really good historical fiction about thomas cromwell
― max, Friday, 18 November 2011 16:51 (seven years ago) link
done right would be like the tudors but good
― max, Friday, 18 November 2011 16:53 (seven years ago) link
whoa. the book is fantastic (place of greater safety, about the terror in paris, is also good but not nearly as good as wolf hall). i am stoked for the sequel but mantel has been very ill and in and out of hospital for quite some time. i didn't realize it actually had a publication date set.
the main character is a total fantasy - brilliant, world-wise, badass, a family man, and happens to be completely enlightened vis-a-vis the warped values of his society. so this should be huge.
― Brakhage, Friday, 18 November 2011 18:11 (seven years ago) link
this book kicks ass!
― goole, Sunday, 1 April 2012 03:32 (seven years ago) link
i think the language is really great. really fluid and choppy, and the present tense really jarring; i still am not used to it. the time and scene shifts are very cinematic i think. mantel has a great ear for dialogue.
i looked up most of the principals on wikipedia and now have an idea of who gets the chop. so now the dramatic question as a reader is when the book ends! (is it a spoiler if it happened 500 years ago?)
idk if the main character is a "total fantasy"? i mean the basic details of his climb: "ruffian", soldier, lawyer, trader, adviser, burgess, etc, are all a matter of record. and the early modern/reformation period was full of people with ideas on the "warped values of his society"!
― goole, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 21:28 (seven years ago) link
hey man! knew you would dig this, i dont really have anything smart to say about it, but it ruled
― max, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 21:31 (seven years ago) link
i only know this history in the most basic outline. uhhh, king wants a divorce, break with rome happens, england gets protestantism but not like super-protestantism, and that's it.
yeah i'm really impressed so far!
took me a bit to get used to one of mantel's stylistic choices: unless very obviously noted as someone else, the pronoun "he" is always Thomas Cromwell.
also i'm realizing that knowing this is going to be an HBO joint has put a certain look of things in my mind.
― goole, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 21:42 (seven years ago) link
yeah i had this kind of half-baked notion about the way mantel uses "he" and the rise of the subject, cromwell as first modern man or something, but i dont really remember the book well enough
― max, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 21:48 (seven years ago) link
― goole, Monday, 16 April 2012 15:10 (seven years ago) link
i thought this was really fun, i liked how unabashed and romantic it was, am not really looking forward to the tv show tho
― Lamp, Saturday, 19 May 2012 15:03 (seven years ago) link
Anyone read the sequel yet? I'm waiting on a copy from interlibrary loan.
― Respectfully, Tyrese Gibson (Nicole), Saturday, 19 May 2012 15:19 (seven years ago) link
im about 30 pages into it and so far it seems very much the same
― Lamp, Saturday, 19 May 2012 15:22 (seven years ago) link
oh good, i need to pick that up. i started reading WH all over again, cos it took me a while to adjust to the style and keep everyone straight, there's things i didn't pick up on the first time. the dialogue is so much fun, really tight, really revealing.
his son is such a dunce but so amiable and lovable. everything with mary boleyn is so heartbreaking.
there's something going on about motivation, the intersection of desire, the 'inner life' and ideology at the moment of formation -- all that stuff about protestantism and capital was being made during the course of these events. cromwell doesn't seem to know himself. iirc there are moments where he asks why he's doing all this and he doesn't really know, "what else is there but affairs?"
Lamp what do you mean by "unabashed and romantic"?
― goole, Saturday, 19 May 2012 15:54 (seven years ago) link
this book is incredible
― lag∞n, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 14:12 (seven years ago) link
Am reading A Place of Greater Safety, the schtick is v v similar. Still great.
― Jesu swept (ledge), Wednesday, 6 June 2012 14:39 (seven years ago) link
this is a cool way to learn abt history
― lag∞n, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 14:40 (seven years ago) link
I held onto this book for about a year from the library but couldn't get past the first page -- not that I outright hated it or anything, more just, "Hm, well, maybe later." Then someone just recalled it from me so...maybe later.
― Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 15:24 (seven years ago) link
I'm actually reading APoGS with a book on the french revolution in the other hand, to clarify as i go. It's not essential but it's a pretty big sweep of history, helps to have a bit of background knowledge. Don't think that was so much of a problem with Wolf Hall, sure I occasionally forgot who was who in the vast cast but the main plot was pretty specific & localised.
― Jesu swept (ledge), Wednesday, 6 June 2012 16:10 (seven years ago) link
― lag∞n, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 16:14 (seven years ago) link
yeah yeah. i wanted more detail. fewer electrons.
― Jesu swept (ledge), Wednesday, 6 June 2012 16:16 (seven years ago) link
ok bring up the bodies is in my possession
― lag∞n, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 13:19 (six years ago) link
gotta finish this
― funny-skrillex-bee_132455836669.gif (s1ocki), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:32 (six years ago) link
i'm waiting for the new one to go into paperback
― goole, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:34 (six years ago) link
lagxxn tell me how it is
i wish theyd just put all books in paperback, hardcover is stupid
― max, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:36 (six years ago) link
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:36 (six years ago) link
ya i cant recall the last time i bought a hardcover but i could not wait
― lag∞n, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:56 (six years ago) link
hardcovers are awesome yr both dummies
― Lamp, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:57 (six years ago) link
but they r so giant and expensive
― lag∞n, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:57 (six years ago) link
impossible to read on the train
― max, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:58 (six years ago) link
impossible to read because the words are so hard
― lag∞n, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:59 (six years ago) link
hardcovers are great except when you move house twice in a month
― thomp, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:05 (six years ago) link
Hardcovers are great for architecture, art, and history books. P much useless for contemporary fiction though.
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:08 (six years ago) link
that p much makes no sense
― Mr. Que, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:09 (six years ago) link
i like reading them on the train! paperbacks are too flimsy or perhaps i am just careless and rough but i like the reassuring weight of a hardcover novel in my bag as well, they are less fun to take on planes tho, too big.
i think 'bringing up the bodies' was really good but i always like the parts in stories where the hero has everything going p smoothly and is coming out on top and you can feel the sympathetic flush of success the defining sequence of the book i think is cromwell at home over christmas endlessly cajoling, directing, scheming, joking moving all these people into place with tireless good humor ceding his dead daughters wings to some other little girl, waiting
― Lamp, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:10 (six years ago) link
man i can't wait
― goole, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:12 (six years ago) link
the dialogue is just amazing in the first one. all his conversations with his sweet, dim (but not too dim) son are so funny and awkward
― goole, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:14 (six years ago) link
hardcovers of popular books very cheap thru' Amazon 2nd hand, got almost pristine Wolf Hall recently for <£3, will maybe read it come holiday.
― woof, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:14 (six years ago) link
Why not? I like hardcover books when they have lots of gorgeous pictures to look at and are typically formatted larger, I don't think they are necessary for most fiction. But thats just my personal preference. FWIW, 98% of the fiction I read it in eBook format anyway.
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:17 (six years ago) link
― Lamp, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:28 (six years ago) link
i think 'bringing up the bodies' was really good but i always like the parts in stories where the hero has everything going p smoothly and is coming out on top and you can feel the sympathetic flush of success
― Lamp, Tuesday, July 24, 2012 11:10 AM (10 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
lol when more and gardiner where simultaneously marginalized i was so happy for him
― lag∞n, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:30 (six years ago) link
i had a few physical correspondences that i couldn't shake
cromwell: al swearingenanne: sasha greyhenry: tim tebow (older)
― goole, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:31 (six years ago) link
lmao oh no
― lag∞n, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:32 (six years ago) link
yeah i know
― goole, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:33 (six years ago) link
― max, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:37 (six years ago) link
new one seem to be written in a somewhat simpler lighter mode, maybe to reflect cromwells ascension, or maybe by accident, or maybe im imagining it, anyway im gonna miss this guy when there are no more books left
― lag∞n, Monday, 30 July 2012 16:35 (six years ago) link
my only complaint is it wasnt nearly as long as wolf hall
― lag∞n, Sunday, 5 August 2012 12:45 (six years ago) link
well maybe and the third one doesnt exist yet
― lag∞n, Sunday, 5 August 2012 12:46 (six years ago) link
i need a new book for traveling this weekend, is this it? is the writing really great?
