I got lucky and selected "For Whom the Bell Tolls" to listen to before this book. Had I picked "A Farewell to Arms" first, it is unlikely I would have ever selected FWTBT. This book is as bad as FWTBT is great. Everything great about FWTBT is missing from this book, all the way down the the narrarator, who is at least partly responsible for ruining this book. There is barely a story line, and even less character development.The dialog is plodding, and the visual imagry is barren. I'm not a literature scholar, but I can't see why this book is considered written art. I so loved "For Whom the Bell Tolls", I was astonished Hemingway could write this clunker. Chose something else.
This book is a finely crafted epic that weaves its way thru the Dark Ages in an interesting and smart way, informing us, enlightening us, and entertaining us. The author weaves the story of three generations of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things, most notably building a cathedral and establishing a town, where none before existed. As an architect, I found the building techniques accurate and well detailed. The author illuminated for me the behind the scenes workings of construction projects of the time, which are humorously similar to some of situations today's builing projects face. The pace of the book never dragged for me, although it is very long; one should consider the time investment required to finish it. The narrator was a perfect fit and did well with the terms and accents. I highly recommend this book to all mature listeners. I think I'll try another Follett offering to see how it compares since I so enjoyed this one.
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