Customer Reviews for

Wolf Hall

Average Rating 3.5
( 518 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(213)

4 Star

(105)

3 Star

(75)

2 Star

(67)

1 Star

(58)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

45 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

Fascinating. Want more.

I almost put this book aside after the first chapter. It was just too confusing. Then I got my aged mind to accept that "he" always refers to Cromwell and it became a page-turner. It is a fascinating look into the minds of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII, and various oth...
I almost put this book aside after the first chapter. It was just too confusing. Then I got my aged mind to accept that "he" always refers to Cromwell and it became a page-turner. It is a fascinating look into the minds of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII, and various other players in the life of Henry VIII, the birth of the Anglican Church, the Protestant reformation, and the Renaissance in general.

If you read carefully, Wolf Hall also gives a lot of neat little tidbits about life in the sixteenth century; for instance, the convent washed their bed linens once a year.

I hope there will be a sequel that takes the life of Cromwell to its inevitable conclusion.

posted by BillR on April 11, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

54 out of 65 people found this review helpful.

Not worth the effort

I agree with the reviewers who say the writing style is difficult. I'll go one further and say its just atrocious. I consider myself a serious reader, but I'm on my second time trying to read it and just can't get into the story. Its difficult to figure out who the vari...
I agree with the reviewers who say the writing style is difficult. I'll go one further and say its just atrocious. I consider myself a serious reader, but I'm on my second time trying to read it and just can't get into the story. Its difficult to figure out who the various 'he's' are. Half the time I can't figure out who is talking during a conversation. If I wasn't aware of the history and plot line, it would just be impossible. I'm sure there are other books that cover this material that are much better written and much more enjoyable to read. If it was a new plot line, it might be worth the effort. I'm glad I checked it out of the library.

posted by Eadie on May 24, 2010

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  • Posted September 30, 2010

    Ok, if you're patient

    As an enthusiastic fan of historical fiction, I looked forward to reading this. I hoped it would be as good as Follett's Pillars of the Earth or World Without End. But sadly, it's not.

    This is the story of Thomas Cromwell, a lawyer who served Cardinal Wolsey and later, Henry VIII. The story of political intrigue among power brokers is fairly good, but it unfolds sooooooo sssslllloooowwwwlllly that reading it is a real test of patience. This is no kin of The Da Vinci Code.

    Particularly annoying is the author's inability or unwillingness to use correct English grammar and syntax. Although the reader understands that Cromwell is the narrator, the author rarely refers to him by name, instead simply calling him "he." Since Cromwell is far from being the only male character, this is confusing.

    Even more confusing is the author's inability to consistently use quotation marks to indicate speech. Mantel will use them correctly for a while, but apparently becomes tired of them and you're lead into a whole paragraph where two people alternate speech without any quotation marks or paragraph breaks to indicate who's speaking. If the author can't use punctuation correctly, why isn't the editor correcting the manuscript?

    If you're an English major, your teeth will be set on edge repeatedly as the author routinely inserts subordinate clauses and descriptive phrases into the wrong part of sentences. And wait until you see the split infinitives. Has the publisher dispensed with editors, thinking they are an unnecessary expense?

    If you're looking for a good fictional account of the events surrounding Henry VIII's rejection of Katherine for Anne Boleyn, try an author like Philippa Gregory.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2010

    tedious

    i've been working on this for six months, always hoping i'll get into it, but i'm still only half-way. sigh.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2010

    Boring

    Way too long! The writing style is difficult to follow and the story wanders without regard to the reader. I can't finish it, it's too repetitive and stilted.

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