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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 (17402 )
5 star
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4.6 (9471 )
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4 star
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Story
4.7 (9411 )
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Performance
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  •  
    History Buff Maryland 12-14-12
    History Buff Maryland 12-14-12 Member Since 2012

    Grace

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Story Built Stone by Stone"

    I generally read non-fiction. This was clearly a novel--every aspect of the story was tied up into a neat bundle by the end, but it read like history. And, like good historical fiction, it gave clues and nuance to so much dry and poorly written history! It is probably a bit much to believe that Eliena (pardon the spelling: one downfall of listening to books instead of reading them) single-handedly did all she did, but why let facts bog down a good story?

    John Lee did an excellent job as narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea PLACENTIA, CA, United States 12-11-12
    Andrea PLACENTIA, CA, United States 12-11-12 Member Since 2012
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    Story
    "Must read!"

    The story and characters are timeless. Characters get under your skin and become so real.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gadabout 12-07-12
    Gadabout 12-07-12 Member Since 2011

    geeky guy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My Favorite Ken Follet to Date"
    Would you listen to The Pillars of the Earth again? Why?

    I saw the movie first and knew I wanted to read the book. I had previously read Eye of the Needle, I figured this would be just as good if not better. I wasn't disappointed a great listen.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 12-05-12
    Donna 12-05-12

    Not sure what to say really. I love listening to audio books. :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "LOVED THIS BOOK"
    Where does The Pillars of the Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Definitely the best I've heard so far and I've listened to some great books from this site.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I was on the edge of my seat from the first chapter to the last. The characters are vivid and relatable, The flow of the story is flawless.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    So hard to pick a favorite scene, but when Tom Builder died I literally screamed out loud LOL much to the shock of my co-workers LMAO


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

    Johnathan's discovery of who he really is....I cried my eyes out


    Any additional comments?

    MUST READ/LISTEN whatever lol FANTASTIC book!!!!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Placentia CA, United States 12-05-12
    Robert Placentia CA, United States 12-05-12 Member Since 2013

    Iranians keep their nukes, Americans lose their insurance.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "life in Middle Earth"

    Part 1 is not about cathedral building at all, but instead about the lives of some super interesting people whose paths crossed in 1492 or whenever. VERY interesting. SOOOO well performed. I felt like I was there with them. But... so, when are they going to actually build the cathedral?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
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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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    "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

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