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Wolf Hall - why can't I get into it?

(63 Posts)
zenoushka Mon 11-Mar-13 11:29:22

This is my second attempt at trying to read Wolf Hall, I've done a bit better and have managed to get myself to page 62 ( the first time I only managed to get to page 44 before I gave up).

My dad and best friend have absolutely raved about it, saying how amazing it is and that I have to stick with it and will realise how good it is. But quite frankly I'm just finding it a slog. At tips or advice? I love reading about the Tudors and am really interested in the period, but the grammar in the Book is really confusing me too...

Alan Rickman too old, much as I love him - although Alan might at least make me want to watch it.

UltimaThule Fri 10-May-13 19:08:49

I read it/listened to it and used WIkipedia rather a lot grin Learned loads.

I googled and Mark Rylance is going to play him. So someone with a good pedigree and not, say, Matt Smith or someone totally unsuitable.

kelda Fri 10-May-13 19:07:01

I am reading Wolf Hall. Currently on page 185. Am managing about 4 or 5 pages a day, very slow going. I am looking up everything on the internet to try and understand the background - I barely did history at school so haven't got a clue about who is who,

I am determined to finish it, because I am quite enjoying it, even if it is hard going.

KatieScarlett2833 Fri 10-May-13 19:02:43

I'd like Alan Rickman.

UltimaThule Fri 10-May-13 19:00:56

I wanted to marry the bloke who read the audiobook, his wee speech impediment and all.

Does anyone know who will play Cromwell in the upcoming adaptation?

KatieScarlett2833 Fri 10-May-13 18:58:37

I don't really think you are thick confused
Was jesting, sorry.
But the audiobook is amazing grin

LovedayMerryweather Fri 10-May-13 17:51:05

I didn't like it - too dense for me and very confusing with all the Thomases. I think it's not for everyone for sure. If you don't like it I'd stop and read something else, too many books you will like, not enough time to read them all is my attitude smile

UltimaThule Fri 10-May-13 17:40:38

The audiobook is utterly fabulous.

poozlepants Fri 10-May-13 17:40:25

Because it is pish.

motherinferior Fri 10-May-13 17:38:15

You have to stop thinking of it as 'historical fiction'. It's just a really good novel. De-corset your imagination.

motherinferior Fri 10-May-13 17:37:31

Oh lord, I thought it was amazing.

Agree - she is not a great writer and needs some serious editing. A shame, as I do think the Cromwell of her vision is interesting, but her writing style gets in the way. I made it to the end of WH (feeling annoyed most of the way through tbh) but won't bother with BUTB.

Galaxymum Fri 10-May-13 11:08:24

This book frustrates me so much because I get stuck at the same point each time I try to read it - after 4 attempts I don't want to be defeated! I love this period of history from studying it at uni (so no, I'm not defeated because I'm thick!) and I love historical accounts and fiction from this era but I just can't cope with Mantel's writing. It bores me. I love this era and the characters and it still never grabs me. The style puts me off. So it remains on my shelf!

AnonYonimousBird Fri 10-May-13 10:34:55

I have the hardback sitting here, lent to me by a friend, and frankly, just looking at it terrifies me. I so want to read it, but I have lots and lots of books that I can read in the time it is going to take me to read that, ones which I am desperate to leap into, so it's been pushed back again I'm afraid....

I hate to give up before I've started, but I'd say I am several months from even opening it!

Wuldric Thu 09-May-13 22:51:15

Bring up the Bodies is easier. I gave up on Wolf Hall at the first two attempts. Was shamed into a third attempt by a friend and got there in the end.

Am currently trying the one about the French Revolution and it is MAMMOTH

I cannot help but think that Hilary Mantel needs some pruning shears. Or a braver editor

zenoushka Thu 09-May-13 22:47:29

I've been unable to get past page 190 for the past month!

DuchessofMalfi Thu 09-May-13 14:59:40

I finished reading Wolf Hall last night. It took me two weeks, reading big chunks of it every day. I was determined to finish it this time, and not let it drag on too long.

Whilst there were chunks of it that I thought could have done with being edited down (sorry Hilary Mantel smile) on the whole I enjoyed reading it. It would have made a riveting 400 page novel, but was a slow going 650 pages.

Looking forward to reading Bring Up The Bodies later in the year, but I'm having a break from Cromwell's political empire-building for now.

KatieScarlett2833 Thu 09-May-13 14:17:02

It is wonderful and you are all thick wink
Seriously, try the audiobook if the book is too much.

TheSecondComing Thu 09-May-13 14:16:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lurkedtoolong Thu 09-May-13 14:13:41

It took me 11 weeks to read a third of it. Realised the thought of being bored stiff reading one book for half a year was too much to endure and gave it away. Pretentious guff

BrienneOfTarth Tue 30-Apr-13 21:55:03

I'm also glad I'm not the only one - I'm usually a fan of historical fiction but I don't see anything prizewinning about this book. It's rather dull so far (about p120).

instantfamily Tue 30-Apr-13 20:21:06

So glad I am not the only one.

JumpingJetFlash Tue 30-Apr-13 20:15:23

I found Wolf Hall much harder to get into but LOVED Bringing up the Bodies. Whole 3rd person thing took a bit to get my head round as well.

Have got tickets for RSC Bringing up the Bodies = excited!!!

mrsfiddymont Tue 30-Apr-13 20:12:14

For those that didn't get on with Wolf Hall, try The Lady in the Tower, the fall of Ann Boleyn by Alison Weir.....in fact anything by Alison Weir.

ProfessorDent Tue 23-Apr-13 21:05:29

Oh, virtually no lovely literary passages of description either. Sometimes I feel this is a trait of women writers (yeah, I know, but verbose passages can be a form of willy waving imo, look how great I am) but for all that Mantel doesn't offer too much psychological insight either, though there is one great passage about the shifting sands of diplomacy in the 1500s.

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