WOLF HALL, Discovering

This will strike many people as stupid, but self is belatedly discovering that Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel’s novel about HISTORICAL FIGURE Thomas Cromwell, is fantastic.

Self resisted, actively resisted, reading it for years (It might have been published as far back as 2008).  She gets disturbed when a novel reaps so much praise.  It brings out all of self’s *attitude.*  Besides, Cromwell as a subject did not move self at all.

But, here she is, in the summer of 2013, and she’s just skipped over Middlemarch, because the opening was so — boggy.  In contrast, after reading just one page of Wolf Hall, self had no doubts whatsoever that she should read on.

Firstly — BIG SURPRISE! — the novel is not written in whatever-you-call-that-English that was spoken in the time of Henry VIII.  In fact, the novel is uses modern English — but this never strikes one as odd, or “post-modern,” or whatever.

Second, it opens with a terrible scene of a child being beating, and — woo hoo!  Hilary, you’ve found the one sure way to arouse self’s sympathies!

As it happens, this evening son is in San Luis Obispo, so self is browsing the world on the MacMini that’s in his room.  She lands on a site she loves but hasn’t visited in a few months:  The Sheila Variations.

And — gadzooks! — who does Sheila write her latest post about?  None other than Hilary Mantel!  Self is not kidding!

Here’s what Sheila has to say about a book she “liked even more than Wolf Hall.”  It’s personal, so please do not expect the detachment of, say, a New York Times Book Review piece, but it is also fascinating!

Even more fascinating:  in her post, Sheila compares Hilary Mantel’s books to those of Don DeLillo!  And, yesterday, self had just been in B & N, looking for a new DeLillo novel!  The ultimate freaky coincidence!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


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