60-Second Guide

How to Blag You've Read Hilary Mantel

Need to pretend you've read more (some) of Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel's work than you actually have? We're here to help with this ready-to-go guide that can be worked into any awkward conversation.

1 Mention her first book

The key to blagging in this area, is with an early mention of the author's first work.

You'd do best to find a particularly tatty version on Abebooks, so you can claim to have read it years ago.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Mantel's first book was called 'Every Day is Mother's Day'. It's about the Axon family who, to put things lightly, have a few problems. A study of suburban dysfunction.

What to say: use words like "wry", "unflinching" and "unerring" before reflecting that while "it shows raw talent, it lacks maturity".


2 Pick out her "unheralded" novel

The second, and most important key, to blagging knowledge of Mantel is to make an substantiated claim that her best book is in fact one that nobody has really heard of.

Most Popular

It's an audacious and risky move, but we recommend choosing 'The Giant, O'Brien' for this task.

Set in the 1780s, it's based on the true story of Charles O'Brien, a giant.

What to say: "It's the book that confirms Mantel's natural afiliation with historical fiction."


3 Have a view on her current book

And finally, you need to have a working knowledge of 'Bring Up The Bodies', the book that won her the Man Booker Prize.

Be sure to mention that it has "traces of 'Every Day is Mother's Day'" and "echoes the sense of time and place first established in 'The Giant, O'Brian'" before reflecting on "Its Greater Depth

Just make sure to peel off that "Winner of the 2012 Booker Prize" sticker from the cover first.

What do you think?

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
The 10 Best Quotes From The Clinton Vs Trump Presidential Debate
"A man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes"​
Francesco Totti
Why Francesco Totti Is The Last King Of Football's Golden Age
​​As the Roma legend turns 40, Finlay Renwick reflects on the the legacy of the ultimate one club footballer​​
Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt's Love Life: A Timeline
Who else had forgotten about Juliette Lewis?
Liam and Noel Gallagher
Are Oasis About To Announce A Comeback?
Insert 'Don't Look Back In Anger' pun here​
Lil Wayne
Lil' Wayne Officiated A Same-Sex Wedding While In Prison
​​As you do ​
Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce Embarrasses The FA And Himself After Being Caught In Newspaper Sting
Why, Sam? Why?​​
Matt LeBlanc in Top Gear
Matt LeBlanc Signs Up For Another Two Series Of Top Gear
How you doin'? Pretty good actually​
Now Liev Schreiber And Naomi Watts Have Split Up
Tough times in Hollywood​
Turns Out Lupita Nyong'o Is A Pretty Awesome Rapper
​​The Oscar-winning actress heralds her latest social media milestone​
Tom Hanks wedding photo bomb
Tom Hanks Photobombs A Couple's Wedding Photographs, Because Of Course He Did
Life is like a box of chocolates after all​