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The Pillars of the Earth Audiobook

The Pillars of the Earth

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Publisher's Summary

The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame...and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.

A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of 12th-century England, this is Ken Follett's historical masterpiece.

©1989 Ken Follett; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Follett is a master." (The Washington Post)
"A historical novel of gripping readability, authentic atmosphere and detail and memorable characterization." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (17182 )
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4.6 (9264 )
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Story
4.7 (9204 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cynbee San Jose, CA, United States 11-30-12
    Cynbee San Jose, CA, United States 11-30-12 Member Since 2012

    former nuclear scientist

    HELPFUL VOTES
    99
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    "A sweeping saga in medieval times"

    I was confused for a long time because the first chapter of the audiobook is a forward by the author detailing how successful this book was. After that, I was a bit put off, especially since the main family of Tom Builder is shaken almost immediately.

    However, after 3-4 hours I realized I was totally engrossed in the story, which spiralled out to include the politics of medieval England, religion as actually lived by the people of the time, and the lives of high- and low-born families during The Anarchy. The villain is odious and the heroes are nuanced; Tom Builder, for example, is too indulgent of his natural son.

    It's quite an undertaking to listen to such a long book, but you won't be sorry.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gentry 11-30-12
    Gentry 11-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow!!! Just WOW!!!"
    Would you listen to The Pillars of the Earth again? Why?

    Yes -- It is 40+ hours of SHEER enjoyment...

    VERY FEW other books meet this threshold...

    I enjoy books that show the author's ability to observe and convey human emotions, thought and interactions -- and then to MIX that skill with HISTORY is just an ADDED BONUS!!!

    WELL DONE!!!

    and THANKS!!!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol S 11-28-12
    Carol S 11-28-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Story woven with fascinating History"

    Pillars of the Earth is one of those rare books where the story is interesting enough to hold the listener, while at the same time revealing the politics of the time and the details of medieval architecture. The reader has a wonderful rich voice and is skilled at emoting the various characters and their emotions. The thread of good and evil that is braided through the story rings as true then, as it is does today – seeing it played out on our TV screen . The rigidness of religion and of social edicts was clarifying and thought provoking for me. I would recommend this book to anyone.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Bradford, MA, United States 11-27-12
    Jay Bradford, MA, United States 11-27-12 Member Since 2011
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    25
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    "Brilliant read by John Lee!"
    Was The Pillars of the Earth worth the listening time?

    umm. Ok. if you push me then the answer is "no". I can however say, I came, I listened, I reviewed.


    Any additional comments?

    I am a fan of the Game of Thrones series and most certain that GRRM was inspired by Pillars. This book is ambitious, but failed to engage me with respect to the characters -- through no fault of the excellent narration by John Lee. His characters remained real and true throughout the book.

    At a certain point I just didn't care about some of these characters the way I should have -- perhaps with the exception of the main character Prior Philip and the main antagonist William Hamleigh. The other main characters and antagonists were fun at times, but ultimately a bit boring.

    Ultimately, I wasn't as compelled to sit in my car and miss a meeting or dinner with my family to listen until the end of chapter like I have been with other audible books. Sometimes I had to push myself to listen to Pillars and not a podcast that I downloaded.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    christopher San Jose, CA, United States 11-20-12
    christopher San Jose, CA, United States 11-20-12

    i drive a truck on the night shift. i love hearing interesting stories, i need some action to keep me awake :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "the narrator is great."
    Would you listen to The Pillars of the Earth again? Why?

    probably not, i really liked it but i don't need to study it :)


    What did you like best about this story?

    the narrator is excellent. and of course the story, it is fairly well paced and kept me interested throughout the lengthy story. this one could keep going and going, which i think it does...


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    yes, it is escaping me at the moment. no matter i really enjoy john lee as a narrator. he does voice and inflection very well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    not particularly the whole thing was cool.


    Any additional comments?

    my memory is failing me but at some point in the story there was a wedding and as the bride and groom left the alter ken follet wrote the guests threw corn on the newlyweds. there was no corn in europe during this time in history. maybe i was just lost in a dream as i drove down the road but that is what i thought i heard.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Atlanta, GA, United States 11-19-12
    Scott Atlanta, GA, United States 11-19-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "John Lee's narration is incredible"

    Follett and Lee are a great combination. I have listened to 300 audio books and this is my favorite.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    abbey Wildwood, MO, United States 11-12-12
    abbey Wildwood, MO, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2011
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    1
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    "Different in a good way"
    What made the experience of listening to The Pillars of the Earth the most enjoyable?

    I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in a different era and hearing the evolution of the characters over a lifespan.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Characters


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    Tom Builder


    Who was the most memorable character of The Pillars of the Earth and why?

    Aliana- she was the ultimate independent, strong and courageous woman.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Carlsbad, NM 88220 11-01-12
    Andrea Carlsbad, NM 88220 11-01-12 Member Since 2011
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    "John Lee does an amazing job of narrarating again!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The story is intriguing and the characters draw you in.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Pillars of the Earth?

    There are many memorable moments, but I think Phillip at the end when he brings the mob together and finally defeats his enemies is a great moment and really gives a picture to what brings about a martyr in society.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    John Lee always does an amazing job and this performance was just as great!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would have loved to, but it is far too long, which is a good thing!


    Any additional comments?

    Ken Follett is an amazing story teller and John Lee does a great job of reading his books! I can't wait to listen to World Without End.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-19-12
    ratings
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    87
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    Story
    "Made 12th Century England come alive"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This story didn't seem like 40 hours. I loved every minute. I felt I could understand each social class and how they lived in the 12th century. I felt the passion and life's difficulties of the people surrounded by the common goal of building the cathedral.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I loved listen to John Lee. It is amazing how he can individualize each charater for an epic tale of this length and variety of characters.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I didn't expect to feel the profound sense of awe for Tom the Builder's dedication and courage through a lifetime of adversity.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keri SOQUEL, CA, United States 10-06-12
    Keri SOQUEL, CA, United States 10-06-12
    ratings
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    11
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    "Enchanting! A must listen!"
    Any additional comments?

    I was skeptical at first whether I would like this book. An architect building a cathredal? Didn't sound like my type of book. BUT....I LOVED it! The characters are so wonderfully developed that you can't help but get immersed in this epic tale. One of my favorites of all time...A must listen. You wont be disappointed. This is a fantastic tale!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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