― 40oz of tears (Jordan), Monday, 13 August 2012 19:42 (six years ago) link
― lag∞n, Tuesday, 14 August 2012 05:07 (six years ago) link
lauderdale maitland, centre, THE KILL (1921, a stageplay): http://c8.alamy.com/comp/B4WCAH/the-kill-starring-actor-russell-thorndike-lauderdale-maitland-and-B4WCAH.jpg
amazing beard TICK, kingly stance TICK
― mark s, Saturday, 3 September 2016 13:03 (two years ago) link
withdrawal symptoms: started re-watching "the tudors" on netflix
― mark s, Saturday, 10 September 2016 17:40 (two years ago) link
Is the rest of her stuff as good as the 2 Cromwell books?Found a few in charity shops but not read more than about 2/3rds of Wolf Hall which I need to get back to and finish.Prose really is pretty tasty.
― Stevolende, Saturday, 10 September 2016 17:54 (two years ago) link
I made it 1.5 episodes into the Tudors and had to stop, it made me miss Wolf Hall too much
― Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 10 September 2016 19:43 (two years ago) link
it takes a somewhat different approach it is true
― mark s, Saturday, 10 September 2016 19:48 (two years ago) link
i like jonathan rhys myers tho
― Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 10 September 2016 19:55 (two years ago) link
There's a good Elizabeth I with Vanessa Redgrave that I watched a couple of years back.I think it had a related Henry VIII series at the time it came out but I haven't seen that.But it's 30 or 40 years old.
― Stevolende, Saturday, 10 September 2016 20:00 (two years ago) link
I found Rossellini's french tv movie The Taking Of Power by Louis XIV very good stuff, no real stand out performances but brilliantly staged. it might be useful to those that liked WH.
― calzino, Saturday, 10 September 2016 20:02 (two years ago) link
the henry viii series was "the six wives of henry viii" with keith michell as henry (and tons of v famous brit tv actors) -- big deal at the time (we watched it as a family) but probably looks a bit creaky now
(michell died last year aged 89, which made me sad even tho i don't think i ever thought abt him or saw him in any other context)
― mark s, Saturday, 10 September 2016 20:06 (two years ago) link
Is the rest of her stuff as good as the 2 Cromwell books?
A Slice of Greater Pastry doesn't quite spark off the page like WH but is just as dramatic and convincing.
― dancing jarman by derek (ledge), Saturday, 10 September 2016 20:47 (two years ago) link
special foodie version yeah?
― Stevolende, Saturday, 10 September 2016 22:44 (two years ago) link
omg the tudors is taking its time removing more's head
― mark s, Tuesday, 20 September 2016 18:51 (two years ago) link
― El Tuomasbot (milo z), Wednesday, 19 July 2017 23:02 (two years ago) link
― Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 20 July 2017 00:06 (one year ago) link
the mirror and the light vs winds of winter betting pool?
― Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Thursday, 20 July 2017 05:37 (one year ago) link
give me the mirror and the light and give it me now
― mark s, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 19:10 (four months ago) link
reread this thread and realised when i said i skim-read the first two to destress while prepping for my conference BOY was i skim-reading -- just like huge amounts only grapsed at second reading, of story as well as approach
someone above (goole?) sez "ppl are over-estimating how good crom is in the books" and i think this is right -- you are enormously artfully drawn into his version of the story, his justifications, his perspective, his innovations and reworkings of the kingdom into somewhere everyone (inc.the poor!) cd be peaceful and prosperous in… but the ruthlessness of what he's doing is right there in front of you, inc. (in particular) all the beheaded, and the v long game leading to the beheadings. basically anne b is framed so he can revenge himself on mark smeaton for saying he looks like a murderer! i mean yes, almost all the beheaded are terrible ppl -- and almost all his transformations of the structure were good not bad. in the sense that capitalism is arguably better for more ppl than feudalism, and the cromwell-2-cromwell management of the Arrival of the Book was in fact less bloody and awful (a bit less) than the 30 yrs war.
