Download Wolf Hall: A Novel Audiobook

Wolf Hall: A Novel Audiobook, by Hilary Mantel Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Hilary Mantel Narrator: Simon Slater Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Wolf Hall Series Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781427209900
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In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political power

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king's freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?

In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Mantel gets the rich pageantry and conniving schemes just right in her richly detailed historical saga, and Slater gets Mantel just right as well. His reading does justice to the novel's language, slipping into character voices as deftly as Cromwell negotiated court politics. Library Journal
  • Listeners unfamiliar with British history will find Slater's present-tense narration, as told through Cromwell's perspective, an ideal method of storytelling, turning formidable historical figures into intriguing personalities. Slater seems to inhabit Cromwell's very soul, his voice imbued with urbane assurance, dark despair, calculating ambition, and sardonic wit. Booklist, Starred Review

  • Read by Simon Slater in possibly the best performance of his career, Wolf Hall...never ceases to be gripping...the best audio book of the year. The Winston-Salem Journal
  • Simon Slater does a masterful job of capturing Mantel's abundant and diverse characters. Newsday
  • “The 2009 Man Booker Prize-winning novel about Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's fixer and counselor has been brilliantly served by English actor (and composer) Simon Slater. He gives an ironic, Machiavellian edge to his voice as general narrator and renders the myriad characters with exceptional virtuosity. This performance is the best of the year: an absolute triumph, further enhancing an already magnificent novel. The Washington Post, Top Audio Books of '09

  • Simon Slater's reading is equal to Mantel's masterpiece, his voice shifting to match each speaker, with touches of rough British dialect, German and French accents expertly handled. BookPage, Audio of the Month
  • Simon Slater's performance brings Thomas Cromwell out of history and into humanity. FictionAudiobooks
  • If you haven't read the most absorbing, beautifully written book of 2009, wait no longer. Better yet, listen to it, for you cannot imagine the 16th century coming to life as it does in the hands of author Hilary Mantel and reader Simon Slater in Wolf Hall. Newark Star Ledger
  • Set aside a full day to savor Simon Slater's delightful reading of the Booker Prize-winning tale of Henry VIII's court, seen through the eyes of his adviser Thomas Cromwell…Slater's narration is nuanced and precise; he breathes feeling and subtle shades of emotion into every exchange of dialogue. His is a heroic undertaking, and he does admirable justice to Mantel's lucid prose and juicy plot. Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
  • Slater seems to inhabit Cromwell's very soul, his voice imbued with urbane assurance, dark despair, calculating ambition, and sardonic wit. Each character rings true…Mantel's masterpiece, winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, 2009, entrances with a gripping immediacy that carries listeners to a cliff-hanger ending, leaving fans clamoring for a sequel. Booklist, Starred Review
  • Simon Slater's inspired narration of this year's Booker Prize novel, set in the court of Henry VIII, is on every count one of this year's outstanding audiobooks. AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner
  • One of the 2009 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction
  • A Time Magazine Top 10 Book of 2009 for Fiction
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • Winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize
  • Winner of the 2010 Walter Scott Prize
  • Shortlisted for the Golden Man Booker Prize
  • Winner of Audie Award Winner, 2010
  • Winner of National Book Critics Circle Award - Winner, 2009
  • Walter Scott Prize Winner, 2010
  • Winner of Man Booker Award - Winner, 2009
  • Nominated for Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction - Nominee, 2010
  • Winner of Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction Winner, 2010
  • Winner of National Book Critics Circle Awards - Winner, 2009

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abranch71 | 5/17/2011

    " Took me a long time to get into it. Boring at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leigh | 5/17/2011

    " good story line of the Tutor family, but tough to stick to reading the entire book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 5/15/2011

    " Loved this book. I always remember Thomas's advice to his men when preparing for meetings with the king...Arrange your face. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 5/10/2011

    " Far and away the best of the Tudor-based novels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Miranda | 5/9/2011

    " Fabulous, detailed, totally immerses you in the narrative - even if you know the history! It achieves two remarkable things - firstly, it takes the reader right into the Tudor court, and secondly, once you're there, you'll be rooting for Thomas Cromwell. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shirley | 5/9/2011

    " An intricate portrait of Thomas Cromwell and other figureheads of import during Henry VIII's reign with focus on Anne Boleyn, the Boleyn family, and surrounding other nobles. A great insight into Thomas More's true role and approach, as well as Cardinal Wolsey. "

About the Author

Hilary Mantel, New York Times bestselling author, is the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize for her bestselling novels, Wolf Hall, and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies—an unprecedented achievement. The Royal Shakespeare Company adapted Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the stage to colossal critical acclaim, and a BBC/Masterpiece six-part adaption of the novels was released in 2015.

About the Narrator

Simon Slater is an English actor and composer. His film credits include Dealers and Entrapment. His work as a theatrical actor includes a five-year run in the musical Mamma Mia! as Sam Charmichael. Slater has made guest appearances in several television series, including Heartbeat, Birds of a Feather, Doctor Who, Inspector Morse, Lovejoy, Monarch of the Glen, and Where the Heart Is.