This is an unbelievably well written and read book. I "read" while working and I lost countless hours of productivity because of the intriguing story. I would skip the foreword at the begining because I almost stopped listening after going through that. If I had I would have seriously missed a jem. Masterpiece.. not hardly but very very very good, possibly great, but masterpiece I hope not I want to read more and most writers works slide downhill after they have written their "masterpiece"
An awesome 'listen'. I had trouble turning it off. Great character development and description. I could visualize the scenes. I would definitely listen/read more of this authors books.
When Ken announces he does not believe in God in the introduction, I immediately was skeptical and started kicking myself for purchasing a 40 hour book about the building of a cathedral written by either an agnostic or atheist. I plowed on determined to not let that ruin the book that so many had recommended. This book is riveting the whole way through. And while the theology is not necessarily correct, it is not because of the authors beliefs, but rather the accurate description of religious thought in the 12th century. The book was riveting and the narrator did as good a job as any in giving the characters life and personality. I would highly recommend this audiobook.
I've been an Audible customer for many years and this gem is among a very small handful of books I consider the best. They just don't get much better than this one. Follett absolutely drew me in with his characters, sense of place and story. I enjoyed every single minute of this book and was disappointed when it finally ended. I have started his next book, World Without End. So far, another great read. Enjoy!
No one developes charecters like Follett. This is a true masterpiece. I wish the book would go on forever, I love it that much. The historical aspects are so fascinating. What book will I listen to next? Everything else seems to pale in comparison. This has been my favorite book since I first read it 10 years ago.
Wow! This was amazingly good. Normally, I listen as I do jobs around the house or in the car but with this book, I couldn't stop listening. It was so good I couldn't wait to get his next book "World without end" and have already finished that one. I have no idea what to listen to next. I couldn't wait to finish these books but now that they are over, I'm sad.
and a penny for your thoughts
Get the Abridged version. Someone should have done another edit. The minute details and descriptions of architecture work well enough but the long, detailed, graphic and repetitive descriptions of brutality, sex and rape are unnecessary and sensationalistic. The reader's sing song style of reading makes these seem longer.
I rarely prefer ABRIDGED versions but after listening to both, I highly recommend the ABRIDGED version of Pillars.
With his heart in his mouth, the reader returned once again to John Lee's reading of The Pillars of the Earth.
William Hamley was raping a woman again. This Hamley was a curious fellow: He and the Bishop of Kingsbridge represented a duo of villains nearly as poorly-realized as Prince Lotor and Haggar the Witch, providing hideous rape scenes instead of Robeasts. It was a shame that this particular book placed such heavy focus on them, and on Hamley in particular, as his chapters were the least interesting and most predictable in the book-- perhaps in any book.
Despite this, the reader found himself greatly enjoying this audiobook. The narrator, John Lee, had made the experience of listening to this novel absolutely transcendent through consistently animated narration and effective character portrayals. His voice had presence and life, in comparison to which other narrators could only be diminished.
By day's end, the book was complete. Despite previous irritations with the frequent rape scenes, the reader had to admit that because of the many other fascinating characters in The Pillars of the Earth, the experience with this novel had been immensely enjoyable. This was a testament to John Lee as a narrator as much as it was to Ken Follett as a writer; but whatever the reason, it was clear that this had been an experience that was easy to recommend.
Also recommended is spinach salad with grilled salmon. Couple it with a balsamic vinaigrette for maximum delight.
elephant in the room? This book has a lot of rape, and detailed depictions of it. This would have been a 5 star book without it. there no way to get around it. it made listening to this book an extremely difficult chore at times.
otherwise, it was a good story and well told. the narrator was very good.