Sunday, December 27, 2009
"Wolf Hall", by Hilary Mantel
To enjoy this novel it may be preferable in my view to have a good knowledge of the 16th century Europe and be a literary aficionado.
The story attempts to capture the political and social turmoil during the period of Henry V111, when his desire to divorce challenged the church's power. The story is told from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell.
The novel is large (650 pages) and is densely populated with characters, requiring a list in order to keep track of them. It is one of those novels hard to get into. I found reading it was an arduous task, Ms Mantel's style of writing is lofty and subtle, the presentation quite confusing and extremely hard to follow without a good foundation of this historical period.
I would agree with those saying the story weaves like a drunken sailor (my apologies to sailors). I suspect the author has made a straight forward story way too complicated to be credible and interesting to the average individual. I have rarely put a book aside before the ending, it was definitely not meant for me and I am happy I borrowed it from my local library.