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Top 40 Book Club : December 2009
WOLF HALL HILARY MANTEL Wolf Hall is a fresh recounting of a familiar story. We all know King Henry VIII and the problems of Tudor England -- scriptwriters and novelists have covered every aspect of Henry's life and his power struggle with the Catholic Church. Divorce, assassinations and political intrigue make Tudor times easy and ripe pickings for good storytellers. Hilary Mantel's novel is elegantly original. Her main character is Thomas Cromwell, blacksmith's boy, who became Henry's "fixer". Cromwell is able to arrange divorces, marriages and topple cardinals. Usually the villain of the piece, Mantel's Cromwell is more human, more visionary and more likeable than is possible to imagine. Winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction