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The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher [Kindle Edition]

Hilary Mantel
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'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


A brilliant – and rather transgressive – collection of short stories from the double Man Booker Prize-winning author of ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘Bring Up the Bodies’.

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 façades. Childhood cruelty is played out behind the bushes in ‘Comma’; nurses clash in ‘Harley Street’ over something more 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.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 828 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 255 Seiten
  • Verlag: Fourth Estate (25. September 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #28.877 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Mehr über den Autor

Hilary Mantel wurde 1952 in Glossop, England, geboren. Nach dem Jura-Studium in London war sie als Sozialarbeiterin tätig. Sie lebte fünf Jahre lang in Botswana und vier Jahre in Saudi-Arabien. Für den Roman >Wölfe< (DuMont 2010) wurde sie 2009 mit dem Booker-Preis, dem wichtigsten britischen Literaturpreis, ausgezeichnet. Mit >Falken<, dem zweiten Band der Tudor-Trilogie, gewann Hilary Mantel 2012 den Booker bereits zum zweiten Mal. Die deutsche Übersetzung erschien im Frühjahr 2013 im DuMont Buchverlag, wo auch ihr Roman >Brüder< (2012) erschien.

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Eindrucksvolle Sprache 17. Dezember 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Diese Kurzgeschichten verbindet nichts, sie sind Einzelstücke. Gemeinsam ist allen eine beeindruckende Sprache, sie macht es zum Erlebnis die Geschichten mitzuerleben, sich hineinzufühlen, sie zu verstehen. Es steigert die Vorfreude auf den nächsten Teil der Geschichte von Thomas Cromwell!
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.5 von 5 Sternen  103 Rezensionen
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3.0 von 5 Sternen THE ASSASSINATION OF MARGARET THATCHER is a powerful, provocative work. Nothing happens the way you expect it to. 9. Oktober 2014
Von Bookreporter - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
When you think of Hilary Mantel, you probably think of her as one of our finest writers of historical fiction. Her last two novels, WOLF HALL and BRING UP THE BODIES, chronicle the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell. (The third book of the series comes out next year.) An earlier work, A PLACE OF GREATER SAFETY, takes place during the Reign of Terror. And she has been celebrated for these works: She is one of only three authors to win the Man Booker Prize twice, the others being Peter Carey and J.M. Coetzee.

It’s unlikely, however, that you equate Mantel with genre fiction. You’d be surprised, then, upon reading THE ASSASSINATION OF MARGARET THATCHER, her first work of short fiction since 2003’s LEARNING TO TALK, to discover a ghost story and a tale about vampires. Another surprise, at least to me, is the timidity and innocence of some of the female protagonists. One suspects that Mantel’s goal was to have fun with genre conventions and shock readers accustomed to the style of her more muscular novels.

And what could be more shocking than the imagined assassination of the most polarizing British prime minister of the last half-century? Given the dancing-on-the-grave reactions to her death last year, Margaret Thatcher still provokes strong feelings. It’s no surprise that the title story, first printed in the Guardian and the New York Times, has garnered so much attention.

The action is set in 1983. Mantel describes beautifully the female narrator’s quiet neighborhood: she writes, for example, of homes that have warm scoops of terra-cotta tiling. Journalists and photographers wait for Thatcher to leave a private hospital after minor eye surgery. The narrator, meanwhile, waits for a Mr. Duggan to come fix her boiler. When the doorbell rings, a man she doesn’t recognize appears at her door. She assumes he is one of Duggan’s men and lets him in.

The man carries a large, heavy bag. She becomes suspicious and asks if he is a photographer. He doesn’t answer right away, but she later assumes the bag contains photography equipment, especially after the man tells her that the vantage from her third-floor flat will allow him to get a good shot.

The visitor is instead a member of the Irish Republican Army. When the woman realizes this, she and the intruder engage in a spirited discussion of Thatcher and everything they hate about her, from her accessories and hair to her stance on Ireland. This is the most accomplished and fully realized story in the book. There are many wonderful touches, such as the moment when the woman sees that the assassin’s hands are slippery with sweat, and she brings him a towel. Nothing happens the way you would expect it to. It’s a powerful, provocative work.

