Home » All Book Reviews » The giant, O’Brien

The giant, O’Brien
Hilary Mantel

Giant O'Brien B PB.inddOnly one of the best known and most acclaimed authors in the UK and yet ripped limb from limb in our reactions to this book, which were many and various:

Appalling stereotyping of the Irish members of the cast, who could not be distinguished, the one from the other;

Complete disregard for the truth, despite basing the story on facts and real people – Spin Dr Hunter, Spin; I can smell the earth of your grave a-burning… as Hilary might have put it;

Denseness of the language, which although undoubtedly accomplished, made it hard to wade through – more like reading Beowulf than anything else;

All in all, as someone was wise enough to encapsulate it, a book that works as a treatise on storytelling and the versatility of language, but absolutely fails as a novel, no one giving a hoot about any of the characters apart perhaps from The Bitch, who had a terrible time – and yet even she, an illiterate peasant from Ireland who’d been a destitute prostitute from her youth onwards, manages to come out with a heartrending soliloquy about human nature and how fate is fate.

Oh dear.

Publication Information

Publisher: Fourth Estate
ISBN: 9781857028867

<< Back to Book Reviews