Monday, December 14, 2009

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Another historical novel, this one about King Henry the 8th and Anne Boleyn, or more specifically about King Henry's attempts to annul his first marriage so that he could marry Anne Boleyn, or even more specifically, about Thomas Cromwell, the advisor who finally enables Henry to marry Anne.

I was really looking forward to this one, historical novel, King Henry and Anne Boleyn, it sounds like a great book! It even won the 2009 Man Booker award (an award for best original novel written in English by a citizen of the British Commonwealth). I was very disappointed. First of all, although most of what I read was rather clean, the author used a really bad word early on in the book. That turned me off right away. I did keep reading and found that the bad language was few and far between but was of the worst kind. I also found that the author was much too self-conscious about being "literary" and so was much too artsy in her style. It made the book hard to read. She quite often used pronouns with little or no explanation of who was speaking and lurched from conversation to conversation. It was hard to follow and if you didn't already know the story well it would be impossible to figure out what was going on. After slogging through the book for awhile I finally just put it aside. Maybe some of you Anglophiles would really like it but I didn't. Rated NC-17 for that one word.

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