Sunday, April 11, 2010

Oh the Tudors...

Hilary Mantel
Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall took me about 2 months to finish.... every time I opened this book I managed to read about two pages and then I fell asleep. For those who knows me... I usually have a hard time getting any sleep at all....
The novel about Thomas Cromwell/Thomas More/King Henry VIII and the ladies that was the cause of Religion change, divorce or the King that did not get any male heir and the problems surrounding it.
Well, this novel won the Man Booker Prize. 
I think it is admirable the effort that has been put to work to write such a novel, all the enormous research that must have been done. I also think she managed many times to touch on great stories but then to move the story along too quickly to really end up not touching deeply on anything.
I sat many times thinking ah now I am finally getting into this novel.... for then to fall asleep again.
I am being a bit harsh here... but really 2 months of my life! I am perhaps too dutiful to put it aside and read something else, I guess that is my problem:)

Here, a few of her hits:

"Man is wolf to man" (old latin saying)

"For what is the point of breeding children, if each generation does not improve on what went on before?"

"It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires"

"Time now to consider the compacts that hold the world together: the compact between ruler and ruled, and that between husband and wife. Both these arrangements rest on a sedulous devotion, the one to the interests of the other..."

"It was fear of plain words, or the assertion that plain words pervert themselves; More´s dictionary against our dictionary. You can have a silence full of words. A lute retains, in its bowl, the notes it has played. The viol, in its strings, holds a concord. A shriveled petal can hold its scent a prayer can rattle with curses; an empty house, when the owner have gone out, can still be loud with ghosts."

.... One thing that surprised we was the horror of More, the man who wrote "Utopia" being so evil.
But as a friend said to me when we discussed this novel "where not all of them pretty brutal?"


  1. Oh, no! I have great expectations to this novel, maybe because I trust in the Man Booker- comitee. I suppose I have to read it and make up my own mind.

  2. Yes, I read most of the Man Booker winners. Bai, please let me know what you think when you read it:)