E può piacere solo agli amanti della storia, perché la parte romanzata è meno del 10 % del volume.
Le mie 5 stelle sono dovute alla mia assoluta passione per i libri di storia. Infatti ci sono alcune considerazioni negative, delle quali non ho tenuto conto nel dare il mio voto.
I personaggi politici sono una cinquantina, ai quali occorre aggiungere una trentina fra parenti ed amici. Nel libro sono prevalentemente chiamati per nome e non per cognome, e questo induce ad una fatica mnemonica disturbante, parzialmente alleviata dall'elenco dei personaggi all'inizio del volume. Le idee politiche di ciascuno si devono capire dai dialoghi o dalle allusioni, motteggi, insinuazioni e battute. Se non avessi avuto a dritta il libro ed a manca il fido Wikipedia non ne sarei uscito vivo. Tutti i personaggi nominati nel libro sono esistiti e non di fantasia.
Non vedo l'ora di iniziare il terzo volume.
P.S. Il libro è stato scritto 32 anni fa, opera prima della scrittrice. Anna Bolena, scritta pochi anni fa è letterariamente superiore.
After reading Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies - both beautiful novels - I must say that this was quite disappointing. I tried and tried but just couldn't follow the stories of the three main characters. So I decided to give up. Perhaps I'll try again at some point :(...Continua
I know that opinions are split on this book,which tells the story of the French Revolution of 1789, and I respect the views of readers and French revolution experts who criticise it, but as an avid reader for twenty five years I have to say that when I read it last year it made a profound and indelible impression on me. With its depth of research, characterization and its wry, piquancy of tone, it is, for me unbeatable. It has to come with a health warning though. It sucks you in, makes you love the main protagonists, Danton, Camille Desmoulins and Robespierre and then true to life kills them [although Max Robespierre has to wait till after the book closes.] Mantel accompanies them to the foot of the scaffold as Danton, last to be killed, covered in the blood of his dearest friends, tells the executioner 'Show my head to the people, it's well worth a look'.
The least known of the three is Camille Desmoulins and through meticulous research and her almost supernatural intuition Mantel brings him to life so vividly he is hard to forget. The story of Camille and Lucile has to be the saddest and most romantic of the revolution.
As you can see I am not quite rational where this book is concerned. I found it by accident when I had just finished Wolf Hall and was worried that I would be too upset to see Thomas Cromwell executed in the sequel. I knew the fate of the Dantonists and thought I would acclimatise myself by reading this first. Halfway through I would have willingly consigned any number of Tudor politicians and royals to the scaffold if only I could have saved the Dantonists - sadly the end is always the same.
If you want to begin to understand how revolution happens, how individuals get to manipulate the mob, how rioters can be triggered to bring down a government or a monarch, this well researched and beautifully written fictionalised account of the French revolution is a good place to start....Continua
I was absorbed by this novel right from the first page. The episode of the Revolution is a confusing period in French history by any standard, and difficult to get to grips with, as it covers a considerable number of years. Hilary Mantel introduces the reader to the unfolding of this dramatic, bloody, and seemingly senseless epoch in French history slowly and gradually. The story starts in 1763 - well before there is any hint of revolution - and we meet some of the characters who will eventually play a major part in the drama of death and destruction. French society, slowly but surely, undergoes an upheaval not experienced before. All are affected - the poor, the religious elite, the aristocrats, and the monarchy. Mantel engages our minds and hearts as she describes in wonderful detail the initial plans of the early revolutionists, and how it all goes so very wrong!
The major problem in the French Revolution, and seems to be the case with all revolutions, turned out to be the revolutionists themselves. They were not perfect - how clearly Mantel exhibits her characters initial dreams and aspirations - and distinctly it was their imperfections that eventually ruined their cause. It is so irritating, heart-breaking, even, (one wants to shout out - to intervene) to see the total lunacy of some of the leading revolutionaries ordering the death of their erstwhile comrades. Mantel deftly sketches the picture for us as with bated breath we wait for the picture to be completed; then, when it is finished, we wish it could be scrapped and started again. The final chapter Conditional Absolution (1794) is for me the most exciting.
A wonderful read! I found it difficult to put it down!...Continua