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Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel

(31 Posts)
rubberglove Fri 28-Dec-12 19:21:48

I'm not warming to it so far. Should I stick with it?

No spoilers please!

minxthemanx Wed 16-Jan-13 20:31:48

I'm really enjoying Wolf Hall and going to bed earlier and earlier each night to read. Have to agree it's a challenging tome, and thank God for the character lists at the front so we can keep flicking back to work out who everyone is. But the story itself is great, and I don't agree with the poster who said it's badly written - I haven't felt that at all, as it's a tricky subject and Hilary Mantel has kept my attention throughout. I'm usually quite critical of modern writers, but think this is very accomplished. Near the end now, and can't wait to see what happens when Anne Boleyn has baby number 2, and what becomes of Cromwell.

Starlet71 Fri 04-Jan-13 22:22:48

Relieved to hear I'm not the only one struggling with who's who - was starting to wonder if I am actually a bit thick. I think Mantell does assume the reader has at least some familiarity with the period - I did a quick search on Wikipedia, which helped (we did the industrial revolution at school). I am determined to persevere though..will try the 'assume it's Cromwell' rule and see how I get on.

5Foot5 Wed 02-Jan-13 13:30:31

I too am about a third of the way through. I requested it from DH for Christmas and he only went and bought me the hard back editions of this an "Bringing Up The Bodies" as a boxed set so I have to persevere grin

Actually I am quite enjoying it and like the Cromwell character so I will definitely finish it but I do agree about the "he" thing and wonder why she did it like this. I frequently find I am having to re-read a bit because I had got mixed up in my head about who said what.

dreamingbohemian Sun 30-Dec-12 13:15:20

Ah thanks howdoo... maybe I will give it another go then smile

Sunnywithshowers Sun 30-Dec-12 01:06:49

I loved it, but I found it better on my 2nd attempt when I was reading a chapter or so at a time.

howdoo Sun 30-Dec-12 00:24:46

DreamingBohemian I think the trick with the "he"s is to always assume it's Cromwell, opposing all I ever learnt at school about "he" referring to the most previous personal noun (aka pedant meets intelligent book and fails..)

ItsaTIARA Sat 29-Dec-12 23:39:36

It's not a book you can read in dribs and drabs - it's a holiday book you need to read in big chunks, keeping your momentum up like Strange and Norrell.

I finished it but thought it was badly written and not really worth the effort. The history was intriguing and the characters are obviously interesting (and I liked how she made a fairly unsympathetic character so endearing) but it was let down by the writer - will not bother with the follow up.

QueenofWhatever Sat 29-Dec-12 18:31:56

I'm 20% in now (reading it on my Kindle) and am really enjoying. I really want to read Bringing up the Bodies which was going to be our next book club book but the all welched out and chose chick lit instead. I'd say stick with it.

lalalonglegs Sat 29-Dec-12 17:41:30

KEEP GOING. It did take me a long time (at least half the book) to start enjoying it but it is such a rewarding read once you get over that wall. I can't wait for Bring Up the Bodies to come out in paperback.

cornystollenslave Sat 29-Dec-12 17:28:11

I loved it and also 'Bring Up the Bodies.'
I say stick with it.

Celticlassie Sat 29-Dec-12 17:25:22

I loved it. It took me ages to get into it, but well worth it. I decided that if I wasn't sure who a character was, or how they fitted in, I would just go with it, and if it was important, it would become clear.
I was also advised that 'he' is always Cromwell, unless you've been told otherwise.
Please do persevere - well worth it. I was sad when I (finally) finished

DomesticDisaster Sat 29-Dec-12 17:08:43

I'm reading this with interest as I have just started it too. I love the way it is written but absolutely can't get into it. I am just so confused as to who everyone is and who is speaking. I have no knowledge of the period as never did history at school. I was thinking that this is what is hindering me. I keep flicking back to the character list but still get confused. And as Thomas says there are too many Thomases! Any recommendations for how to proceed greaately received here (sorry to hijack thread!)

LittleBairn Sat 29-Dec-12 17:02:02

I didn't manage to get into it at all and gave up after the first 50 pages. Those that I've know to like it have all agreed that it's hard to get into but worth it so I'm planning on giving it another go.

dreamingbohemian Sat 29-Dec-12 14:10:39

I couldn't deal with the he's. Is there a trick to it?

You could try another H Mantel book, A Place of Greater Safety (about the French revolution). It's one of my favourite books.

GoingToBedfordshire Sat 29-Dec-12 14:07:19

I got stuck reading the paperback but have been getting on a lot better with it as an audiobook.

maillotjaune Sat 29-Dec-12 13:51:52

I loved it, but loved it from the beginning (and had been warned about the "he" thing so wasn't bothered by it) and agree it's a marmite book.

Priscilla I also loved A Place of Greater Safety but liked The Giant, O'Brien less - she is quite varied in her output to say the least!

porridgelover Sat 29-Dec-12 01:02:47

Agree its a marmite book grin
I also found it hard to get into and confusing. I probably would not have bought it myself but it came up at my book club. I felt obliged to finish it as I hadn't finished the previous one.
Am very glad I did; snapped up the follow-up and am looking forward to the last of the trilogy.

Agent64 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:32:59

It took me three attempts to get into this book. Normally I wouldn't have made the effort but there was something about it that kept me going.

It was brilliant. Well worth the effort. Also loved Bring Up The Bodies. In fact, wish I had never read them so that I could have the pleasure all over again.

Having said that, it seems to be a marmite book grin

Arisbottle Sat 29-Dec-12 00:28:06

I agree about the proliferation if hes

izzybobsmum Fri 28-Dec-12 20:59:56

I usually hate historical fiction, but my Aunt lent me Wolf Hall and has bought me Bringing Up The Bodies for Christmas. I agree about the "he said" thing, which is a little confusing, but so far, I have to say, I'm enjoying it! Although I'm having to really concentrate, rather than read a few pages before falling asleep in bed.

priscilla101 Fri 28-Dec-12 20:54:56

Terrible one handed typing, sorry!

priscilla101 Fri 28-Dec-12 20:44:49

I love reading and love amchallengingmbook. For my maternity leave present to myself I bought the Booker shortlist and Wolf Hall ( as I couldn't read bring up the bodies without first reading wolf hall).

I too am half wan though it and have given up. I hate giving up and rarely do. The last the I gave up was the Russian concubine, Kate furnivall and in light of wolf hall, wish I hadn't.

I am now trying giant o Brian to help me get into mantel.

howdoo Fri 28-Dec-12 20:40:49

I got about a 1/3 of the way through and gave up, and I hate giving up. The whole "he" thing got confusing, and I just wasn't gripped enough. It's a shame because I think I would really enjoy Bringing Up The Bodies, but need to finish Wolf Hall first!

Aquelven Fri 28-Dec-12 20:15:12

I'm just over half way through & still struggling with it. Usually love books about the period but finding this one a real chore.

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