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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 (18727 )
5 star
 (12931)
4 star
 (3977)
3 star
 (1103)
2 star
 (379)
1 star
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Overall
4.6 (10696 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (577)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.7 (10642 )
5 star
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4 star
 (1829)
3 star
 (354)
2 star
 (85)
1 star
 (95)
Performance
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  •  
    Jacqueline woodinville, WA, USA 11-22-07
    Jacqueline woodinville, WA, USA 11-22-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Best Book EVER!"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reademandweep 11-20-07 Member Since 2016

    and a penny for your thoughts

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tedious and Sensationalistic"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DANIEL 04-04-16
    DANIEL 04-04-16
    ratings
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    55
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    "forgivness is free"

    May Ken find God. be for he meets his maker. JESUS will forgive all si,n.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wandering Artist 02-18-16 Member Since 2013
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    "compelling story mired by constant sexual abuse"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    My Three Sons 02-15-16
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    85
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Be prepared for multiple gang rapes"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator was outstanding. I would listen to anything read by him.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren 02-07-15
    Lauren 02-07-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    40
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    "I can't believe I wasted 41 hours of my life."

    Narration: pretentious and irritating. Prose: explanatory and dull. Plot: predictable and dragging. Do not buy!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 12-19-14
    Christopher 12-19-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprisingly Great book, probably one of the best"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Pillars of the Earth to be better than the print version?

    Never in my life would I believe that a book about cathedrals would interest me. I was captivated by this book! Must read.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy 05-19-14
    Wendy 05-19-14 Member Since 2013
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    3
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    "Interesting"
    What made the experience of listening to The Pillars of the Earth the most enjoyable?

    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.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 11-17-13
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 11-17-13 Member Since 2006

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very entertaining! All the way through."

    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!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JerseyGirl Annandale, NJ, US 11-14-13
    JerseyGirl Annandale, NJ, US 11-14-13 Member Since 2012

    JerseyGirl

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Very Long Book...That Ended Too Soon!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


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

    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.


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

    I did read the book first, and enjoyed it immensely. John Lee's narration was excellent, and did, actually, enhance the story for me.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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