Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel

The sequel to Hilary Mantel’s 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn.

Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice.

At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne’s head?

AudioFile Magazine Review:
This second volume in Hilary Mantel’s planned trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, right-hand man to Henry VIII of England, is a perfect marriage of the written and spoken word. As her awards and wide readership attest, Mantel writes wonderfully. She also writes long. Thus, we hail Simon Vance, whose silken tones and expert pacing keep us engaged throughout. In this volume, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. While we all learned the outcome in high school history class, Mantel still fascinates with Cromwell’s view of the machinations of king and court. Vance enhances the story with instructive vocal portraits of key players and a listenable tempo that keeps us clear and entranced until the end. A.C.S.AW logo

About Simon

Simon is an actor who found his way into audiobook narrating as a side-gig and seems to have made a success of it. With some training as an actor as a child (just a couple of hours a week, but it stuck) and 15 years working inside the BBC (ending up as one of the presenters/newsreaders on BBC Radio 4 in London) he found the ideal combination for an audiobook narrator. Found his way to California two decades ago and never left.

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8 Responses to Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel

  1. Linda October 11, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    I absolutely loved your narration of Bring Up the Bodies. it was marvellous. I confess to finding the book difficult to read, but you brought it to life for me and as a result I can truly appreciate the author’s gifts.

    I listened to you whilst driving and found myself unable to get out of the car to go to work or shop, as I wanted to continue listening …just a little longer….

    I will be looking for more audiobooks you have narrated. Thank you!

  2. Gail August 16, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    I’ve listened to several of your audiobooks, now finishing Bringing up the Bodies. Your narration is stunning and you bring untold hours of pleasure as I navigate a long commute. Thank you!

    • Simon August 17, 2012 at 9:29 am #

      Thanks, Gail – It really helps to have a well written book as the source for the audiobook!

  3. Alma Katsu August 15, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    Dear Simon, I stumbled across your blog while engaged in a Twitter chat about your brilliant job narrating Bring Up The Bodies. I read Wolf Hall & enjoyed it thoroughly, but was really impressed by the audiobook of Bodies. I think your narration really made the book easier to follow, easier to differentiate between the many, many male characters.
    best, Alma

    • Simon August 17, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      Thanks Alma, I really enjoyed narrating this book and it’s always good to hear the results are successful.

  4. Susanne June 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    I’ve been listening to Bring Up The Bodies, and I do not want the story–and the storytelling–to end. What a performance. Brilliant. Bravo! ;}

  5. Jennifer April 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Dear Simon, OK, I’m back and I apologize if I am being annoying; however, I have a suggestion for a vlog. Can you discuss your creative process, for example, how you do all the different accents; prepare to play different characters;, or know when to be somber, happy, or angry?

    I’ve seen previous vlogs and you just seem to anticipate the storyline, characters, mood, and go with the flow. I can’t imagine that you pre-read everything. Not with the volume of work you produce.

    I come from a family of actors, singers, composers, and artists (, and when I ask them how they “create,” they answer “I just do it.”

    Wrongly assuming that I got the “creative” gene as well, I tried ballet, acting, playing musical instruments, and singing. I sounded like a frog who swallowed a sock. On top of that, I have a wattle and daub personality.

    So, the creative process is a mystery to me. If you would be so kind as to speak on this topic, it would be wonderful. Thank you very much.

  6. Jennifer April 5, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi Simon, I just finished the Guy Gavriel Kay series. Your narration was peerless.

    Also appreciate the new website; inspires me to simplify mine.

    Looking forward to Hilary Mantell’s books, which are next on my list.

    Thank you for the many wonderful hours of audiobook narration. Best to you. ~ Jennifer

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