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Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2009 and the National Book Critics Circle for Fiction 2010, Wolf Hall is written by Hilary Mantel and is an exceptional work of historical fiction with this unabridged audiobook edition narrated by professional actor Simon Slater. Hear the story of King Henry VIII told like it has never been told before. From the King’s ruthless volatility and deadly infatuations to Thomas Cromwell’s advocacy of the English Reformation. In this brilliantly constructed story, Mantel has perfectly captured a fraction of British history and brought it back to life. Available now from Audible.

Description

National Book Critics Circle, Fiction, 2010

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2009

Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell - a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

©2009 Hilary Mantell (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd

Critiques

"If the dance between king and mistress is expertly choreographed, it is Mantel's presentation of the common realm - the seething streets of Putney and Wimbledon, populated by drapers and boatmen - that gives this novel the force of revelation." ( The Guardian)

"...as soon as I opened the book I was gripped. I read it almost non-stop. When I did have to put it down, I was full of regret the story was over, a regret I still feel. This is a wonderful and intelligently imagined retelling of a familiar tale from an unfamiliar angle - one that makes the drama unfolding nearly five centuries ago look new again, and shocking again, too. " ( The Times)

"The reader, Simon Slater, skilfully adopts contrasting voices and the narrative has an immediacy close to a dramatisation... Provocative, rewarding listening." (The Times)

Ce que les membres d'Audible en pensent

Notations

Global

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Histoire

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret
  • 21/07/2010

Wolf Hall

This is an extraordinary book written by an extraordinary writer. I read first the print version, but found myself at times lost in the story telling - now who is speaking - now whose story is being told. This audible version brings the characters to life wonderfully and adds a depth to the story. I give the narrator, Simon Slater, five stars also.

11 sur 11 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ian C Robertson
  • 03/02/2013

Brilliant Simplicity

I have literally just finished listening to this wonderful work, part novel, part history, part biography and wholly a revelation. It is difficult to comprehend how the well traveled road of Henry VIII, the Boylens, Thomas More, Wolsey and others could be given a new perspective. Ms Mantel has done just that, and from the point of view of the apparently least sympathetic character, Thomas Cromwell. Of course we all know how it ends, but that is in part the genius of the narrative. Even knowing that, the story presents itself, in the true sense, as novel. I was not tempted to the dictionary with regularity nor to the history books. Because the history is well know, the essentials don't need to be cross-checked (as they often have to with other historical novels). The incidentals don't press you to be checked (because they illuminate the characters in preference to the events).
I particularly like the seeming transition from the third person to the first person that the author has employed with great skill. Through it, and the simple device of capturing the day to day, she conveys what some other historical novelists miss: the inner character of the historical figures. For example, whereas Thomas More's martyrdom seems like the hallmark of his struggle with Henry, as an event for Cromwell it is much more. Cromwell respects and disrespects More in proportion, but he hates that great thinkers must be sacrificed. Yet sacrifice is the artifice of government. That dilemma for Cromwell is palpable from the narrative. For all that, the language is simple throughout, reflecting a Protestant value true to Cromwell's aspiration. It also reflects with wonderful eloquence a simpler time when there was a right and a wrong (although they could change overnight at the monarch's whim); England in the 1530s. I was tempted to keep reading, moving to the second in the trilogy at once. I have resisted only to make that reading even more auspicious.
As to the performance by Simon Slater, I think him the perfect selection to read this work. His voices were attuned to each character, particularly Cromwell and More. The stretch narrative was conveyed at a lovely pace. I am pleased to see he has also read a version of the sequel. It is on my Wish List.
In my opinion, Ms Mantel deserved the Man-Booker Prize for this work and readers of good books deserve to have books of this quality win prestigious awards.

7 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nick Fryer
  • 06/10/2012

As close to perfection as it gets

Never has a book so nearly given me the impression of looking out of the eyes of another human being. The Thomas Cromwell depicted in this nearly perfect novel is a complex, real man, the product of his upbringing and his society, shaped by tragedies and triumphs as narrow in scope as his brilliantly drawn household and as broad as all Christendom, and himself the shaper of a whole new England - one that would in due course change the world forever.

Slater's narration is also simply magical. He gives each character his or her (and there are many significant hers) own voice, manner and personality. I swore when I learned that the sequel is not narrated by him, because I wanted desperately for this astonishing experience to continue seamlessly for the length of another novel. At least.

The rating I have given is not accustomed hyperbole - in half a dozen reviews this is my first 5/5/5 stars, and richly deserved for the delight I have had over the last few days. Enjoy.

5 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Conor
  • 24/06/2010

Wolf Hall

Hard to imagine a better interpretation. Simon Slater has a huge repertoire of voices and knows how to manipulate silence... masterly

7 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hilary
  • 06/12/2009

Thoroughly Satisfying

This was my first time listening to a novel on my I-Pod, and I was thrilled and totally satisfied. When the novel, which is lengthy, came to a conclusion, I almost found myself crying with disappointment. I can't wait to hear when the sequel to 'Wolf Hall' is published.

