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C J Sansom or S J Parris?

(23 Posts)
tessiegirl Fri 14-Nov-14 21:03:57

These look and sound very similar. What are the main differences and which series do you prefer?

Ludways Fri 14-Nov-14 21:11:15

I've read all but the latest C J Sansom, excellent books. The first is probably my least favourite but well worth a read. I have S J Parris's first book on my kindle and I'm about to start, really looking forward to them.

I've also a lover of the John Shakespeare books by Rory Clements.

SushiForBreakfast Fri 14-Nov-14 21:26:41

Hi OP. This may not be massively helpful to you, in deciding between them, but I love them both! The protagonists in each series (cj Sansom - the narrator is an English-born hunchback, sj parris - the narrator is a attractive and scholarly Italian who was formerly a monk and has fled in exile to England) are "other", in that they are viewed as outsiders by their peers, and they can therefore assess Tudor/Elizabethan England from a more critical perspective and not get blinded by status etc. Both narrators therefore encounter prejudice on their way, but both men proceed to unravel complex murders and sleuth their way towards fascinating solutions...

I've found both series fascinating! Both the authors have a real grasp of their period, and both sets of murder mysteries are genuinely gripping.

iamEarthymama Fri 14-Nov-14 21:55:04

Well sushi I was going to comment but you really have said it all.
Fantastic summary.
I love these books as agree with all sushi so eloquently said
smile

Johnogroats Fri 14-Nov-14 22:49:47

So we should read both! I love Sansom, but will try the Parris!

Allalonenow Fri 14-Nov-14 22:55:25

I've only discovered Sansom recently, but am really enjoying his work, I'll look out for Parris now as well!!

tessiegirl Fri 14-Nov-14 23:01:02

That is a great help, thank you!!

Would you say they are both easy to follow?

I remember seeing C J Sansom in bookshops and have been so daunted by their size I haven't ever looked into reading them. However that was before I realised what time period they are set in - they sound just up my street!

Love the Sansoms - far, far superior to the Parris ones imvho.

tessiegirl Sat 15-Nov-14 19:49:32

Would you say the books by C J Sansom are easy to follow? I hate to give up on a book once I have started it and seeing how big these books are I dread becoming bored whilst reading them! I want to be gripped!

The first two are pretty short, tbf. Then they get bigger. If you don't like the first one, you'd hate the others.

mistymeanour Sat 15-Nov-14 22:31:17

Love CJ Samson- Shardlake. Didn't finish the first SJ Parris.

Redhead11 Sat 15-Nov-14 22:33:31

CJ Sansom, no question. Have enjoyed the SJ Parris books, but hate the first person narrator style and haven't finished reading the most recent one. I am well into the latest Sansom on my kindle and will get the paperback when it comes out.

tessiegirl Sansom is gripping!

alemci Sat 15-Nov-14 22:37:04

love Sampson, his books ensnare snd fascinate me. i love the Tudor series and the history. haven't read other author

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 15-Nov-14 22:44:10

I adore them both. I mean, really adore. The characters, the plots, the period. I suppose Giordano Bruno is the sexier lead, but I slightly spoilt my enjoyment of him by looking him up (he was a real life character). Knowing his end casts a shadow in my mind every time I am in his company.

Shardlake is another blighted soul but at least he is entirely fictional so Sansom can go anywhere with him. I never knew lawyers could be so attractive, but find myself oddly drawn to the sexual power behind a man who can argue his way out of any situation. And he has the advantage of the adorable Jack Barak (book 2 onwards) as his sidekick.

I would say that Sansom is the superior mind but neither series is hard to follow. On the contrary, they are genuine page turners, always lively and interesting, occasionally funny, loads of little cliff hangers you can't resist even though it is way past your bedtime or you have a list of things to do.

So, in short, read both, and gosh am I jealous of you for being at the start of such an enjoyable reading list.

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 15-Nov-14 22:49:29

You might also come across Phil Rickman's books about Dr John Dee (The Bones of Avalon and The Heresy of Dr Dee). IMO, these are not worth the reading. I found them very turgid in comparison to Sansom and Parris.

Wowthishurtsalot Sat 15-Nov-14 22:59:59

I've not read any Parris but highly rate Sansom and can't put his books down

Jux Sun 16-Nov-14 00:11:59

I have enjoyed both, but Sansom is in a different class imo.

NannyPhlegm Tue 18-Nov-14 12:37:24

I don't think I'm adding anything new to the thread, but I also love both C J Sansom and SJ Parris. But the character Shardlake completely trumps Giordano Bruno, so just for that I would recommend starting out with CJ Sansom.

And, in that vein, I'd also recommend Karen Maitland. Her books are set further back in the past, but the writing and historical set pieces are fantastic.

tessiegirl Tue 18-Nov-14 19:31:11

Thanks NannyPhlegm, I really appreciate lots of input.

I am currently reading Company of Liars by Karen Maitland and really enjoying it - what other books of hers would you recommend?

NannyPhlegm Wed 19-Nov-14 09:17:48

I loved Company Of Liars. It was not only spooky and atmospheric, but so many themes like racism and bigotry were explored. Basically, the fear of anyone slightly different runs through the entire novel, exacerbated by the fear of the plague. It made me glad to be living in current times!!

Would recommend The Gallows Curse and Owl Killers too smile

Kasterborous Sat 22-Nov-14 19:35:51

I love the C J Sansom ones. Yes they are long books but I found them quite easy to follow, apart from the first one. I didn't really enjoy the first one that much, but I continued reading them and really enjoyed the rest of them.

Allalonenow Sat 22-Nov-14 19:47:36

Heresy and Prophecy, both by Parris are 99 pence each for Kindle on Amazon, ATM. Check the price before you click though as it can change quickly.
Good time to try them grin

1944girl Sat 22-Nov-14 20:02:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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