Join us to discuss Hilary Mantel's Bring Up The Bodies, our September Book of the Month, Wednesday 26 September, 9-10pm

(139 Posts)

Our September book club choice, BRING UP THE BODIES, is shaping up to be The Book of 2012. It is Hilary Mantel's electrifying, pageturning second volume in her planned trilogy of Tudor novels, voiced by the master manipulator Thomas Cromwell. A sequel to the Booker Prize winning WOLF HALL, the story starts with Cromwell at the height of his power and influence, and Anne Boleyn beginning to lose hers. It is a fabulously famous story, yet Mantel manages to make it entirely new and fresh. Reading such expertly written historical fiction is a double delight: there are fascinating factual tidbits of Tudor life alongside brilliantly imagined inner workings of the mind. As Anne's world falls apart and the court struggles with the manic unpredictability of Henry, Mantel sustains heart-thumping suspense, even though the outcome is familiar to us all. But most gripping is the slow steady burn of Cromwell's character: an entirely bewitching, strangely seductive, Machiavellian, anti-heroic, self-made man. Mantel's abstracted narrative style, half observing from afar, half inside Cromwell's head, is a miracle: highly original, beautifully descriptive and entirely real. This is an exceptional, wonderful, revolutionary, exhilarating book that you deeply miss once finished. What a relief to know that another one will be on its way.

The book of the month page with more detail about Bring Up The Bodies is now live. You can also get a Kindle edition or a hardback copy of the novel here

We are thrilled that Hilary will be answering questions about BRING UP THE BODIES, her previous novels and her writing career in an emailed Q&A. So please put all your questions up here by 15 September, and we will send them on to Hilary. We'll publish Hilary's answers and discuss the book amongst ourselves on Wednesday 28 September, 9-10pm.

Hope you can join us...

GrimAndHumourless Wed 17-Oct-12 20:27:53

Hilary thankyou so much for the webchat, so informative

And I am thrilled for the Booker, jolly well done

Dozer Tue 16-Oct-12 22:26:13

Fantastic!

Congratulations Hilary! thanks wine

Surely MN should have a medieval goblet icon in celebration?

Hilary wins the Booker! HOORAY!

FeverAndTheFret Sat 13-Oct-12 16:44:01

Just wanted to add- a little belatedly- that I really enjoyed this Q & A.

Great questions and thoughtful, thought-provoking answers.

Will definitely be reading these books.

Wow, what detailed and fabulous answers from Hilary. Thank you.

My Hilary crush is even more pronounced than before.

Can't wait for the third book. I don't think I've ever anticipated a book this eagerly, ever.

culturemulcher Thu 27-Sep-12 23:16:55

Only just managed to read this. HILARY MANTEL answered my questions. Both of them.

<faints>

comes round

<faints again>

NurseRatched Thu 27-Sep-12 00:52:43

'I am deeply in awe of Hilary's brain, and talent, and overall generosity in giving so much time and thought to her answers. Shall definitely be waving my Vote Hilary banner on Booker Prize night (16 October) ' > ditto, TillyBookClub

NurseRatched Thu 27-Sep-12 00:10:56

TillyBookClub - have to agree with your response to HM's terrific portrayal of Thomas Cromwell/Cremuel

NurseRatched Thu 27-Sep-12 00:05:25

Hullygully - loved the The Sisters Brothers too smile

Hullygully Wed 26-Sep-12 23:24:26

Yeah, JK doesn't need the gig, does she? I like her tho, she is a Good Egg.

I like Music and Silence best of Tremain's.

Helen Dunmore?

I will think up some more check who's got new stuff coming out

Weird - I feel like you have scanned my brain like a barcode.

Merivel - I also can't wait for this (Restoration one of my all-time favourites) and am calling in a copy, but we have already had Rose on Bookclub (talking about Trespass) so not sure if we can repeat?

Jane Gardam - author that's been on my list for ages, will track down the short stories.

JK - got on the phone months ago the moment we heard about adult novel, gave it our best shot, but no luck.

Hullygully Wed 26-Sep-12 23:17:09

Well that goes without saying. But it's about getting free books, innit?

No?

Just me then?

Hully, sorry about that, but you have exquisite taste, obviously.

Hullygully Wed 26-Sep-12 23:14:20

Or JK???

Dying to read hers.

Hullygully Wed 26-Sep-12 23:12:02

Or Jane Gardam? She has a new bok of short stories out which I haven't got either

Sorry I missed the "chat," it's film night, I saw a terrible harrowing film of misery and awfulness. It made Tudor England seem quite the picnic.

Hullygully Wed 26-Sep-12 23:10:24

What about Rose Tremain and Merivel?

I have read all of Rose and love her dearly and haven't got Merivel yet

Puppypanic and Matsikula: I'll try and find out when 4th Estate think they might publish the third and final book and I'll post here with any info.

I'm equally curious, Linerunner. I'd really love to know what each questioner thought of Hilary's replies. So please, peeps, tell us all...

But I may have to read it all tomorrow as my eyes beginning to swim.

Thank you, everyone, for the star quality of questions that helped make this such a vibrant, enjoyable Q&A. I've found it all fascinating, both the Qs and the As. Like I say, you can post on the thread anytime and keep the discussion going.

Devora Wed 26-Sep-12 23:02:01

Oh good - I was about to start reading that!

Hullygully Wed 26-Sep-12 23:00:49

WILL YOU STOP DOING BOOKS I'VE ALREADY READ AND GOT?

Jeez.

LOVE Sisters Brothers tho.

Hullygully Wed 26-Sep-12 22:59:48

I have only skim read so far, but particularly the bit that said HullyGully thank you, you are right! stood out as startlingly perceptive and intelligent.

Will read the rest

<dances with glee>

Glad everyone enjoyed it. And apologies if there were any questions that we didn't get to.

BUTB is a hard act to follow but...

...October's Book of the Month is the equally startling and original, Booker Prize shortlisted THE SISTERS BROTHERS, by Patrick de Witt. You'll be able to enter your name for your free copy from 10.30ish tomorrow when the page goes live - meanwhile, here's the thread

LineRunner Wed 26-Sep-12 22:48:02

Hi, Tilly.

The site went very slow again unfortunately between 9pm and about 9.50pm, so I expect a lot of people are catching up reading!

I would like to know what the individual posters thought of the answers to their questions <nosy> especially the ones that reaveal so much of Hilary Mantel herself.

I'm wondering if everyone has gone quiet reading the hugely in-depth answers... if anyone wants to chat then I will be here till 11 but otherwise feel free to just add your thoughts as and when you want.

I am deeply in awe of Hilary's brain, and talent, and overall generosity in giving so much time and thought to her answers. Shall definitely be waving my Vote Hilary banner on Booker Prize night (16 October)

Meanwhile, we have another Booker shortlisted author for October's chat... will post thread link here in a few minutes...

OatyBeatie Wed 26-Sep-12 22:43:54

They were extraordinary, weren't they Linerunner. So interesting to have been given such an insight into the process of writing fiction.

Puppypanic Wed 26-Sep-12 22:38:29

Wonderful thank you so much!

Am so excited about the third book, any idea of when it may be published? <impatient>

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