I first read this book several years and could hardly put it down. The audiobook version, is just as interesting. I loved the history.
Growing up in England, surrounded by amazing literature, I was devastated when my eyesight made reading difficult. Audible is truly a gift.
Ken Follet is a genius as a story teller. You care about the characters, you hate some, love some, and see human nature at its finest and lowest. It is amazing to see how no matter what, human nature stays the same. The CEO's of large corporations, Drug Lords, and those trying to reach the top, are the Popes, Kings and Knights of yesteryear.
I spent hours (days!) immersed in this gorgeous book. The characters were very well developed (thank you Ken Follett!) and the plot kept my husband (Mr. Plot-driven reader) intrigued when he read it. John Lee did an excellent job of narration. This book deserves a solid 5 star rating.
This was to much of a potboiler for me. Even though the period in question was turbulent, that much adventure just didn't happen in one place. The author does a good job of writing historical fiction but the story is a patchwork of characters that he found in that history - they don't really fit together that well. But when you try to write an epic there are risks - a Gone with the Wind, this is not.
Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
You learn a lot of things in this book as you are carried along by the lives of the characters for a span of 50 years or so. It is hard to believe that that much time has passed because the story is so fluid. In my opinion, the explicit details of the rape scenes and love scenes could have been left out without sacrificing the quality. Lots of nail biting and waiting in this story, but it all works itself out in the end.
This book was disappointing ultimately. I had read so many glowing reviews from friends that I guess I went in expecting more than I got. There are aspects of it that I love, aspects that I hate, and overall it leaves me with a sad, frustrated disappointment that a good story and cast of characters was so terribly written (actually I think it was an editing problem). That said, John Lee is an excellent narrator and I enjoyed listening to him read to me for the weeks it took me to finish this too long novel.
It started out badly, when it turns out the first part was actually the fourth part. I don't know if that was my mistake or what, but when I got to the fourth part I quickly realized that I had already listened to it all. And then my confusion at the weird transition from part one to part two made more sense. That was not the first clue that there were problems with this book, although that I managed to keep up with the story even having missed 9 hours of listening and out of sequence is telling.
My main issue with the book is the tedious retelling of events. I believe that if the recapping that was so plentiful had been edited out, the book would have been much, much better and half as long. It was annoying to be retold events that I had already read and had recapped several other times.
On the positive side, I did enjoy the overall story. I really came to love Prior Phillip, especially.
There's no way to give a 1/2 star on this site, but my actual rating is more like 2.5 stars.
Do I recommend the novel? I can't, sad to say.
this is totally not the kind of book i read. I like romantic books. A lady in town who knows i like to read gave me this book and said it is a "must read" no matter what kind of book you normally like. So i started it.... I have 4 boys and not a lot of time to read, needless to say 2 days later and hours of lost sleep i finished it. I have NEVER been so enthralled and taken in by a story. I have since seen the 8 part mini series, and it is great movie wise (they had to change it a bit right?) but anyone who has read a book and seen the movie will understand when i say YOU MUST READ IT, to do it justice. Let me just say that if you are even going so far as to check reviews get this book, you need it already. The narrator is great too. I read it myself first and then got this version and i was equally happy. Please read this book either yourself for through audible, you will not regret it!!!!!!!!
I fell in love with this story. I bought the book for my brother and downloaded the audible for my mother. This is probably one of the best books I have ever read.
I am not one to write reviews but this has been one of my favorite audiobooks. From beginning to end it was captivating. I would suggest to anyone and everyone, don't pass up this audiobook!