“Bring Up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel


I am one of the few people who didn’t love Wolf Hall. I found the story boring and the use of ambiguous ‘he’ pronouns annoying. Does this reaction make me a philistine? Perhaps. So I was understandably reluctant to approach the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. Trusted friends like Amy and Kate assured me it was better than the original. Nonetheless, I put it off over all the other Tournament of Books contenders that I wanted to read. Left it for dead last.

I liked the opening. There’s some gorgeous writing. Henry the VIII’s court should be fascinating. Yet I found this book far too easy to put down. I told myself I’d give it 50 pages, yet when I got to 45, I couldn’t even see the point of forcing down those last five pages. It was non-compelling for me, and still with deliberately awkward use of ‘he.’ I read so many ToB books this year that I just loved and raced through; this one left me cold. I returned it unread, and am on to the next book. Life’s too short.

3 Responses to ““Bring Up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel”

  1. Jennifer Reese Says:

    I couldn’t get into Wolf Hall either. I never even finished and I gave it two valiant tries. I kept this to myself, so universal was the love.

  2. Janet Says:

    I didn’t love Wolf Hall, but was compelled to read Bring Up the Bodies. Who knows why we do the things we do? I liked it a lot better than WH, maybe because I knew what to expect from the writing style. Sorry you couldn’t stick it out, but I’ve been there. Life is too short to stick with a book you are forcing yourself to read!

  3. Kate Says:

    Ahh, sorry! I still believe it’s the easier read, but the subject matter remained the same, with the same style. I won’t say anything about book three. ;-)