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 become.
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.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
There’s a crisp no-nonsense tone to this collection of contemporary short stories by the woman many regard as the Queen of Historical Fiction.
Here Mantel proves she can shift from the world of royal ermine and Tudor palace intrigue to that of a twentieth century London sniper co-opting a window to take aim, an expat wife surprised by a visitor in a Saudi apartment block and a child remembering her first sighting of a not-quite-normal-looking baby.
Her writing is full of memorable descriptive observations: a girl with her hair tied in a ribbon slipped sideways so that ‘her head looked like a badly tied parcel’.
Mantel deploys her prose with steely precision and briskness, like a very efficient matron. You are never left in any doubt as to who is the boss here and it is a wonderful experience to surrender control to her formidable talents.
`An exhilarating, if dark, collection ... `The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher' is a small triumph: a lesson in artfully controlled savagery' Sunday Times
`Remarkably good: taut, engaging and shocking ... acutely observed' Evening Standard
`I would recommend the brilliantly chilling ...The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher over most other long or short works this year.' Telegraph, Books of the Year
`What a fabulously nasty concoction Hilary Mantel has served up ... It's a fugu fish of a book; parts of which will leave you dizzily elated, while other parts may make you very ill indeed ... The venom is distilled, bottled and dripped like slowly staining bitters into the cocktail of the entertainment ... That title story, wickedly good, is alone worth the price of admission to the book' Simon Schama, Financial Times
`The best stories in the collection ... combine sharp observation and sly wit with a subtle burrowing into the recesses of her protagonists' heads. The darker stories recall both the metaphysical speculations of Jorge Luis Borges and the trickery of Roald Dahl' Mail on Sunday
`Infused with Mantel's almost lush evocations of isolation and distress ... All in all, these are alluring portraits of interior disquiet' Observer
`No one else quite sounds like Mantel in this vein, although a top-level summit of Muriel Spark and Alan Bennett might conceivably come close. Mantel takes absolutely nothing on trust. Bodies can, and will, malfunction; ditto minds, and marriages. Malice, power or simple chance may always undermine the ground beneath your feet' Independent
`These are the sticky slices of suburban noir that Mantel served up so well in her pre-Wolf Hall output and they never fail to deliver' The Times
`Much of Mantel's glorious power comes from her unsentimental, forensic gaze and willingness to describe the uncomfortable ... Mantel's brutally dissecting eye is much in evidence here ... Her prose is sublime ... the glittering details exquisite' Independent on Sunday