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.
"Follett is a master." (The Washington Post)
"A historical novel of gripping readability, authentic atmosphere and detail and memorable characterization." (Publishers Weekly)
Wow! This was amazingly good. Normally, I listen as I do jobs around the house or in the car but with this book, I couldn't stop listening. It was so good I couldn't wait to get his next book "World without end" and have already finished that one. I have no idea what to listen to next. I couldn't wait to finish these books but now that they are over, I'm sad.
and a penny for your thoughts
Get the Abridged version. Someone should have done another edit. The minute details and descriptions of architecture work well enough but the long, detailed, graphic and repetitive descriptions of brutality, sex and rape are unnecessary and sensationalistic. The reader's sing song style of reading makes these seem longer.
I rarely prefer ABRIDGED versions but after listening to both, I highly recommend the ABRIDGED version of Pillars.
elephant in the room? This book has a lot of rape, and detailed depictions of it. This would have been a 5 star book without it. there no way to get around it. it made listening to this book an extremely difficult chore at times.
otherwise, it was a good story and well told. the narrator was very good.
The story about church building, farming, commerce, and history could have been truly intriguing on its own. I lost interest after the third gang rape. Seriously, this author uses rape incessantly to demonstrate the villain's evilness. The first rape involves a minor and child who is forced to watch, with a touch of child mutilation thrown in. The second gang rape involves multiple orifices. The third gang rape involves a young mother (while loved ones, children, etc. look on). The fourth gang rape is aborted but not until the woman is stripped, breasts heaving, blah blah blah. The fifth attempted rape is just one man, but he holds a knife over the victim's eyeball to give the rape real pizazz.
This won't bother some people, but it grew tiresome pretty quickly.
The narrator was outstanding. I would listen to anything read by him.
Never in my life would I believe that a book about cathedrals would interest me. I was captivated by this book! Must read.
Follett is not a great writer. His prose is mundane and his characters stock. But this was an excellent book to listen to while driving; especially if you are interested in English history.
Tell us about yourself!
A story about a monk building a church probably shouldn't be entertaining for over 40 hours but this one certainly is! This story involves a couple generations rebuilding a church in medieval times. Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, leads the way in financing and building a new cathedral.
I was drawn into the stories of the individuals fighting to maintain or improve their own existences as well as build or in some instances destroy the new church. Good vs Evil, both internally as well as externally runs throughout these stories.
I really enjoyed listening to John Lee's performance. He did a wonderful job with the different characters and the telling of the story. Well worth the credit spent!
I would absolutely recommend this audiobook! I had read the novel several years ago, and returned to this title in audiobook format to break up a long commute to work. Good choice! From the very first page, the author engages the listeners with an immediate connection to the characters. There's plenty of drama, mixed with architectural instruction against an historical backdrop. Follett has a true talent for blending all of these elements into a captivating story.
My personal favorite was Ellen's "pissing scene". If you didn't pick up on her spunk before that scene, her tirade left no doubt. It was a graphic illustration of how frustrating it must have been for women of that era to be living amongst self-righteous, pseudo-intellectual men.
I did read the book first, and enjoyed it immensely. John Lee's narration was excellent, and did, actually, enhance the story for me.
I resisted recommendations to read this novel for a long time. I mean, really...twelfth-century English monks building a cathedral? Sounded so boring to me. Then my aunt pushed the paperback into my hands as I was leaving for a trip, and I opened it on the plane for lack of a better alternative. The plane landed too soon! I was hooked from the first pages, and enjoyed the audiobook just as much several years later.
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