Hilary Mantel won the Booker for the sequel to Wolf Hall. I just got Wolf Hall out of the library a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been reading it, and…
I don’t like it. I not only don’t like it, I also think it’s not very good. I don’t think it’s terrible; I’ve seen far worse; but I don’t think it’s very good. I think it’s padded, the way so much “literary” fiction is padded. I’m increasingly allergic to padded literary fiction.
Plus she has this weird thing where you’re supposed to get that an oddly non-specific “he” in any particular passage is always Cromwell, except the trouble with that is that there are often other “he”s in the passage and it really isn’t as clear which she means as she apparently intended it to be. Or maybe she didn’t bother about it. At any rate it turns out that that doesn’t work very well. I wonder why she thought it would.
Overall it’s just boring. It should be good material but she makes it boring. The opening scene is far from boring, but then after that…Boredom.
Anyone else bored by it? (Jean Kazez tweeted her dislike of it yesterday, and a couple of us chimed in.) Any defenders?