Friday, 30 January 2015

Man Booker Prize Winner #2 – Bring Up The Bodies, Hilary Mantel

Carrying on with my challenge to read at least five Man Booker Prize winners this year (the rest of my reading challenges can be seen here) I read Bring Up The Bodies.
Note that Bring Up The Bodies is the sequel to Wolf Hall, so if you would like to see what I thought about that book, you can see my review here. It carries on with the story of Thomas Cromwell but as I said in my first review, it is far from a run-of-the-mill historical fiction set in the reign of Henry VIII. I’m going to keep this review pretty short, as I don’t want there to be too much repetition between my review of this and Wolf Hall! Here is what I thought about it:

In a nutshell: I loved Wolf Hall a lot, but in my opinion this was even better.

Would you recommend this book? Absolutely. If you read Wolf Hall and enjoyed it, this is pretty much a no-brainer as it has everything that was great about the first book and more. I actually think it could be read as a stand-alone book, but I think reading Wolf Hall gives you a greater understanding of Thomas Cromwell, the main character, and explains his actions in this in a greater detail.

How quickly did you read it? I actually found this fairly easy to read so it didn’t take me very long, just over a week. The hardback edition I have has 407 pages. Honestly though, I really didn’t want this book to end and took ages reading the last few pages.

Why did you choose to read this book? Other than the fact I really enjoyed Wolf Hall and this also ticks off another aspect of my reading challenge, the BBC adaptation has started and I wanted to finish the series before the TV show caught up with me.

Favourite aspect of the book? Where to start? Seeing as I started this the day after finishing Wolf Hall, my expectations were ridiculously high. But this actually surpassed my expectations.
The writing is brilliant – I think even more so than the first book. It is less confusing in its style which was my only gripe with Wolf Hall as Hilary Mantel, instead of using just ‘he’, starts to use the phrase ‘he, Cromwell’ or ‘he, Henry’ to give clarity! But honestly there were so many parts where the writing was so great I actually wrote down some of the sentences in my journal or texted them or read them aloud to friends and family who have already read it. I don’t want to ruin anything but after the final page I just stopped and took it all in, it was the perfect way to end it.
Once again the book felt well researched, the dialogue was witty and it continued to give a fresh take on the period with the well-known story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn as the backdrop.

Anything you didn’t like? I would genuinely give this five stars, ten out of ten, whatever the top rating is!

Any additional thoughts? All I have left to say is that I cannot wait for the third book in the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light which (apparently) is coming out this year.

Deserving of the Man Booker Prize? Yes!

I will leave you with one of the parts that I stopped to read to someone:

"The things you think are the disasters in your life are not the disasters really. Almost anything can be turned around: out of every ditch, a path, if you can only see it."

Beth x

11 comments:

  1. Great review! I read this back to back with Wolf Hall too and loved them both. I'm eagerly awaiting the final installlment of the trilogy. Loving the BBC adaptation as well.
    Loving the blog - keep it going!

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    1. Thank you very much Boulder Mob this has made my day! :) The BBC adaptation has been brilliant so far hasn't it? I will be buying the third book as soon as it is out - can't wait to see how she deals with the end. I would love for it to be in the running for another Man Booker Prize.

      Beth x

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  2. Wonderful review!
    You have a lovely blog :) . I've nominated you for a Liebster Award! To find out more about it, visit the following link: I've been nominated you for a Liebster Award

    Salha | Abuhayar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I will take a look :)

      Beth x

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  3. Hey there! I've nominated you for a Liebster Award! Check out my blog for details!
    xx, Maria
    http://mariahasblondefeelings.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I will take a look :)

      Beth x

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  4. Hey I nominated you for the Liebster Award, you can check out the details on my blog x

    http://spacedreamsandmarshmallows.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-liebster-award.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I will take a look :)

      Beth x

      Delete
  5. Hello I really like your blog! That's why I nominated you for the Liebster Award.
    Take a look at my blog for more informations :) http://lipsticksandcuddles.blogspot.ch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I will take a look :)

      Beth x

      Delete
  6. Fab review. I loved Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies. Can't wait for book 3 even if the wait will be a while!

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