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Okay. So this is the THIRD time I've tried to read Wolf Hall ....

(114 Posts)
FleetwoodRaincoat Sat 06-Feb-21 10:25:19

I can't believe anyone has actually got all the way through it.

I'm equally bored, confused and fed up with too many men called Thomas.

Please tell me I'm not the only one .....

OP’s posts: |
Threeleaper Sat 06-Feb-21 10:30:09

Well, you’re not the only one, as I’ve seen people complain endlessly about it on here, but I think it’s one of the best novels of the last 25 years. I’ve reread it more times than I can remember. (Bring Up the Bodies is slightly less good, and The Mirror and the Light definitely weaker. Though I suspect you’re unlikely to go on to the sequels... grin)

Can I ask, genuinely, what exactly is it you are finding both so difficult and boring? Specific examples? Not so I can attempt to convince you otherwise, but genuinely interested.

blitzen Sat 06-Feb-21 10:31:33

Uh oh, this is next on my shelf. I am intrigued!

LadyWithLapdog Sat 06-Feb-21 10:32:11

You’re not alone. I finished it but I was confused and I can’t remember a thing now.

Wankerchief Sat 06-Feb-21 10:33:52

Shite, this is in my tbr pile.
Everyone raves about it so I was hoping for great things

BlackLambAndGreyFalcoln Sat 06-Feb-21 10:34:17

Best tip I received which allowed me to fully get into it: whenever mantel says "he" in the text, 99.9% of the time unless it is clearly stated otherwise, "he" refers to Cromwell.

purpleme12 Sat 06-Feb-21 10:47:08

My advice is.... not to bother
Honestly I cannot understand at all why this book is so popular!

Duckberg Sat 06-Feb-21 10:48:22

I gave up twice too.

clary Sat 06-Feb-21 10:50:44

Oh I love these books. I am on the third one now.

There were a lot of people called Thomas, it's true, but she's writing about real people:
Thomas Cranmer, Wolsey, More, oh and Cromwell. If she just says "he" she means Cromwell. Oh yes a pp says that too!

A few Henrys as well.

I say stick at it.

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Sat 06-Feb-21 10:53:21

I couldn't get on with it either - I've tried but just have up. Not for me. Reassuring though, to know I'm not alone.

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Sat 06-Feb-21 10:54:06

gave not have

LBOCS2 Sat 06-Feb-21 10:54:12

No, I agree. After struggling with it for a while (following a recommendation from a close friend who I trust to give me book recommendations!) I gave up as life is too short!

Threeleaper Sat 06-Feb-21 11:00:53

Please, anyone, say what you struggled with or were bored by!

Blueemeraldagain Sat 06-Feb-21 11:01:03

I love Tudor history (actually I’m interested in about 1400-1600) and would estimate that 80% of what I read is historical non-fiction. I’ve given up on Wolf Hall three times. I just can’t get in to it, I do think it’s confusing in places and I know what happens! The book also somehow makes a period of history I find fascinating seem...dull? Or slow? I’m not quite sure. I think part of my problem is that I’m currently not as interested in the men of the period. Enjoying the trend of focussing on the women of the time period.

Fascinationends Sat 06-Feb-21 11:04:19

Am also a huge history fan, but I have picked up and discarded this book so many times. I WILL read it this year, but I need to change my mindset as everytime I look at it I snarl a bit.

QueenOfLabradors Sat 06-Feb-21 11:05:04

I gave up due to first person present tense narration. I just can't stand it! C J Sansom does the period far better.

QueenOfLabradors Sat 06-Feb-21 11:06:11

I did enjoy the television adaptation though.

HeyLala Sat 06-Feb-21 11:08:58

I read the first 2 books but bought the third on audible. Then I downloaded the first two as well so now listening to it all on my daily dog walks.
I love Tudor history and these books are fabulous.

AnnaMagnani Sat 06-Feb-21 11:09:36

I didn't like it. The TV adaptation was amazing though.

Kolo Sat 06-Feb-21 11:26:15

God I love them. I'm reading the mirror and the light at the moment.

It is hard work to get into. I still get confused between the Norfolks and suffolks and fathers and sons who had the same name and all the Thomases. I'm referring back to the 'list of characters' often.

But I did get into the way it's written, I can read it much more fluently now I 'get' the style of writing. And yes, 'he' is usually Cromwell.

MissMatchedClaws Sat 06-Feb-21 11:37:13

The audiobook is worth a go. The narration is the best I’ve heard (and I love audiobooks, but am very very fussy about narration)

Pinkycheeks Sat 06-Feb-21 11:43:31

Love Wolf Hall! I savour the style and can’t think of better male characterisation than TC... I feel like I know him!

user1487194234 Sat 06-Feb-21 11:49:49

If you really want to read it the best advice I can give you is just to persevere
I found it really hard going for the first day 100 pages and then it just clicked and I absolutely loved it
Have read all 3
The tip about he being TC is very helpful

purpleme12 Sat 06-Feb-21 12:12:33


Please, anyone, say what you struggled with or were bored by!

Everything 🤣

LittleRa Sat 06-Feb-21 12:15:06

Recommend the audiobooks! The version read by Ben Miles

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