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The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher:…
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The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories (2014)

by Hilary Mantel

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6615721,916 (3.63)107
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» See also 107 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Sorry To Disturb: ****
Comma: ***
The Long QT: *
Winter Break: *** Expected/unexpected ending, but I felt that couple should just not be together.
Harley Street: **
Offences Against the Person: ***
How Shall I Know You: ***
The Heart Fails Without Warning: *****
Terminus: **
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: *****

Short stories- a few gems, but most were inconsequential (nothing happens, or something does happen, but there's no pay-off as the story ends and everything else is left up to the reader). ( )
  SmangosBubbles | Jan 12, 2019 |
It pains me to give Hilary Mantel two stars, but this book just did not do it for me. Most of these stories felt like dashed-off, lightly edited writing exercises. There was one real standout -- The Heart Fails Without Warning, about a teenage girl with anorexia -- but nothing else moved me. And the title piece mostly seemed mean to me. I felt like the main goal of this collection was to remind readers of Mantel's existence while she works on The Mirror and The Light.

I've loved everything else I've read by Mantel, so this was a huge disappointment. (But I'm still eagerly awaiting The Mirror and the Light.) If you want an introduction to Mantel and you're intimidated by Wolf Hall, steer away from this one -- pick up [b:Beyond Black|101923|Beyond Black|Hilary Mantel|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328006689s/101923.jpg|1707047] instead. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Sorry To Disturb: **** Reminded me a lot of one of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads - Bed among the lentils. Felt like a real experience of a real woman and a glimpse of another world. Tells so much by what is left out.
Comma: *** and a half. Pretty disturbing.
The Long QT: **
Winter Break: ***
Harley Street: ** Didn't work for me.
Offences Against the Person: ***
How Shall I Know You: ***
The Heart Fails Without Warning: **** Very sad.
Terminus: ***
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: ***** Brilliant short story. Every page twisting away from expectations and stereotypes, but every word persuading us as soon as it happens.

I started slowly but then read most of the stories end to end - and they came across as pretty disturbing. Shall re-read a few. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | May 27, 2018 |
I was sincerely creeped out by "The heart fails without warning." That particular story will stick with me for a long time. Sad stories involving sisters usually does that to me. I'm not a huge short story reader or fan, so it says a lot that I enjoyed this one so much. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
Short stories, realistic fiction. ( )
  lilibrarian | Feb 8, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
This new book is less explicitly semi-autobiographical and more stylistically daring than her earlier collection of stories. Many of these stories are told by characters musing about the ruptures in their own past — unsettling turns, betrayals and losses — ranging from the dislocations of the expat life or of grave illness to discoveries of adultery (leading to memorable incidents with broken glass and then to broken families) to unexpected acts of kindness that diminish or shame the recipient. And, as so often in Mantel, the dead have unreasonable demands, except when, saddest of all, they want nothing to do with the living.
 
Most of these stories have murky endings that leave readers scratching their heads. What's clear, though, is that the writing is cinematically exquisite. You may not like the disturbing images Mantel's popping into your head, but, like the woman who helps Thatcher's would-be assassin, you can't help but get sucked in. Mantel seems to know the darkness within us all too well, and readers will find her aim is true.
 
Neither “Wolf Hall” nor “Bring Up the Bodies” is the Hilary Mantel book most relevant to “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher,” her new volume of short stories. Instead, the germane book is her 2003 memoir, “Giving Up the Ghost.” That book describes a woman who is passive, illness-plagued and spooked. The narrators of these stories are much more like Ms. Mantel’s description of herself than like the ironclad Machiavellians who dominate her Thomas Cromwell trilogy-in-progress.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hilary Mantelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carr, JaneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willems, IneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"From one of Britain's most accomplished, acclaimed, and garlanded writers, Hilary Mantel delivers a brilliant collection of contemporary short stories that demonstrate what modern England has becomeIn The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, Hilary Mantel's trademark gifts of penetrating characterization, unsparing eye, and rascally intelligence are once again fully on display.Her classic wicked humor in each story--which range from a ghost story to a vampire story to near-memoir to mini-sagas of family and social fracture--brilliantly unsettles the reader in that unmistakably Mantel way. Mantel brutally and acutely writes about gender, marriage, class, family, and sex, cutting to the core of human experience. Unpredictable, diverse, and even shockingly unexpected, each story grabs you by the throat within a couple of sentences. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher displays a magnificent writer at the peak of her powers. "-- "In The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, Hilary Mantel's trademark gifts of penetrating characterization, unsparing eye, and rascally intelligence are once again fully on display. Her classic wicked humor in each story--which range from a ghost story to a vampire story to near-memoir to mini-sagas of family and social fracture--brilliantly unsettles the reader in that unmistakably Mantel way. Mantel brutally and acutely writes about gender, marriage, class, family, and sex, cutting to the core of human experience. Unpredictable, diverse, and even shockingly unexpected, each story grabs you by the throat within a couple of sentences. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher displays a magnificent writer at the peak of her powers"--… (more)

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