Excellent book. The characters were highly developed and the tight story kept my attention throughout the looooong book. I also learned a lot about cathedral architecture in the 1100's, with good and evil dueling in the background. I am looking forward to reading the author's follow-up book,World Without End.
This novel takes us back to a time when time was timeless and The Church affected and effected everyone's lives. The absolute authority of the clergy and the land lords is made real in this novel. 21st Century life looks great compared to life in the "dark ages".
It's now been two days since the story ended. I have a real sense of loss that the characters from this story are gone.
The characters in this story are expertly crafted, intelligent, beautiful and interesting. I loved some, hated others ... the ups and downs in this story stirred significant emotion.
I found there to be surprisingly little time spent on cathedral building given many of the other reviews here. The balance of story and structural discussion was masterfully crafted. The descriptions of the buildings in the story made me want to research structures from that time and put reality to the imagination.
As you can tell, I loved this story. I'm downloading the sequal right now and looking forward to another journey through Kingsbridge.
I could not stop listening to this book! I listened to it in record time because I could not wait to find out what happened next. It was very well written and very well narrated. Although I think that it probably appeals more to women than men, I enjoyed it very much. I cannot wait to read the follow on book. The only thing that I disliked in the book is that it is a little too graphic at times in its language and in its description of sex and violence.
I read The Pillars of the Earth when it was first published, and although I don't usually listen to something that I have already read, I'm glad I did. John Lee does an excellent job of making the characters come alive. At times you think there must be multiple actors reading the parts. If you like period novels, you will love this book by Ken Follett. When you finish it you will want to download Follett's follow up, World Without End. I highly recommend both of them.
Pros: good story, good narrator
Cons: Sex/Rape scenes too graphic, written with modern prose which makes me wonder about the book's historical accuracy (though I know of no examples of inaccuracy)
Very good book overall and I recommend it.
This marvel of character development, interwoven plot lines and beautiful narration is my favorite audible purchase to date. I found myself grabbing my iPod every chance I could to hear more about Philip and Tom Builder and the rest of Follett's fabulous creations.