The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher

The Assassination of Margaret ThatcherA Brilliant And Rather Transgressive Collection Of Short Stories From The Double Man Booker Prize Winning Author Of Wolf Hall And Bring Up The Bodies.Including A New Story The School Of English.Hilary Mantel Is One Of Britain S Most Accomplished And Acclaimed Writers In These Ten Bracingly Subversive Tales, All Her Gifts Of Characterisation And Observation Are Fully Engaged, Summoning Forth The Horrors So Often Concealed Behind Everyday Fa Ades Childhood Cruelty Is Played Out Behind The Bushes In Comma Nurses Clash In Harley Street Over Something Than Professional Differences And In The Title Story, Staying In For The Plumber Turns Into An Ambiguous And Potentially Deadly Waiting Game.Whether Set In A Claustrophobic Saudi Arabian Flat Or On A Precarious Mountain Road In Greece, These Stories Share An Insight Into The Darkest Recesses Of The Spirit Displaying All Of Mantel S Unmistakable Style And Wit, They Reveal A Great Writer At The Peak Of Her Powers. Oh, what a nice surprise I didn t expect her to be funny Sly wit and careful attention, I must read . She lives on the fumes of whiskey and the iron in the blood of her prey The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, MantelSeriously, anytime I fantasize about writing a book I read a Hilary Mantel novel and become discouraged Reading Mantel is like watching Michael Jordan play basketball or Federer play tennis or back in the day watching Tiger Woods play golf Unless you are born blind or stupid you realize that these people just don t exist on the same field or plane as the rest of humanity No matter how many swings, shots, or hits I practiced, I could never play at the level of those masters No matter how many books I read or words I write, my brain recognizes that Mantel s skill with a sentence is almost superhuman She is elegant and strong She doesn t waste a word Her prose seems to float with a bold efficiency and beauty that is hard to balance It is like watching a ballerina kick Mike Tyson s ass And I ha
In those days, the doorbell didn t ring often, and if it did I would draw back into the body of the house Only at a persistent ring would I creep over the carpets, and make my way to the front door with its spy hole We were big on bolts and shutters, deadlocks and mortises, safety chains and windows that were high and barred Through the spy hole I saw a distraught man in a crumpled silver grey suit thirties, Asian He had dropped back from the door, and was looking about him, at the closed and locked door opposite, and up the dusty marble stairs He patted his pockets, took out a balled up handkerchief, and rubbed it across his face He looked so fraught that his sweat could have been tears I opened the door.A dark combination of delicious, gloomy short stories by Hilary Mantel All stories feature women in the main role and these are not happy stories Every story immediately plunges into a rather disturbing gloomy, sad or weird, uncertain situation, unclear how it is going to end Easy to read, most stories fascinating Really enjoyed this one The stories were already published
I read this for a mixture of rather weak reasons 1 I was out for the day and unexpectedly finished the book I had with me, so went to a second hand charity bookshop.2 I didn t want to start a novel, as I had a meaty one waiting at home short stories seemed ideal.3 I relished the shock of my mother when I told her what I was reading.It was a reasonably varied and diverting collection, but I won t be rushing to read another Mantel A couple have dashes of magical realism, and there s a nod to the vogue for vampires A couple would be exciting and rewarding with titles that weren t spoilers.UNSAVOURYAlthough I don t share my mother s visceral horror at the title of the collection, the overwhelming feeling was one of unpleasantness In particular, there were many snide asides about class and race In some cases, they were perhaps appropriate for the time, place and characters who uttered them, but that doesn t apply to How Shall I Know You Overall, for stories published in 2014, I was left with a nasty taste in my mouth.SHATTERED AND UNS
The title alone should be enough to give a reader pause not to mention the cover of a headless woman holding a dead rose, an indication that we haven t hopped on the Love Train Hilary Mantel s collection of ten taut and acerbic tales wouldn t be out of place on a dark and stormy night, or at a slumber party where someone holds a flashlight under their chin, illuminating the bones and hollows of their skeleton like a specter of death.These aren t scary stories, but they are haunting, the stuff adult nightmares are made of They are about depression and loneliness, occasionally tinged with eerie humor that adds a shimmer of the surreal, like a dream you know is a dream, but you can t quite wake from until it finishes somewhat horribly The first, Sorry to Disturb looks through the keyhole of a door into a domestic trap A British woman, living on a foreign workers compound in Saudi Arabia while her husband suffers through his work assignment, is befriended by a Pakistani man She dreads his visits, but can t stop herself from opening the door when he stops by Everything about her life, from the heat to the strictures of a repressive culture, from the wife s loneliness to her husband s silence, is claustrophobic and depressing And the story is so stunningly good, I tremble Don t we all have at least one dark memory from childhood, of doing something wicked out of spite or curiosity or that simple meanness that comes from thinking the world revolves around us Isn t
