Listen to a sample from the Audiobook:
APRIL 25TH 1982, DOWNING STREET:
Announcement of the recapture of South Georgia, in the Falkland Islands.
Mrs. Thatcher: Ladies and gentlemen, the Secretary of State for Defense has just come over to give me some very good news . . .
Secretary of State: The message we have got is that British troops landed on South Georgia this afternoon, shortly after 4 p.m. London time . . . The commander of the operation has sent the following message: “Be pleased to inform Her Majesty that the White Ensign flies alongside the Union Jack in South Georgia. God save the Queen.”
Mrs. Thatcher: Just rejoice at that news and congratulate our forces and the marines. Goodnight, gentlemen.
Mrs. Thatcher turns toward the door of No. 10 Downing Street.
Reporter: Are we going to declare war on Argentina, Mrs. Thatcher?
Mrs. Thatcher (pausing on her doorstep): Rejoice.
Hilary Mantel is the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize for her best-selling novels, Wolf Hall, and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies—an unprecedented achievement. The Royal Shakespeare Company recently 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 will broadcast in 2015.
The author of fourteen books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Beyond Black, and the memoir Giving up the Ghost, she is currently at work on the third installment of the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy.
“Mantel’s stories have their own special tang and quidditas. Mantel is such a funny and intelligent and generously untethered writer that part of what one’s praise must mean is that if you’re intelligent and quirky enough to take the book up at all…she’s got quirks enough of her own to match you, if not raise you 10.”
—New York Times Book Review
“A new Hilary Mantel book is an Event with a capital 'E'.... Heads always tend to roll — figuratively and otherwise — in Mantel's writing. Hers is a brusque and brutal world leavened with humor — humor that's available in one shade only: black.... makes a permanent dent in a reader's consciousness because of Mantel's striking language and plots twists, as well as the Twilight Zone-type mood she summons up...breathtaking.”
—Maureen Corrigan, NPR
“[Mantel's] writing is cinematically exquisite… you can't help but get sucked in.”
—The Chicago Tribune
“Hilary Mantel has escaped from King Henry VIII’s court.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] barnburner of a title story...It’s not the plot that matters as much as the superb little touches with which Ms. Mantel punctuates it.”
—The New York Times
“A book of her short stories is like a little sweet treat.... Some of the stories are so brief and twisted…they have a hint of the cruelty of Roald Dahl’s short stories (the ones that were definitely for grown-ups).... Mantel’s narrators never tell everything they know, and that’s why they’re worth listening to, carefully.”
“[Mantel] evokes a shadowy region where boundaries blur and what might have happened has equal weight with what actually occurred.... Despite the plethora of sharply observed social detail, her short stories always recognize other potential realities.... Even the most straightforward of Mantel’s tales retain a faintly otherworldly air.”
“Mantel is not just a novelist, however, but a great political novelist at the top of her game.”
—The Seattle Times
“Here are stories in which horror shudders between the high gothic of Grimm and the menacing quotidian. Oppression comes from air conditioners that ‘labor and hack’ and from ‘the smell of drains.’ Cruelty is made manifest by a wayward young girl who finds an even more outcast target in the form of a severely deformed child…. These are Ms. Mantel’s signature strokes – freaks made human and humans made freakish, and always with the expiation of a dark and judgmental humor.”
“Best known for historical novels such as Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring up the Bodies (2012), Mantel proves herself a skilled practitioner of short fiction as well…. ‘What would Anita Brookner do?’ asks one of Mantel’s protagonists. The answer, we’d like to think, is this: She’d read Mantel’s latest, and she’d delight in it.”
“The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher delivers on its promises: the promise built by Mantel's reputation as one of the unquestionably great contemporary writers, the promise made by its shocking title, and the promise inherent in the genre of short stories...Mantel pokes and prods and scratches at our tiny collective wounds, opening them into something much bigger. Readers may find the stories uncomfortable, but also hard to put down.”
“Here is the Mantel of her earlier, darker kitchen-sink novels: harsh and comic, even derisive.”
—Los Angeles Times
“The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, untied from the historical record, she gives her characters freer rein to rattle their chains, and the results...are satisfyingly chilling.”
—The Daily Beast
“With ten stories unique, strange and tantalizing, Mantel shares her views poetically, harshly and with great love. A have to read.”
A New Yorker "Books to Watch Out For" September selection
People "Best Books of the Fall" pick
One of USA Today’s "30 Cool Books for Fall"
Selected for Vogue’s "Fall Books Guide: 10 Literary Things We’re Looking Forward To"
One of Flavorwire’s "Must Read Books for the Fall"
"Top 10 Literary Fiction" and "The Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2014" by Publisher’s Weekly
“One of the greatest achievements of modern literature.”
—Man Booker Committee
“Alive, silvery, alert, rapid with insight.”
—The New Yorker
“Astringent and purifying, stripping away the cobwebs and varnish of history”
—The New York Times Book Review
—The New York Times
“Reaffirms Mantel’s reputation as one of England’s greatest living novelists.”