6 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joy
  • 07/01/2013

A Masterpiece

If you could sum up Wolf Hall in three words, what would they be?

Superb, Brilliant, Worth the Man Booker win

What other book might you compare Wolf Hall to and why?

Nothing, it is one of the best historical fictions i have ever come across, Ken Follett came close years ago but this is magic. The characters are alive, every voice is perfect. Even when the narrator draws breath you know which character it is. The historical detail and the tiniest events mentioned are all covered and closed off. I think half the women who read this will fall for Thomas Cromwell.

Which scene was your favorite?

So many but I found the detail about the rituals of Easter and Thomas Cromwell advising on cooking a real hoot. The tortue scenes are fascinating without being gross and the history is detailed without being boring - and for once - interesting

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, I could not stop recommending it to people - after 5 years of book club this one stole the show

Any additional comments?

Now onto Bring up the Bodies and I am loving it already.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 30/04/2013

Much too constructed

I wanted to love this, but despite many efforts over at least 15 hours I can't even like it. There is absolutely no emotional involvement in any of the characters nor the story. It would be like reading the driest newspaper article summing up the events, which isn't what I would expect of a novel, if it weren't for the laboured construction that made it much more inaccessible and frankly uninteresting.

And I tried. I read the first third on my Kindle, but kept falling asleep (has only ever happened with the ridiculously bad Fifty shades of Grey). Switched to the audio book hoping that a lively narration would bring the characters to life and thus start to matter, in any way, to me. It didn't.

As I read it for a book club I persisted, but a little over half way through I gave up. I just couldn't bring myself to give it another eleven hours of my life. Out of the six serious book nerds in my book club I was the one who got the farthest, by far. One, who is extremely interested in Henry VIII, had finished and thought it dry and uninvolving, but we soon realised she had unwittingly listened to an abridged version of eight hours. That's one third of the original book's length. She said she'd never ever spend over 24 hours of reading time on the full version. The book club even reads quite a bit of award winning lit, many of my favourites are Pulitzer winners for instance, so it's not a question of that.

I even tried reading it just to explore the construction, but that didn't grab my interest either. To me, this is simply a boring book.

4 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan
  • 31/03/2018

The second best audiobook I have heard

Would you listen to Wolf Hall again? Why?

Well, what a wonderful book. Beautifully written and such incredible research. It is almost as good as JK Rowling's Casual Vacancy and that is high praise!

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lauren L
  • 08/09/2017

Interesting yet dull

Mantel's Wolf Hall has been reviewed to death so I'm just going to hit the high and low notes. The age is richly invoked and the novel opens an absolutely fascinating window onto the past. Mantel also succeeds in putting flesh on the bones of the main historical characters, notably an impetuous Henry VIII, a scheming Ann Boleyn and Cromwell himself, and the central plot revolving around the reformation in England interwoven with Henry's infamous marital affairs keeps you turning the page (or listening, as the case may be). However, that's where my praise dries up - for all its merits, Wolf Hall became a rather dull slog for me. The enormous cast of characters (not entirely the author's fault - this isn't fiction) meant that most are very anaemic and they had a tendency to merge into one another (frankly even the main protagonists remained elusive), and since so many share the same first name - christendom in the early fifteen hundreds was evidently populated exclusively by people named either Thomas or Mary - and Mantel felt no compulsion stick to last names, I (like so many others) was constantly confused about who was who, a problem undoubedtly aggravated by the peculiar perspective in which Mantel has chosen to write. Moreover, the plot is driven hugely by dialogue and as a result, history unfolds through the mechanics of dry discourse between players and the drama is lost in the process. England's cataclysmic wrench from the yoke of the Catholic church should have been more dramatic and exciting, instead the pace sags under the weight of ponderous discourse and minutiae rather than grand exposition. Above all, the novel lacks the marbellous contrivance of a set up - you just never feel like you are holding your breath waiting for the fates and fortunes of the characters to be decided by the outcome of an event - you just surmise through the course of an exchange between characters that the next event has happened and what the consequences might be. Still, I made it to the end, testament to its pull of its fine prose, I suspect - or the narration which was superb.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kanwal Brar
  • 08/05/2017

An Immersive Experience !

A great story narrated with finese. Historical fiction at it's best. Hilary Mantel fleshes out the characters in detail and makes you relive the Tudor era.

Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alistair Hill
  • 13/10/2014

A wonderfull story of an Elizabethan Machiavelli

Hilary Mantel is better and better. Simon Slater keeps you capitvated and attentive well into the night,

6 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mario S.
  • 22/07/2018

Einfach nur langweilig und nicht durchzuhalten.

Ich habe es einfach nicht geschafft, dieses langweilige Hörbuch bis zum Ende zu hören. Nicht zu empfehlen.