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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Assassination Of Margaret Thatcher

Yay! A new book by Hilary Mantel! And a good one it is. Each of the ten short stories in this collection is a little jewel, as we would expect from an author who has won the Man Booker Prize twice. Most of the stories are about unhappy, isolated women: the lonely, ill woman in her apartment in Saudi Arabia, the author on a depressing book tour, the anorexic girl who could no longer trust her food, the disturbed, deprived girl who torments a disabled child, the woman whose apartment is chosen as the perch for an IRA sniper who intends to assassinate former PM Margaret Thatcher. All these women are outwardly passive but inwardly seething and we wait on tenterhooks for the moment when the membrane between interior and exterior breaks down.

The title story was received with immediate outrage by British Conservatives who accused Mantel of advocating assassination of political figures who evoke negative public opinion. But it is just a what if? fantasy, no reason to get knickers in a twist.

I'm not sure if these stories appeal specifically to women of a certain age but I devoured them and wanted more. I highly recommend this book.

UPDATE: Here is a clip from the audiobook that the publisher sent to me. It's the title story read by Jane Carr. Give it a listen.

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