Some popular novels published in 2012 include Hilary Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies,” Zadie Smith’s “NW,” and Dave Eggers’ “A Hologram for the King.” These well-reviewed novels range from historical fiction to modern thrillers.
“Bring Up the Bodies,” the sequel to Hilary Mantel’s popular historical novel “Wolf Hall,” continues the gripping story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Mantel offers readers a fresh take, narrating the action from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, the king’s chief minister. Filled with romance, drama and political intrigue, the novel won Mantel the prestigious Man Booker Prize.
Coming 7 years after Zadie Smith’s previous novel “On Beauty,” 2012’s “NW” takes its title from the housing project in NW London that serves as the novel’s setting. Tracing the friendship of two women, the novel is assembled as a series of fragments detailing the chaos of modern urban life. The book’s experimental form includes steam of consciousness, screenplay writing and other disparate forms of narration.
The always-current Dave Eggers trains his eye of international finance in “A Hologram for the King,” the tale of a failed IT executive trying to redeem himself with a longshot deal in Saudi Arabia. Eggers’ patent mixture of the absurd and the emotional fuels a novel that serves as both a mediation on American industry and the nature of ambition.