I downloaded this book based on a review by another person who said something about how they couldn't believe a book about a monk trying to build a cathedral could be so interesting. Well they were right!
I just skimmed over some of the reviews here after reading the book and I can't believe some of these people and I read the same book! I personally was never bored with any of the parts. Many times I sat in my car once I got to work, just to hear out the rest of the chapter. Ken Follet is a brilliant writer and really drew me into his characters. I even felt true hatred towards the villains - I would come in from my hour drive home work ranting to my husband how much I hated so and so.
Some reviews here talk about the book being vulgar, that is not true. There are some sexual encounters in this book (some the good kind and others terrible), but they add to the storyline. I personally felt it brought more realism to book, but did not feel like the author overdid the frequency of encounters like some other books do.
I'm traveling to England this month for the first time and thanks to this book I've altered my itinerary in order to visit some cathedrals. I want to marvel at the architecture and imagine the trials and tribulations the builders went through.
I love historical fiction and enjoyed how the author brought in real events (that I could look up) and gave the ordinary people of that time a voice. I could imagine how hard life really was for them and the life and death effects of the decisions and whims of the rulers. I have a better appreciation for their struggles.
The narrator did a fabulous job. Some narrators can ruin a book, but John Lee brought all those characters to life. Sometimes I'd forget it was the same man voicing every character.
I do wish the author had given his comments at the end of the book, not at the beginning. It gave away some of the plot.
I was on such a roll with the previous books in this series that I downloaded the Fiery Cross before even reading the reviews. Then I saw it was abridged and not the same narrator! So I set out on my own journey to find the unabridged version (which I did on another site), and got it.
Well after being so proud of myself for finding the aloof unabridged version, I was so disappointed to find that Diana Gabaldon let me down big time. The plot was descent, but it was sooooooooo drawn out that it was torture listening to some of the chapters. I felt like I was reading an epic on a vegetable garden at times. I even blanked it out at times and forgot I even had it on during my drive. The sex scenes are so repetitive that I was skipping them. I felt like she made the unabridged book 4 times longer than it had to be.
So about half way through the unabridged version, I couldn't take it anymore and decided to give this abridged version on audible a try (since I already downloaded hastily). I figured there must be a reason why it's abridged! Well then I found this version to be too rushed and the narrator was mono-toned. I felt like someone had pushed fast forward on my ipod.
I gave up on both versions and bought the actual book, thinking I could at least skip the boring parts and read what I wanted to, just to see what happened. I totally lost interest and still haven't finished this book and I have it in 3 different forms!
Outlander was the best of the series and it just went downhill from there. Gabadon not only killed a good thing she strangled it and fed it to the Loch Ness monster.
This book was good, not as good as the first three books in the series. I enjoyed this book overall but the author drives me crazy with how many times she uses the description words "dryly" or "wryly" as in "said with a wry smile" or "he said dryly" (in the entire series I bet it totals 100+ times). I began to cringe every time I heard those words. Davina Porter is very talented with her range of voices and acting, I just had a hard time with her high pitched inflections. Sometimes they were so high (out of the blue) that it hurt my ears and I had to turn down the volume, only to have her speak more softly and need to turn it back up again. I found the 5th book "Fiery Cross" in an unabridged version elsewhere (audible only has the abridged version). I was so bored with it that I gave up half way through and sent the rented CDs back. I was in love with the first 3 books and it seemed to loose its appeal after this one. Overall Drums of Autumn has a good storyline and the narrator gives each character originality. I learned a lot about Scottish traditions with this series and give the author kudos for the research she put into writing it.
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