Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday Intro: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel


Falcons
Wiltshire, September 1535
"His children are falling from the sky. He watches from horseback, acres of England stretching behind him; they drop, gilt-winged, each with a blood-filled gaze. Grace Cromwell hovers in thin air. She is silent when she takes her prey, silent as she glides to his fist. But the sounds she makes then, the rustle of feathers and the creak, the sigh and riffle of pinion, the small cluck-cluck from her throat, these are sounds of recognition, intimate, daughterly, almost disapproving. Her breast is gore-streaked and flesh clings to her claws.
Later Henry will say, 'Your girls flew well today.' The hawk Anne Cromwell bounces on the glove of Rafe Sadler, who rides by the king in easy conversation. They are tired; the sun is declining, and they ride back to Wolf Hall with the reins slack on the necks of  their mounts. Tomorrow his wife and two sisters will go out. These dead women, their bones long sunk in London clay, are now transmigrated. Weightless, they glide on the upper currents of the air. They pity no one. They answer to no one. Their lives are simple. When they look down they see nothing but their prey, and the borrowed plumes of the hunters: they see a flittering, flinching universe, a universe filled with their dinner."*
Bring Up the Bodies
by Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel's eagerly awaited sequel to the 2009 Man Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall  is on sale today. I plan to start reading later this week. The opening paragraphs seem a little unusual, but I am intrigued and look forward to continuing. What do you think of the intro? Is this book on your 'to read' list?

As a special treat for audiobook fans, click here to listen to an excerpt from Macmillan Audio. Bring Up the Bodies is narrated by the fabulous Simon Vance.

*This quote is from an uncorrected proof. The finished version may differ slightly.

Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening paragraph(s). Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

35 comments:

  1. Yeah, the beginning kind of puzzled me -- until I figured out they were falcons. Hope it lives up to expectations. Here's Mine

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    1. Paulita - That took me a moment, too!

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  2. This one probably isn't for me, but I hope you enjoy it!

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    1. DCMetroreader - I enjoyed Wolf Hall and have high hopes for this one, too!

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  3. So intriguing--really looking forward to this book.

    Thanks for the tidbit :)

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    1. JaneGS - Wolf Hall was marvelous historical fiction and am imagining this will be, too.

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  4. I will probably never read this trilogy, because it intimidates the hell out of me. I wish I were "that" person who could tackle it!

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    1. Sandy - In my review of Wolf Hall, I said it was 'historical fiction for the historian'. I don't exactly fit into that category, but still enjoyed the book. It did take some effort though.

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  5. This is one I'd love to read! Great opening lines.

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    1. Harvee - Hope you get a chance to read it soon. It's much slimmer than Wolf Hall ;-)

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  6. What an interesting openin. Henry named the falcons after the women in his life? Hmmmmm...

    I'm not sure if I will read this book or not. I am going to look into it, get a little more of an idea what the story is about!

    I hope you enjoy it, JoAnn. I am really interested in your thoughts on the book when you finish it!

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    1. Amy - That seemed unusual to me, too, but maybe it was common in the 1500's? This book concentrates mostly on the downfall of Anne Boleyn... a fascinating character! I hope to get into the book later this week.

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  7. Enjoy! I've got to finish Wolf Hall!

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    1. Nise' - Wolf Hall is a much longer book!

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  8. The publishers sent me the book, and I'm really looking forward to reading it! I hope I won't be remiss in not reading Wolf Hall first; I think it could stand alone. I hope. ;)

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    1. Bellezza - It's marketed as a sequel, but hope it would work with a little background knowledge of Henry VIII.

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  9. I found the beginning confusing at first. I have Wolf Hall but will need to read that one first -- hope you like the sequel:)

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    1. Diane - Wolf Hall was not a quick read and I don't really expect this one to be either, but I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy it.

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  10. That's an interesting intro. I'd like to read more to see if the rest of the book continues in that tone. :D

    Thanks for dropping by!

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    1. Laya - I'm hoping the rest of the book will be just as good.

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  11. I was surprised when I received an email to review this one (don't get a lot of offers and most I do get are junk), BUT I had to say no since I haven't read Wolf Hall. Was it you who read that one for (what it seemed like) years? Anyway, the subject matter is really interesting to me--I hope you enjoy!! Maybe I'll listen to WH...have an audible credit laying around.

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    1. Trish - It did take me a while to get through Wolf Hall - a very good book, but not a quick read at all! We'll see how Bring Up the Bodies goes...

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  12. Oooh -- v jealous you got an ARC of this one -- Wolf Hall has long been on my TBR. Interesting opening -- I'm not sure I like it!

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    1. Audra - I think that opening more than a little strange! We'll see how the book goes. I'll spend the next few days trying to get caught up with Clarissa, then turn my full attention to Bring Up the Bodies.

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  13. I really need to read the first one sooner rather than later!

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    1. Michelle - Just be sure to allow plenty of time... it's not exactly a quick read!

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  14. Did Vance read Wolf Hall, too? I haven't gotten to that (yet.)

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    1. Care - I read Wolf Hall, but Simon Slater was the narrator. When I heard Simon Vance read Bring Up the Bodies, I was wishing I had the audio instead...

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  15. Thanks for the heads up. I've seen many bloggers have been posting about Hilary Mantel lately... I admit I've never read her and you've piqued my curiosity now. ;)

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    1. Arti - I finally had a chance to read the first few pages today. Think I'll need to read a little further before I'm hooked.

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  16. I've still got to read Wolf Hall before reading this one which I got in the mail the other day. Luckily I have Wolf Hall on audio and I hope to fit it in soon.

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    1. Darlene - Wolf Hall is long and dense, but very rewarding. I imagine it would be very good on audio!

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  17. I just saw this on my local bookshelves this week and thought I'd wait to see if a Mother's Day gift of book money came in the mail! LOL Good to know you like it. I'm a new follower who came over from Kathy's Bermudaonion. I think we have lots in common....

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  18. The reviews of this book are filling the newspapers of Australia this weekend. So I'd been warned about the opening. I'm intrigued now. I haven't read Wolf Hall, but do have a copy sitting in the TBR at home. Would love to get to it sometime, although I'm not all that good with chunky books. I have too much scheduled reading to slip something like that in, one day though.

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  19. This was excellent historical fiction. Prompted me to learn more about Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII and his wives. Written in a style that personalizes the history.

    Marlene Detierro (Renton's River Adventures, Inc.)

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