If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Reality behind the surface Literature The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary MantelThis is my first Mantel I ve been postponing reading the first two volumes of the Cromwell trilogy, waiting for the third volume to come out predictably in 2016 One does not tackle a twice awarded writer with the Man Booker Prize without having everything in one big bundle to make a proper assessmentNevertheless here goes my first take on Hilary Mantel, for what it s worth.One of my favourite things in life is reading that truly astounding book at the right juncture in time, ie, a book that mysteriously echoes and enriches my current thoughts I think this was one of those imperfect perfect books There is a peculiar comfort in reading a book whose structures and operations mimic what, I t
Mantel, eerily observant and wickedly funny, is a strange combination of self conscious fear and lashing wit Faced with her precision, I am reduced to the inarticulate a laugh, a sigh, a whispered outbreath, G ol.Sometimes she uses just a word, an adjective or a verb, that brings a smile, a wince, a world to life At six, the steeple headed Saleem had lost his baby fat, and his movements were tentative, as if his limbs were snappable The story How Shall I Know You speaks directly to my fears An author is persuaded to speak to a book group outside of London and it is a loathsome destination her lodging was not precisely as the photograph had suggested Set back from the road, it seemed to grow out of a parking lot, a jumble of vehicles double parked and crowding to the edge of the sidewalk The smell of the place had a travelers stench tar of ten thousand cigarettes, fat of ten thousand breakfasts, the leaking metal seep of a thousand saving cuts recalling her struggle with a biography about a man who accidentally cut his throat while shaving The author recalls an earlier, pres
This started out as a 4 , or perhaps even 5 star book, but dwindled down to three stars in the end.I love Hilary Mantel s writing I found her rather confusing in Wolf Hall, even though the power of narrative could not be denied by the time I read Bring Up the Bodies, I had got attuned to her peculiar way of writing and was enjoying the style Mantel uses the English language in surprising ways and her sentences sometimes move in mysterious ways, though always grammatically correct Similes and idioms jump out of the pages when least expected and surprise and sometimes startle you This collection is also no exception.These stories are, for the most part, dark and dismal and attempt to portray the seething underbelly of modern society It lifts up the polished stone of our civilised world and reveals the worms and bugs crawling beneath It may put one off if one prefers pleasanter literary fare however, being the twisted freak that I am, thematically these were right up my street What let me down was mainly the sameness It could all be the same story humanity is a mess Yes, we know it, now let s move on The title story was easily the weakest for me I am no fan of Margaret
Hilary Mantel had written many books, among them two long historical novels which both have won the Booker Prize Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies making her one of the few authors to win the Booker twice, and the only woman to do so I can t speak about them as I haven t read them yet , but when I saw this collection I thought that it was finally time to get acquainted The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher is Hilary Mantel s second collection of short stories in total and first in eleven years Most of these stories have been published before in various places the eponymous one being the most recent Though they all have female protagonists, the stories themselves vary greatly in theme and setting The opening Sorry to Disturb which is set in Saudi Arabia, and focuses on a female foreign narrator who tries to shun a persistent local man as she feels and encircled by him, The Heart Fails Without Warningis the story of a continuous decline of a young anorectic, as observed by her rude and unsympathetic sister How Shall I Know You is about a slightly neurotic English writer travelling across the country to a small town where she is to give a reading, and the young woman that she meets at a local hotel.The titular story obviously attrac
I m not sureI m not sure if a collection of short stories should be quite so dissimilar.I m not sure if, when you give hobgoblins, zombies and vampires a role, whether you can cast them alongside an ornery tale of marital infidelity, does that matter I m not sure if the brilliance of the title story only serves to point out the facile, if disturbing twist in Winter Break I m not sure about a story that has the narrator see her dead father on a train, and believe it really was her dead father pulling out of Clapham Junction, bound for Waterloo.I m not sure about the irony of fate in The Long QT Isn t that a bit too easy An undiagnosed heart condition I m not sure if sometimes I felt that Ms Mantel was being a little self indulgent But don t question me about that, because I m not even sure wh