Only one other story is as good. “Sorry to Disturb” is about a woman living in Saudi Arabia in the 1960s with her geologist husband. She is lonely, frequently ill, and takes medicine that the Muslim women and company wives who share her apartment building believe to be fertility drugs. Her boredom is alleviated when a stranger named Muhammad Ijaz, a Pakistani man in the import-export business, asks to use her phone. The story is distinguished not only by the odd relationship the two develop but also by Mantel’s vivid details, such as that malls either strand or entrap visitors who are still shopping when evening prayers begin.

The other stories are sketchy rather than fleshed out. “Comma” is a creepy tale of an eight-year-old girl, her 10-year-old friend, and their fascination with the not-quite-human creature they often see outside the home of a wealthy family. “Winter Break” is the grisly story of a childless couple and the disturbing object their driver finds under the front wheels of their taxi. In “Harley Street,” a greeter at a clinic run by vampires tries to befriend a new employee who wears capes everywhere and swoons at the first sight of blood on a patient’s arm. The narrator of “Offenses Against the Person” works for her father, a senior partner at a law firm, and witnesses the repercussions of his affair with a former employee.

These lightweight stories, despite gorgeous turns of phrase, lack the emotional heft of the other two. The characters and situations aren’t as nuanced or compelling as those in the better stories, or in Mantel’s novels. Perhaps next year’s Cromwell book will be a return to form.

Reviewed by Michael Magras
39 von 47 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von the GreatReads! - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
‘The only disappointing thing I can see about this book is that the title isn't true!’ is how one reader commented about Hilary Mantel’s newest book The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. I don’t know what he is insinuating at but it pretty well sums up the general mood about this collection of short stories which is quite unlike the author’s earlier books Bringing up the Bodies, Wolf Hall, A Place of Greater Safety, Fludd and Beyond Black.

Beautifully written, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel is a collection of short stories which will be relished by many readers but loathed by some on account of its title story. Some of the stories are truly well-imagined and executed to perfection by the author. Though a collection of short stories, Hilary wordplay, humor, penetrating observations and characterization make the stories come alive through the pages of this delightful book.

I’m particularly fascinated by some of the stories, including "Sorry to Disturb" which is set in Saudi Arabia during the 1980s. It is about a Pakistani businessman Ijaz’s unwelcome visit to the married narrator's flat in Jeddah after she lets him in one day to use her phone. It is outrageously funny and a real delight to read. Then there is "How Shall I Know You?" which is about a writer travelling to a small town to attend a book club reading. The young girl who attended to her in the hotel evoked both disgust and sympathy at the same time. “The Heart Fails Without Warning” is a distressing read about a young anorexic. The title story "The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher – August 6th 1983" is about an IRA assassin whom a wealthy woman has mistaken for a plumber, and who wants to use the window of her flat to take a shot at Margaret Thatcher. Though the assassin and the woman are worlds apart, they have one thing in common – their loathing for the Iron Lady. Her loathing and hatred is boiling to such an extent that she is willing to trade places with the would-be-assassin.

Some other stories include “Comma,” “The Long QT,” “Winter Break,” “Terminus” and “Harley Street.” The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel is engaging, well-crafted and full of stories that make you think. Readers will find fun and surprises, along with some life-lessons that one can learn from some of the stories. I strongly recommend this Hilary Mantel’s newest book if you are looking for an absorbing read.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Nice, Varied Collection 7. Oktober 2014
Von Sam Sattler - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
"The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: is a nice collection of ten Hillary Mantel short stories.

Two or three of the stories provide an unexpected, last-minute punch that managed to catch me by surprise after I had been lulled into thinking that I was reading little more than a well done character study of one or two characters. But, rather surprisingly, especially considering the controversy in the U.K. about the collection's title story, "The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher," that story is not one of the best or most affecting ones in the book. It is, in fact, rather predictable and is one of my least favorites.

