I stopped posting book and album reviews generally on this blog as largely I felt they were rubbish - I'm no critic and I noticed a lot of reader traffic was to these posts, I personally felt I was doing the authors often a disservice in my reviews as I say... I'm no critic. If I was all about driving traffic to the blog I'd only do reviews - many of them get 1000s of reads! Often with the music stuff I'm going to wax lyrical as I'm already a fan I'm normally reviewing something I was obviously going to buy so people aren't reading an unbias review but often a fan's eulogy.
Anyway I have to mention this book. I bought this as a result of seeing Ms Mantel receiving much critical acclaim and prizes for it and it's sequel which I daftly bought at the same time and will now I fear remain forever unopened.
Sadly though I've given up reading it less than half way through. I just can't get into it at all - the writing style is virtually all dialogue or brief snippets underneath about the underlying politics etc. under the dialogue. But I get so lost, and there is no visualisation of the places etc. I feel the thing is a complete void as though I'm only listening to the dialogue in a film where at least 50% of the information about the story is lost to me. It may present Thomas Cromwell in a completely new light but frankly I just lose the plot with almost every page turn.
So the lesson - I shouldn't believe all the awards stuff. Probably I should avoid a book that has one an esteemed literary prize on this basis as I clearly don't get it and can't read a novel like this with the required level of intellect.
On the Wikipedia page about Wolf Hall I found this quote from a professional reviewer...
"...dreadfully badly written... Mantel just wrote and wrote and wrote. I have yet to meet anyone outside the Booker panel who managed to get to the end of this tedious tome. God forbid there might be a sequel, which I fear is on the horizon. — Susan Bassnett, in Times Higher Education"
So - not just me then... Having read that I do have a little bit of "Emperors Clothes" thinking about it. If the Booker panel did fail to read it as Susan Bassnett alleges how did it win the prize?