anyway the moral is that cromwell is capitalism and he is able (in two books deliberately fashioned to lens us into his perspective) to give an excellent account of himself for this and other reasons, but all around is shadows and grim horror all the same. he loathes lots of it but he also creates lots of it.
and the conclusion is that these books are THE BEST and the tv show is also but in a different (much more melancholic) way
― mark s, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 19:50 (four months ago) link
my mum, a reader but not heavily literary, finished this and then immediately read it from cover to cover again (this before Bring Up the Bodies). not sure what that means but i know she would concur, mark! (she also made the point to me about Cromwell not being good as such, but how effectively you are drawn into his world). I still haven’t read Bring up the Bodies or i think properly finished Wolf Hall.
― Fizzles, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 19:55 (four months ago) link
i wd definitely say you haven't properly finished it until you've reread it at least once, there's a LOT of anticipation and callback going on
(caveat: i am generally still a very skippy reader first time out, and certainly was here but i had other things on my mind)
― mark s, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 19:59 (four months ago) link
Heh, I also reread both very recently, and mark s otm both about the books being THE BEST and Cromwell really not, but very seductive as thoughtful hero. (The grammatical third-person voice which is truly first-person in its view is a shrewd device here I suppose.) Would be interested in seeing the tv eventually, but now probably not before reading the final part.
After I read both for the first time, I naturally went for the French Revolution one; I think it may be the only book where I had the dual experience of a) the reading being a bit of a slog, with me constantly looking at the % remaining on my Kindle, and then b) IMMEDIATELY upon finishing, wanting to start from the top.
Just now read The Giant, O'Brien, which just confirmed that damn she can write. I got maybe some Flann O'Brien vibes; I might perhaps suspect the poor-man-Irishry of being slightly iffy in certain weathers, but I don't really have a quite fine enough English-language palate in my reading ear to say anything useful about that.
― anatol_merklich, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 20:31 (four months ago) link
I know the prose in Wolf Hall was quite delicious. But still haven't got around to reading any of the other books by her taht i picked up. Did enjoy the TV series, is there more coming.Also enjoyed Mark Rylance in his theatre performance in that thing about ice fishing.
― Stevolende, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 21:33 (four months ago) link
thought this revive was a release date announcement for cromwell #3, y'all are cruel
― voodoo chili, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 21:35 (four months ago) link
― mark s, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 21:37 (four months ago) link
the revive was to demand such an announcement, we'all are pro-active
i get it, we're all on team more mantel
― voodoo chili, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 21:39 (four months ago) link
‘A place of greater safety’ is well worth the effort. You can, however, definitely see the lessons Mantel has learnt from that in wolf hall. There protagonists and such a big sweep of time makes for a sweeping epic that gets a bit ramble in places trying to fit everything in. Not a bad book by any means but Wolf Hall’s focus on one man and his internal life within the historical context makes makes for a much better one.
― American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 21:39 (four months ago) link
― Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 21:53 (four months ago) link
Yeah I would never not recommend it; it seems a very, very good imagination of the period and its situations --
Also, a single scene, where after a court session, the young Robespierre vomits at the side of the road at having to pass his first death sentence, will stay with me a bit.
― anatol_merklich, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 21:56 (four months ago) link
I found it very movingjust in terms of the sheer work itself, it’s a pretty incredible undertaking
― Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 22:02 (four months ago) link
on the one hand symmetry would require me to wait for the third one to come out in paperback, even, but on the other hand I don't think my copies of the first two match all that much even, so whatever
― moose; squirrel (silby), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 22:11 (four months ago) link
the bbc production of this was not too bad for them
― calzino, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 22:28 (four months ago) link
― mark s, Thursday, 7 March 2019 01:20 (four months ago) link
guess I should read this
― akm, Thursday, 7 March 2019 06:06 (four months ago) link
It’s probably a con but like any good con artist she makes you feel so good about buying into the con
― moose; squirrel (silby), Thursday, 7 March 2019 06:16 (four months ago) link
actually that gif has good reason to be posted for more than the very good purposes of razzing calz :D
the scene in the series -- anne is dead, crom arrives to see the king who is gleeful and opens his arms in a delighted hug of triumph -- isn't in the book: in the book, instead, we see henry serene as he prepares to marry jane, and gloomy as he tell crom he, he henry, may now be too old to have a strong boychild, per something he read in plato (odd source for such wisdom tho i guess in this instance plato will prove correct)
it's a capper on the viewpoint of the series, of course: who is bad here? henry is bad. and this delivery of his desire -- even as it also enacts revenge on a bunch of v awful ppl who crossed crom and mocked cranmer, plus anne who he feels more ambivalent about -- of course puts crom right in the cheery bearhug of the king's badness.
