I’ve only just started reading “Wolf Hall”, so I’m not qualified to say whether Joan Smith is right about the novels that are hoovering up Britain’s literary award. Let’s just say that she isn’t a fan:
It isn’t even as if the Cromwell novels are Mantel’s best work; she’s always had a taste for soap opera, which led her to write an interminable early novel about the French Revolution, and the faults of that book are all too evident in what will soon be her Cromwell trilogy. Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies are once again soap opera in period costume, piling up events with such speed that the overall effect is emotionally blunting. They’re like plotlines in The Archers..