Yesterday (16th October 2012) Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall, won the Man Booker Prize for the second time for her follow-up novel, Bring Up the Bodies. I haven’t read it yet, but it is on my to-read list. However, I have read Wolf Hall. I’m particularly excited about this one because it focuses on the period I am most interested in – the fall of Anne Boleyn. According to the Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booker-prize/9612717/Booker-Prize-2012-Hilary-Mantel-wins-again.html):-
“The prize confirms Mantel’s gift for writing historical fiction, of course, but also the historic nature of the project itself: her trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell will surely, by the time she has finished, come to seem an achievement of era-defining proportions – one in which, as she put it recently, “I knew from the first paragraph that this was going to be the best thing I’d ever done”.”
Mantel does seem to have a gift for writing historical fiction. I admit that it took me a while to get into Wolf Hall, but that was largely because I was so unused to the writing style. Most of the time when you read a historical fiction book it’s written in dumbed-down terms and almost using modern language. That’s what makes Wolf Hall stand out. If Bring Up The Bodies lives up to expectations and is even better than Wolf Hall then I think I have a new favourite historical fiction book.
Wolf Hall was one of the best novels I’ve ever read and I really hope that Bring Up The Bodies lives up to it.