Hillary Mantel is not known for her short work, so most readers will be unfamiliar with her short story style, but what she shows with publication of this collection is that she should spend more time writing stories of this length. She is very good at it.
28 von 34 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "summer had bleached the adults of their purpose." 30. September 2014
Von Amelia Gremelspacher - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Each of these stories combines Mantel's trademark elegant turns of phrasing and her sly, bleak humor. Narrators regard the world with a jaundiced eye. Young or old, they have been jaded by the adults in their world whose incontinent views of right and wrong have skewed their perceptions.
Readers of "Wolf Hall" may be startled by the wry wit on display, but Mantel has written in this vein before: notably "Beyond Black".

My perverse favorite is "Comma" in which two marginally accepted children on the fringes of society watch a wealthy home for glimpses of a child with severe birth defects who appears to be a "comma". The physical metaphor is taken in a arc of brilliant writing until one of the girls come "full stop." All of these stories bear these twists, subtle and otherwise, of the observed judging those at the same margins as themselves. I would recommend this book not only to lovers of the short story, but any person fond of fine writing.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Ten out of ten... 13. Oktober 2014
Von FictionFan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Having previously only read Mantel's Booker Prize-winning historical novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, both of which I loved, I was intrigued to see how her rather slow-burning style in those books would convert to short, contemporary fiction. I'm pleased to say the answer is very well indeed - Mantel shows she is a mistress of this format just as much as the novel. Although the ten stories in this book weren't written specifically as a collection, there is a common theme that runs through them of women somewhat trapped in their lives, usually either by physical circumstances or by social constrictions; and several of the stories feel quite autobiographical in tone, giving the impression that Mantel has perhaps drawn heavily on her own experiences.

I was expecting beautiful writing and I was hoping for some moving, thought-provoking subject matter and the book has both in spades. What came as a surprise to me though was the rather wicked humour that appears in many of the stories - Mantel uses her keen observation of human nature to make us laugh out loud with the characters at some points, and at others traps us with a kind of wry cynicism into laughing at them. She brings an almost conspiratorial edge to some of the stories, where she and the reader know more than the narrator, allowing us to share a deliciously guilty feeling of superiority.

I won't go through all of the stories individually, but here are a couple that particularly stood out for me -

"Harley Street" is a story of a group of women working in a doctors' practice in Harley Street (where the posh people in the UK go to have their hypochondria pampered). Told in the first person by a narrator who thinks she understands people but really misses the big things right under her nose, this humorous story, like many of the others, has a bittersweet edge. The three women are fundamentally alone and lonely and we see the ebb and flow of their attempts to connect with each other. In the end, though, the humour wins out and I found myself chuckling merrily as Mantel and I winked knowingly at each other behind the poor narrator's back.

"How Shall I Know You?" is a brilliantly told story of a once successful author visiting literary societies in obscure places to give talks on her work. The descriptions of the shabby hotels, the aspiring writers thrusting their manuscripts at her, the questions she has answered a hundred times before, are so cringe-makingly funny they must be based on truth! But there is a much darker side to this story and in the end Mantel left this reader at least rather wishing she hadn't found quite so much to laugh at in the narrator's life. A fine example of how a couple of sentences can change the reader's perception.

Not all the stories are as quirky as these. The first one, "Sorry to Disturb", very autobiographical in feel, is a longer story of a woman living as an ex-pat in Jeddah and finding herself having to conform to the very different expectations of women in that society. Another, "The Heart Fails Without Warning", is a dark and rather disturbing story of a young girl watching her anorexic sister starve herself close to the point of death.

The final story is the one of the title, "The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher", and the only one written specifically for this collection, I believe. It seems to have raised a storm of criticism because of the subject matter and to be honest Mrs Thatcher is too recently dead for me to feel that it's in the best taste (her children are, after all, still alive). However, it's an interesting take on just how hated Mrs Thatcher was by a large minority in her day, and while personally I thought it was one of the weakest in the collection, it is still well-written and very readable.

Overall, as with any collection, some of the stories are stronger than others, and occasionally there's a twist at the end which is just a little too neat. But overall this short book is a great read. The stories are varied enough that almost everyone is bound to find something to their taste, and the quality of the writing and characterisation is so good that it outweighs any weaknesses in the plots. Dare I say it? The perfect Christmas gift...
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