I can confirm that I am rather shallow. Once again I am unable to enjoy a Booker winner.
I was so excited when this won as I love the Tudor period, and Cromwell is such a complex and interesting figure at that time.
I found this though, very hard going, yes Hilary writes well, but it is very dense, the minutiae became tedious, and too objective. I found her dialogue very confusing as she always used "he said" and I would read a page and then realise I had no idea which 'he' and then had to re-read it again.
I also had hoped to gain some insight into Cromwell's character, this is fiction after all, but we the readers were so distanced from him, we gained nothing, in fact he came over as rather boring, why did he behave the way he did? Who was he? I do not want to guess, I like to be led by the author, to engage in the characters. With a total lack of investment in these characters, I am afraid I gave up about two thirds through, read the end and left.
At least with The Tudors on TV you have something to discuss, debate, despair and ultimately engage with no matter what you think, this book left me cold.