this is a typical Ken Follet book which means it is very good and a fantastic compliment to pillars of the earth. loving it!
I purchased this book at the same time as "Pillars of the Earth". After listening to "Pillars" (which I did not enjoy) I should have just returned this one because it's more of the same: one or two likeable characters surrounded by some of the most despicable characters I have ever read. Time after time, the sympathetic characters are foiled/raped/tortured by their evil overlords/priors/bishops/outlaws......ad nauseum. It got really frustrating after awhile. The character development is very good and it seems the author has done a lot of research, but the story is just so _depressing_! The author has a habit of repeating the same things over and over, as if he thinks the reader has forgotten certain facts about characters or previous events. I happen to find this off-putting. It would be understandable if he wanted to reiterate something that occurred in "Pillars", but not from this book.
Both of these books contain repeated rape along with many descriptions of various female characters' breasts and nether regions, and a lot of graphic violence. If you prefer your literature to be a little more uplifting, skip it.
I like the way the narrator was able to capture each character differently with different voices.
Overall, this book was very engaging. I am really enjoying all of Ken Follett's books. There are intricate plots that are all neatly tied up together in the end. Worth the time to listen.
This is a LONG listen but in typical Follett style you go from cliffhanger to cliffhanger.I just had to hear it all at once and it was worth it.You learn a lot about the period and what shaped it.For example who would think that the Black Death was a force for freedom and liberation.I mean,what the heck,Hooray for the Bubonic Plague !! Whether intended or not the book illustrates what we all sense intuitively.That is what people know,believe and find socially acceptable may change,but people don't change.
Power,money,love,hate,goodness,evil.jealousy,envy and respect are all part of the human condition and part of us.Watching such traits develop in Follett's characters are what make him such a good story teller.
Not only is it a great story but you learn something about the period.
For those that are looking for value,this is like getting two good books for only one credit.
The only thing I'm uncertain about is whether I should have listened to half the book,taken a break to listen to something else and then finished it.
You can't go wrong either way.
At times this book was repetitive, but I really enjoyed the characters and story line. The only reason why I didn't give it 5 stars was because I could predict plot developments. Still, a really enjoyable and (at times) sultry read on the citizens of Kingsbridge.
The narrator did a great job of consistently portraying characters (and there were a lot of them). He kept me engaged the entire 45 hours.
Historical, Thrilling, Sexy
Following a family through-out their history.
When Merphin proved his design of the bridge was correct.
Probably.. because I always miss information the first time around!
He has the perfect voice for this novel!
I loved this book and love the style of writing! My only complaint is that the story is too similar (as are the characters) to Follett's first novel. I read Pillars of the Earth first and fell in love. Despite the likeness, it was very well written and narrated.
Ken Follett's world and characters are so intriguing. I found it hard to leave. I had headphones on day and night. My family thought I was crazy.The story in enrapturing on it's own, but add John Lee's clever narration, and you have genius. I wish everyone would hire him to read their stories. What a gifted performer!This book should get 7 stars.
Lady Philippa - I identified with the air of grace, duty and shrouding the heart - how that can all come off as cold, aloof and even snobby. But underneath all that really is a truly good and kind person.
Carras - I was constantly intrigued by her cleverness. I'm taking her spirit into my business.
I had listened to Pillars of the Earth before this book and really enjoyed it so I went on to this one. I loved the narrator, he is fantastic! And, although the story is well written, it was missing the one big thing that spoke to me so much in Pillars: faith. One of the Pillars' main characters (Pryor Philip) was so incredibly faithful in God. He was truly a man living his life for the Lord, and I thought it was beautiful. I wanted more of that here, but was a little disapointed.
I like the characters, the intertwining stories, and the overall feeling. The narrator is what kept me listening, I think more than anything. He is so great, I could have listened to him read pretty much anything. I was disappointed in the way that this book had so many similar stories as Pillars. Not the same plot, so much, but very similar characters and circumstances. It wasn't exactly predictable, but very familiar.
I've read many series, and I love a great one. I love it when the story continues, and a lot of time they get better and better. I think, and I feel bad saying this, I think that I would have stopped at Pillars.
It is worth the listen, just not my favorite book.
Dually addicted bookie. Read and listen to most books together. If I don't like reader of audible I dump it and move on.
If Ken Follett was a better writer and story teller.
I read the first part of this "epic" story which was ok because it was read by the GREAT John Lee...I chose not to plow through this one...Even with Lee's great rendering...it is soporific...wouldn't have cared if all the characters died of plague after the first couple of listening hours.