I am astonished to hear Hilary Mantel has been nominated for another prize ("Authors Mantel and Self to do battle for South Bank arts award", The Herald, February 7).

At present I am ploughing my way through Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, which I supposed would be excellent novels given their acclaim. I am surprised to find they are full of one-dimensional characters, languid plots, sentences without verbs and trite allusions. Mantel also rides over the rules of direct and indirect speech with no real purpose. I imagined I would have at least gained something from the historical setting of the novels, but the characters seem to me to live more in our century than the 16th century. I am left wondering if these books are the triumph of the English novel in the 21st century that they are claimed to be.

Rev Paul Morton, St Bride's 21, Greenlees Road, Cambuslang.

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