How to Clean the Attic in 40 Hours
If You're Not Getting Any, Here's Some
I came to Pillars directly from 2 Michael Chabon books, (Gentlemen of the Road, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), and had Chabon's high-tone and fun stories winging through my mind. His writing has made my ear overly sensitive to the dissonant clang of Follet's script-like conversations and arms length approach to emotion (16 year old girl knifes an outlaw on the road to save herself and brother. Brother later says, "you're awfully grumpy." Brilliant).
After the first of the violent rapes I figured Follet got "that" out of his system. But he never did. He rounded out the entire 40 hours with rapes and seductions of every buxom, curly haired brunette in the book. If you're a middle class white guy, you'll need a cigarette about every 2 chapters.
The story itself was good enough. The Euclidean math and mason work and a general sense of medieval England and hierarchy of the Catholic Church was worth reading through.
All the unfinished business getting wrapped up with a bow on top by the end gave a Hollywood feel to it.
In the end, it was a good distraction for cleaning out the attic but I won't be recommending it to anyone looking for a "great" read.
this book was thoroughly captivating.
however, there are definitely many "R-rated" parts.
it is unfortunate, because my 15 year old daughter is fascinated with medieval history, and this book would be a great addition to her education, but I would never let her listen to it.
there are parts whose images I still cringe at.
the author is obviously skilled at creating characters, both normal people, heroes, and villains; however, in his effort to create particularly horrid villains, he describes in graphic sexual detail what he inflicts upon his victims. It's salacious, disgusting and gratuitous. I feel that the author takes too much pleasure in the descriptions, and is my only (but large) caveat for any reader.
Five stars - An exception work of fiction. Compelling story and virtual tour of 13th century England. Follett really delivers with this masterpiece. My first review after more than 200 downloads. Don’t be put off by the length. You will be wishing it were even longer. Am ready to tackle World Without End next.
I really enjoyed listening to this book and found John Lee's performance to be engaging (as always). Great plot and i would have given it 5 stars except that there are many very explicit rape scenes in this book which were quite disturbing. The first two had a point but the rest were unnecessary in my opinion--I started to wonder if the author had a hidden facination with sexual violence because the rest of the violence in the book were not as explicit. If explicit rape scenes bother you, I wouldn't recommend this book (which is unfortunate because the rest of it is quite good).
I have over 250 audiobooks in my library. This is by far the best book to which I have listened. It has all the elements that make a book exceptional. John Lee's reading makes you feel you are right there in medieval England. The characters are so real I never wanted the story to end. How lucky I am there is a sequel.
Like a beautiful painting with flecks of vomit on it, this book is mostly enjoyable--except for a few jarring passages. The prolonged scenes of rape are awful. And the love scenes were gratuitous and self-indulgent, I thought. I kept hanging on, thinking surely the villain would meet a grisly, brutal end equal to his violent history. But it was rather brief and anticlimactic. It seemed to me the author enjoyed torturing only women--and at every opportunity, elaborating on every squeamish detail.
I have to admit that I was hesitant to buy a book that was 40 hours about monks building a cathedral in the 12th century. This book came highly recommended and that is why I bought it. I am glad that I did. It was great. It was masterfully written with great characters and a plot that always kept you guessing. The first hour or so was a bit slow, but after that I found myself sitting in the car waiting for the chapter to end before I got out.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or just a wonderfully written story. My only concern at this point is that i do not think that WWE will live up to this book.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
I totally enjoyed the narration but at 35 hours I was really wondering what anyone saw in this book. OK the last five hours was definitely the best part of the book, but was it worth over forty hours? Maybe. Not for me, maybe for others. Unfortunately I was already well informed about the daily life and architecture of this historical setting, so much of the book was less interesting to me than it might have otherwise been. If you love reading about ancient architecture and don’t know about the details of life in medieval England you might really love this story. The plot and characters (until the very end) were kind of pedestrian. The end of the book, while resolving the various conflicts, tied the characters into historical events and characters which did become interesting. I really enjoyed the end of the book, but until hour 35 I was just listening to get to the end. I kinda liked the story and kinda liked the characters and kinda liked the historical setting, but there was little really moving or really fascinating. This is also mildly R rated which might offend some..
I live in Beijing and am thoroughly addicted to Audio Books.
Someone less offened by the heavy-handed use of female characters.
Zorba the Greek
I have not listened to any, but I thought the performance was excellent. I would be happy to listen to him again.
I thought that the many rape scenes became both more gratitious and unecessary as the book progressed. It seemed the Follett came to rely on rape as a literary device whenever the plots began to dwindel. I found it dissapointing, as in many ways the book was quite interesting; however I think his havy handed use of rape to move the plot along became both offensive and tiersome--espechially in a novel centered on the building of a church.
I'm a geologist and I use Audible books to while away long hours on the road... My pickup truck is my reading room!
The concept is moralistic, the characters one dimensional, and the plot overlong though you can forsee the denoument many chapters before the end.
I have had many people recommend "Fall of Giants" to me. Apparently it is quite good; best read it first. I have been unable to bring myself to start it because I found "Pillars" so tedious.