The Audio Book Club on Wolf Hall
Our critics discuss Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize-winning novel.
Posted Monday, March 15, 2010, at 12:22 PM
To listen to the Slate Audio Book Club discussion of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, click the arrow on the player below.
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This month, the Audio Book Club discusses Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, a historical novel told from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell that tracks his role in the creation of the Church of England. Cromwell is usually portrayed as a villainous cutthroat, the procurer of Henry VIII's wives. But Mantel depicts him far more sympathetically—an aggressive type, sure, but one who acts aggressively in the service of a larger cause: Britain's independence and modernization.
John Swansburg wonders if Cromwell is too easy to like: He's a fan of little dogs, and his heart's always in the right place. Jacob Weisberg agrees, but Troy Patterson thinks rooting for Cromwell is a little like backing The Godfather's Michael Corleone—you know he's not a great person. On the whole, all the book club participants enjoyed the book and recommend it enthusiastically.
Slate's Audio Book Club now comes to you on the third Monday of every month. We don't yet have a book picked out for April, but there's a good chance we'll discuss Michael Lewis's latest, The Big Short. Look for our discussion on iTunes or on the Slatehome page on Monday, April 19. Also, become a fan of the Audio Book Club on Facebook.
You can also listen to any of our previous club meetings through our iTunes feed or by clicking on the links below. To download the MP3 file, right-click (Windows) or hold down the Control key while you click (Mac), and then use the "save" or "download" command to save the audio file to your hard drive.
White Noise, by Don DeLillo
Lit, by Mary Karr
The Original of Laura, by Vladimir Nabokov
"A Small Good Thing" and "The Bath," by Raymond Carver
The Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
A Vindication of Love, by Cristina Nehring
Thy Neighbor's Wife, by Gay Talese
"The Swimmer," by John Cheever, and "A Good Man Is Hard To Find," by Flannery O'Connor
Atmospheric Disturbances, by Rivka Galchen
Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Night of the Gun,by David Carr
American Wife,by Curtis Sittenfeld
Brideshead Revisited,by Evelyn Waugh
Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill
Anna Karenina,by Leo Tolstoy
Beautiful Children,by Charles Bock
All the King's Men,by Robert Penn Warren
Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Tree of Smoke,by Denis Johnson
The Audacity of Hope,by Barack Obama
The Road,by Cormac McCarthy
The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
Independence Day,by Richard Ford
The Emperor's Children,by Claire Messud
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
Beloved,by Toni Morrison
Everyman,by Philip Roth
Saturday,by Ian McEwan
The Year of Magical Thinking,by Joan Didion
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