tue 25-Feb-14 22:19:01

I actually preferred Bring Up the Bodies, less characters and not so many called Thomas! Loved the cleverness of the intrigue.

TamerB Tue 25-Feb-14 22:20:15

I really dislike them being in the present tense.

Burren Wed 26-Mar-14 09:41:18

I think HM is a genius and adored both novels, but I did find BUtB marginally less wonderful than Wolf Hall. Maybe partly because Jane Seymour moving towards being queen is a less obviously complex and involving character than Anne Boleyn as she moves towards her doom. Also, the pacing and structure were different. But it feels like quibbling to complain as it's still so astonishingly good, as I was reminded by seeing both novels dramatised by the RSC. Workmanlike stuff, but without the vividness of her inhabiting of TC's mind, forgettable.

LatinForTelly Fri 28-Mar-14 22:02:35

No, I loved BUTB, but I read it first confused. It was the one the library had in stock, and I thought it was the first one.

Isn't BUTB the one where Anne Boleyn is framed and nobbled, Burren?

The first one more how Thomas Cromwell comes to have such influence, and Anne comes to be queen, which was fascinating too.

I thought they were both absolutely brilliant to be honest. HM uses language so precisely.

There was so much to think about in them. The absolute power of the Catholic church, the hold it had on the commoner and the aristocracy alike. The roots of protestantism. Whether Henry genuinely believed his marriage to C of A was damned, or if it was just expedient to believe so.

And they were funny, and so sharply observing of human nature, of whatever era.

I was just thinking a day or two ago, I hope she hurries up with the final one.

I think Wolf Hall was so good that Bring up the Bodies suffered in comparison. Felt less happened, and the wow factor was missing. Let's see when part 3 comes out.

Beamur Sat 29-Mar-14 22:52:30

Wolf Hall was sublime, but I really liked BUTB too, but it doesn't have quite the same impact - not in the writing, but in the story itself I thought.

Clawdy Fri 04-Apr-14 22:39:22

I loved Wolf Hall but BUTB was mind-blowing,I found it amazing.I read the description of Cromwell's house that begins "These are sounds of Austin Friars...." and decided I probably wouldn't read a better piece of writing for a long time.

NuggetofPurestGreen Sun 06-Apr-14 00:45:28

I loved Wolf Hall but I thought BUTB was even better. I think she ironed out some of the stylistic idiosyncrasies (pronouns instead of names etc - still included but easier go understand second time round). When will The Mirror and the Light be out??!

BillyBanter Sun 06-Apr-14 00:48:36

Perhaps you were underwhelmed because you fell for him in the first book but his actions were less palatable to the modern mind in the 2nd?

I was a bit disappointed, but only because I thought it was the 2nd and final book but it ended before we get to the end of his story. I'm looking forward to the 3rd.

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Apr-14 09:33:13

I'm 15% into Wolf Hall and feeling very underwhelmed indeed.

Does it get more interesting later on?

Stick with it CoteDAzur, it does indeed!

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 13:39:51

I found it more or less unreadable to be honest - an absolute pile of wank.
Extreme lit crit anyone else grin?

CoteDAzur Wed 16-Apr-14 14:02:36

I'm 66% in and still hating it. The author doesn't know how to punctuate. Most of the time she uses the pronoun 'he', I have no idea who she is talking about - Talking about the King, she switches to 'he' and you would assume she refers to the King. Noooo, a page later it becomes clear that she is taking about Thomas Cromwell.

There is no plot line. All the book talks about is Blah blah blah King lusts after Anne blah blah People not happy blah blah blah King lusts after Anne... 366 bloody pages of it hmm

The Other Boleyn Girl was much more interesting and took only 2 hours of my life.

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 14:04:39

exactly cote all that 'he' I did not know who the fuck the author was referring to. what a waste of time trying to read that was! and I was so excited when I actually bought it new and took it home, as I love a good read and find that era fascinating.
On a scale of one to ten, I would give it a point five.

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 14:05:12

and yes the Other Boleyn Girl was excellent.

rembrandtsrockchick Wed 16-Apr-14 14:25:42

Both Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies were very good. I enjoyed them both and hope she writes another one on the same theme.

CoteDAzur Thu 17-Apr-14 11:08:50

I'd like to give an example:

Christophe rides beside him and pesters him: you have said you will tell me who is Cicero and who is Reginald Pole.
'Cicero was a Roman'
'A general?'

So the author does know what quotation marks are for. And that first sentence is all wrong - "you will tell me who is Cicero"? Put it in quotes if that is how it was said.

And another:

Finally, he thinks, I must end this: can it be true, he wonders, that as a subject should, I really love my king?

Does Hilary Mantel not have an editor? Does the editor not know what correct punctuation looks like? Or do they both think this writing "style" makes her books speshul?

LatinForTelly Thu 17-Apr-14 12:33:05

I agree Cote, her style is, err, distinctive. I think I read something on here saying, if HM ever says 'he', she is probably talking about Cromwell.

Then there is a webchat on here too where HM says in the first book, she was imagining the reader almost perching on Cromwell's shoulder, so it seemed to create an unnatural distance to call him Cromwell. That helped a bit too. And I think reading the second one first helped me too.

I found it funny and alive. I love the rants about Thomas More, especially as A Man for All Seasons was one of the plays we studied at home. Love the jokes . . . when Cromwell is expressing condolences for Thomas More's father's death and says something like, 'We will miss his steady presence and his wise council. And his long laborious stories. I don't think.'

And calling Wriosthley (sp?), 'Call-me'. I expected to find it hard work but found it completely vibrant and real. Like being picked up and dropped into the 16th century.

The other book that's made me feel like that recently was The Song of Achilles. Even though there were centaurs in it.

LatinForTelly Thu 17-Apr-14 12:34:42

Not studied at home, I'm not quite that square. At school.

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