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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 (18078 )
5 star
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4.6 (10088 )
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Story
4.7 (10028 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Cyndi McNeill 06-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little disappointed.. not up to par"
    Would you try another book from Ken Follett and/or John Lee?

    I generally love books by Ken Follett, but this one falls way short of his other works. The narration was excellent though.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ken Follett? Why or why not?

    Yes, definitely. Maybe because this book was started when Follett was much younger, the plot and character development are not as well done as in other works. I have loved other Follett books and will definitely listen to others.


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

    Loved Alyana and Tom Builder - both very real and believable characters.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe... it would be tough to get the real gist of the entire story in one movie though.


    Any additional comments?

    The last half of the book has been really tedious. It seems that he is making bad things happen at every possible opportunity but is missing out on some key character development and story development. Would have loved to learn more about the actual building of the cathedrals. Waaayyyy too much raping and pillaging in this story, and entirely too much of the same descriptions of the characters. William is really bad, Phillip is really good, Richard has potential to be good, but is a numb nut in the end. Overall, I was really disappointed in the book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Westlake Village, CA 05-31-13
    Debra Westlake Village, CA 05-31-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Kept me engaged!"
    Where does The Pillars of the Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'm driving a ton these days and simply searched for a book that was LONG. This one is 43 hours and I was completely engaged immediately and then all the way trough. Loved it!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M 05-24-13
    M 05-24-13 Member Since 2008

    Daydreamer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This should be required reading/ listening"
    What made the experience of listening to The Pillars of the Earth the most enjoyable?

    John Lee absolutely breathes life into this book. I read this first when I was in high school and it totally rocked my world. So when I finally got on the Audible bandwagon and was looking for a solid story, I decided to go back and see how I'd like the audio version. As some of you may agree, once I hear a good book, it's really difficult for me to ever enjoy just the print version. This is now the case with this book. John Lee has to be, easily, one of my all-time favorite narrators. His arsenal of voices and accents is mind-blowing and adds such a layer of depth to the characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good author, a good narrator, or a combination thereof. Seriously, if someone made a list of essential audio downloads, this would (IMHO) make the top 10 of the list.


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

    For me the entire listening experience was memorable. The book is so rich with...everything, and I'm too much of a Libra to pick just one, or five!


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

    Prior Phillip. I love me some Welsh accents!


    If you could rename The Pillars of the Earth, what would you call it?

    The title is perfect as it is.


    Any additional comments?

    Do not stop. Just download and settle in for an AMAZING ride. I've probably recommended this book to dozens of people over the years and I have never known anyone who read it and didn't totally love it. It is an epic story with wonderfully written characters, narrated by one of the best in the business. You cannot go wrong with this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Edmond, OK, United States 05-21-13
    Angela Edmond, OK, United States 05-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Outstanding"

    I first picked up this book in a bookstore and couldn't get past the first chapter. I decided to give it a try in audio form and just loved it. It was very entertaining and surprisingly informative. John Lee did an excellent job with the different characters. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rodi NORWALK, CT, United States 05-20-13
    rodi NORWALK, CT, United States 05-20-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Wonderful story"

    This a great book and a wonderful story! It is not a heavy read but yet it makes you think.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HeyHeather Kennebunk Maine 05-06-13
    HeyHeather Kennebunk Maine 05-06-13 Member Since 2009

    I have been reading since before I started school. If I am not sitting in front of a book, someone is reading it to me!

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    "The Best!"

    Loved very second of this book. Couldn't stop reading this book. Stayed in the car, didn't answer the phone when reading.

    I was sad when the book was done. I will and have gone back to read it again, and again.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heidi 04-25-13
    Heidi 04-25-13
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    "You won't want to put it down"
    Would you listen to The Pillars of the Earth again? Why?

    Yes!!! It was unique and enchanting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I truly cared about these characters. My favorite was the heroine Alienna, a strong spirited modern day woman in medieval England.


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

    The narrator adds texture to the characters. His voice draws the reader into the story.


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

    I couldn't put it down.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a story for everyone

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D.R. California 04-17-13
    D.R. California 04-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable, but a little long"
    Would you listen to The Pillars of the Earth again? Why?

    No, I enjoyed it the first time but it's a significant investment of time and ran a little long for my taste.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Prior Phillip and Tom. I appreciated the goodness and intentions of both, and the way they expressed it in different ways.


    Any additional comments?

    John Lee is always good. Overall a good read/listen and worth it. You need to be ready for an epic though, and even though I was ready for the length of an epic, I thought it went on a little long.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Lewisville, TX, United States 04-04-13
    Rob Lewisville, TX, United States 04-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Best book I ever listened to - no boring moments"

    I am now a huge Ken Follett fan. I listened to his two books in the 20th century triology, and they were awesome. But Pillars is the best ever. I am now listening the second book. Pillar is the best book ever. Follett makes you really feel that you are back in the 12th century.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig C. austin, TX United States 03-24-13
    Craig C. austin, TX United States 03-24-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One Thousand Years Ago Was Not All that Romantic"
    What did you love best about The Pillars of the Earth?

    The presentation of the times, culture, governance, and the church. It was interesting to see how the laws and customs of feudal times were so different. The life styles of suffering under a repressive environment. The bands of hungry law breakers demonstrated a system that makes people criminals by the bad system.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Probably, Ellen, Tom, and their son. In some ways the characters seemed a little too modern. This seemed to be most pronounced among the women -- Ellen and Arianna.


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

    Yes. I think his most recent work with the Trilogies about the wars in the 20th century The Fall of Giants and the Winter of the World were better, but he was still quite good. He is one of the best readers.


    Any additional comments?

    An interesting read, the parts about the architectural issues was a little more detailed than I wanted.In the end, the good guys do okay in the end which seems kind of unlikely, but then it is fiction.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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