Thursday, November 5, 2009

WOLF HALL - Hilary Mantel


Winner of the coveted Man Booker award for fiction in 2009, Wolf Hall charmed and challenged this reader.

First, I will admit some bias. As readers of my blog know, I have been exploring the books about European royalty, including several volumes about Henry V alone. This book shows the relationship between Henry and Anne Boleyn, yet it is through the eyes of dark merchant/lawyer Thomas Cromwell.

If you know enough about British history (or, Thor forbid, you read Phillippa Gregory novels as truth), you already know these characters. Otherwise, it would be a confusing read. Still, these are not the characters that I have known through different pages. Thomas More is older and fierce in his religious beliefs, while Anne Boleyn is both automaton and vengeful bitch.

What was brilliant about this book, however, was the dry humor. Whether at home, in court (meaning the court of royalty), or back alleys, I re-read bits of dialogue over and over to fully enjoy the snark veiled by manners and questions.

4.75 out of 5.0 English Highballs.

1 comment:

Jane Steen said...

That one's on my reading list. And I do read Philippa Gregory novels... as entertainment. I read historians in much the same spirit - we can all discuss the evidence over and over again, but we'll never know.

Looking forward to some good dialog!