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Rated 4.25
28,428 ratings

Bring Up the Bodies

By: Hilary Mantel

Publisher: Macmillan Trade

Imprint: Henry Holt & Co.

Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780805090031

Other Formats:

Electronic | Audio | Trade Paperback
  • About the Book
  • Reviews
The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head?Bring Up the Bodies is the winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize Bring Up the Bodies isone ofPublishers Weekly's Top 10 Best Books of 2012 and one of The Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2012
Traditional history brands Ms. Mantel's protagonist a cold-blooded pragmatist. Starting with "Wolf Hall," however, we meet a fascinating, sympathetic hero who's the smartest guy in the room.... The dialogues proceed like small dramas from witness to witness and suspect to suspect, filled with asides, glances, nods of the head and sympathetic smiles -- a master novelist at work.... Ms. Mantel makes no apologies for her Thomas Cromwell. His character defines a brutal age when kings were god-like and loyalty mattered above all. It appears that she will continue to follow her hero with a third installment, revealing that, in the end, loyalty can count for nothing.
—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Bring Up the Bodies” takes up exactly where “Wolf Hall” leaves off: its great magic is in making the worn-out story of Henry and his many wives seem fascinating and suspenseful again.... The new book is shorter and tauter than its predecessor, and superior in at least one stylistic respect.... “Bring Up the Bodies” (the title refers to the four men executed for supposedly sleeping with Anne) isn't nostalgic, exactly, but it's astringent and purifying, stripping away the cobwebs and varnish of history, the antique formulations and brocaded sentimentality of costume-­drama novels, so that the English past comes to seem like something vivid, strange and brand new.
—New York Times
Mantel's secret is her ability to make the reader identify heart and soul with Cromwell. You want the blacksmith's son to rise in the world the same way you want Mario Puzo's Godfather to triumph. You simply don't care that the skill set required for their career advancement requires murder and corruption.... Read Wolf Hall first — it's non-negotiable in terms of understanding Bring Up the Bodies. And if you're someone who devours business books about snaring that corner office, you'll discover that Mantel's novel brims with timeless career advice about the grabbing and keeping of power, even though codpieces are no longer de rigueur.
—USA Today
In "Bring Up the Bodies," the sequel to the Booker Prize-winning novel "Wolf Hall," Hilary Mantel continues the spectacular story of Thomas Cromwell, the 16th-century adviser to the English throne. Imagine "The Godfather" from the consigliere's point of view, "The West Wing" with Henry VIII instead of Martin Sheen.
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
The good news is that it is more than the equal of its predecessor when it comes to intensity and drama, its portrait of Cromwell ever more evocative and nuanced as he disposes of a queen, more elevated than a mere cardinal (Wolsey) and saint (Thomas More), whose downfalls were front and center in "Wolf Hall."... Mantel is so adept at referring here to his past, from the crucible of his childhood with an abusive father to the travels and travails that educated his mind and fired his ambition, that "Bring Up the Bodies" stands magnificently on its own.... Whether you have read "Wolf Hall" or not, "Bring Up the Bodies" will make you long for that next one, which will complete — or will it? — Mantel's Cromwell trilogy.
—Los Angeles Times
[A] riveting account of how Thomas Cromwell brought down Anne Boleyn, just three short years after he had played an instrumental role in crowning her as Henry VIII's queen.... Much of the dialogue in "Bodies" has the feel of masterfully crafted depositions or a first-rate police procedural... Mantel has done her homework; Cromwell is never less than a fully clothed historical figure. But this Cromwell is also something more: A nakedly modern man, beset by recognizable doubts and fears that shed greater light on his pivotal historical moment - while also illuminating our own.
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Mantel's writing is an occasion for joy. Her sentences are pleasurable even as her precise scholarship thrills... Read "Bring Up the Bodies" for its chilling character profile, its period details on jousting and Tudor kitchens, its congregation of the seven deadly sins -- pride leading the way. And read "Wolf Hall" first. Nobody should skip a heady word of Mantel's planned trilogy.
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
You need not know your Tudor history nor have read Wolf Hall, the Man Booker-winning first volume of Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell trilogy to delight in its worthy successor. Mantel pulls you in from the riveting opening line: “His children are falling from the sky.”... Much of the pleasure of Wolf Hall and its sequel is watching the alliances Cromwell forms, the enemies he makes and strategies he employs in order to make it so.
—Miami Herald
"Bring Up the Bodies" is well worth the wait.... As with "Wolf Hall," Mantel relates the story in cool, clear prose.... A lesser writer might have milked Cromwell's interrogations of William Brereton, George Boleyn, and Francis Weston, the trials, and Anne's execution for all their potential worth and more, but Mantel rarely deploys more than four pages for each: all marvelous set pieces of resonant brevity.
—Portland Oregonian
Hilary Mantel has created yet another thoroughly engaging piece of historical fiction that will compel all readers to keep turning the pages to see what happens next --- even though the end results are already well known. This ability to create constant intrigue and tension throughout will clearly make BRING UP THE BODIES a contender for literary acclaim in 2012.
—Bookreporter.com
The pleasures of “Bring Up the Bodies” — and they are abundant, albeit severe — reside in Mantel's artistic mastery. She animates history with a political and psychological acuity equal to Tolstoy's in “War and Peace”
—Washington Post
The hardest part for "Wolf Hall" readers to swallow in "Bring Up the Bodies" may be the fact that in the first book, Cromwell was a sympathetic character. In "Bodies," he is an understandable character, but that understanding requires a considerably darker view of human nature.... Anyone can go online and find out what happened to Anne Boleyn; also Cromwell, whose fate will almost certainly play out in the third book in this projected trilogy. Never mind. This wonderful, terrible novel does an awful story full justice. You won't be able to tear your eyes away.
—Seattle Times
...[a] fantastic sequel... Ms. Mantel's greatest achievement is one of style: the tone of irresistible slangy immediacy that is the engine of her book.... Ms. Mantel everywhere displays an easy ability to show us characters' depths in quick flashes...
—Wall Street Journal
“Bring Up the Bodies” is beautifully constructed, even though there will be moments when it seems confusing.... That ironic ending will be no cliffhanger for anyone even remotely familiar with Henry VIII's trail of carnage. But in “Bring Up the Bodies” it works as one. The wonder of Ms. Mantel's retelling is that she makes these events fresh and terrifying all over again.
—New York Times
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