Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reading Wolf Hall

I am about 100 pages into Wolf Hall and I am of two minds. I had expected the usual historical fiction problem of overly ornate and archaic language that makes reading a slow process. There is none of that here. The language of the book feels quite modern, not in an anachronistic way, but in a fresh way, like Robert Fagles's translations of Homer.

What does make it hard in places is the in depth history. The book is set during the English Reformation. The main character, Thomas Cromwell, is an adviser to Thomas Wolsey, the archbishop. Both are trying to get the King what he wants, Anne Boleyn. Damn it is complicated though. So much politics and intrigue. That is what makes it slow going. I find myself worried I am missing things.

Anyway, I don't know how I feel about the book at the moment, but I am going to keep reading.

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