one of the devices at work is bodysize: damien lewis is tall and broad, even if his character is changeable and basically whiny -- here's when he's happy he's also terrifying and horrible. unlike the historical cromwell (per holbein) and the book cromwell (per mantel), mark rylance is no physical bulk to be reckoned with.* rylance plays cromwell wary, watchful, memory-full, when alone melancholy. i think if he dominated more physically and on-screen, we'd likely take against him more. but as i say, the tv show wants the king as villain
the book is more this: while full of lovely things including (sometimes) love, the world is bad and to make it better, we too much if we can also do bad things. the king is less a villain, more a force of nature channelled by duty and fear and possibly medical conditions**, with almost random breakouts into friendship or joy. (he is certain written as kind) *in the book version of the joust scene and henry seemingly dead, when norfolk comes at cromwell, cromwell simply stand firm and lets the other bounce off him **reading round to discover what these were i wz delighted to discover there is a school of historian thought that argues he was suffering from SCURVY
― mark s, Thursday, 7 March 2019 10:53 (four months ago) link
In the books: Just as the hero is no hero, no villain is a true villain I think; what seems clearly and consistently bad (in Crom's eyes as harbinger of modernity?) is the blithe institutional acceptance, as necessities, of torture and executions, separate and especially in combination: Cromwell's attendance of a witch burning as a child; "It is true there is a rack at the Tower. No one withstands it. No one."; "the law demands the full traitor's penalty, the short spin in the wind and the conscious public disembowelling, a brazier alight for human entrails. It is the most horrible of all deaths, pain and rage and humiliation swallowed to the dregs, the fear so great that the strongest rebel is unmanned before the executioner with his knife can do the job".
All this while the prose is exquisite.
― anatol_merklich, Thursday, 7 March 2019 13:52 (four months ago) link
all these references to crom are making me want a wolf hall / conan the barbarian crossover
― invited to an unexpected ninja presentation (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 7 March 2019 13:57 (four months ago) link
dude it already exists:
― mark s, Thursday, 7 March 2019 15:45 (four months ago) link
ok so i started a place of greater safety last week and it's soooo good. i understand what people are saying upthread about the cromwell series' restriction of perspective helps focus the narrative a bit, but she's just such an engaging writer and so good at drawing all these characters that i'm enjoying the sprawl. even though that sprawl does make me less likely to sit down and read 100 pages at a time.
― to halve and half not (voodoo chili), Monday, 15 April 2019 15:02 (three months ago) link
Book 3 coming in 2020!
― i think ur a controp (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 22 May 2019 12:25 (one month ago) link
HarperCollins said the novel would offer “a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage”. It also confirmed that the novel would be adapted for television by the BBC, following the Bafta-winning adaptation of Wolf Hall starring Mark Rylance as Cromwell. Peter Straughan will write the adaptation, and Peter Kosminsky will direct. A film exploring the life and work of Mantel herself, from Oxford Films, is also due out next March.
― i think ur a controp (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 22 May 2019 12:27 (one month ago) link
― don't mock my smock or i'll clean your clock (silby), Wednesday, 22 May 2019 16:54 (one month ago) link
― Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 22 May 2019 19:34 (one month ago) link
Fantastic news, I’ve just been rereading the first 2.
― American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Wednesday, 22 May 2019 20:29 (one month ago) link
such good news
― estela, Wednesday, 22 May 2019 20:58 (one month ago) link
eat your heart out George RR Martin
― don't mock my smock or i'll clean your clock (silby), Wednesday, 22 May 2019 21:00 (one month ago) link