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The Pillars of the Earth Audiobook

The Pillars of the Earth

Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. 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...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....
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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 (15776 )
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Story
4.7 (7904 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Kryton2725 Fort Wayne, IN USA 10-26-11
    Kryton2725 Fort Wayne, IN USA 10-26-11 Member Since 2007

    Kryton

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Do You Really Need Another Review?"

    NO... You don't need yet another person telling you this is a great book.This book will blow you away... Yes... It's that good! It's not better than Watership Down... or... any number of different books I've listened to.. but... it is EXCELLENT!... a book you won't be sorry you listened to... It's one you'll be happy you didn't miss...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve United States 10-24-11
    Steve United States 10-24-11 Member Since 2010
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    183
    5
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    "Listening is much better than just readding"

    I greatly enjoyed John Lee's engaging reading style. I had read Pillars several years ago and thought that it was a great read. Mr. Lee's narration seem to bring the story to life and gave me the impression that I was in the middle of the story, well done!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roswatheist Dexter, New Mexico, United States 10-23-11
    Roswatheist Dexter, New Mexico, United States 10-23-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
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    Story
    "Excellent"

    I am a non-believer, so at first was turned off by a story about a cathedral, but while melodramatic, Pillars is awesome! Just great. It does go where you think it will if you're a history buff, and ends with all things neatly sewn up.

    Wonderful book. Read or listen to it. You owe it to yourself.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bulcsu 10-17-11
    Bulcsu 10-17-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    11
    2
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    Story
    "Easy listen"

    The story is well constructed, complex and engaging. He mixes in some out of the blue sex scenes for the adult reader which is awkward, and cheap. The narrator does a good job, though sometimes his tone gets a bit repetitive. He remains easily understandable throughout.
    Overall I would recommend this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Atara United States 10-16-11
    Atara United States 10-16-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    3
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    "I recommend"

    When I saw the actual book it was too overwhelming to read because of the size so I'm very happy it's available as audio. Narrator's very good. Story also, classic quality.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Swamiji CH 10-08-11
    Swamiji CH 10-08-11 Member Since 2016

    Bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Couldn't put the book, down!"

    An excellent story of human desires, disaster, treachery, love, accomplishment. I highly recommend this fine, work! Ken Follet, does NOT disappoint!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wistful Angst 10-05-11 Member Since 2003

    Literature fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good historical thriller for the beach"

    I'm conflicted about this book. On one hand, it is researched and entertaining. On the other, it is a lengthy historical thriller, and could have used an editor to make it better. Everything had a touch of boilerplate about it, but I suspect that is due more to trying to write a best seller instead of a literary work. I think the author at times was echoing the biblical story of Job and David and Goliath in order to demonstrate the huge human endeavor it was to build cathedrals in the middle Middle Ages, given what people are like. However, to me it felt more like a mash up of Candide and Gone With The Wind. Also, intentionally or not, the utter futility of religious faith was on display throughout the plot, which is ironic considering much of what motivated characters was their religious beliefs, whether it was disillusionment or faith in biblical teachings. Being a good person or being bad simply had no effect on outcomes. People palaver a lot as they do about God bringing about justice, rewards or blessings, but the story clearly shows if you are a Duke or a King or a rich merchant the power and authority that comes with position and money has more to do with how justice or blessings are distributed in a community. In any circumstance, being female is a damned curse in the Middle Ages and no matter how beloved or adored, still a mindless enslavement is all that is expected or wanted from women in this society. The one female character who is free has to live alone in a forest to maintain freedom to be herself. The other, who pulls herself up into some wealth and respectability through hard work and taking risks ends up losing everything again and again because she must support the men in her life rather than taking complete charge of her destiny, due to religious strictures and the structure of family life in the Middle Ages. The men have a hard time of it too, to be sure, but some of them can afford to be dreamers by staying single or becoming monks. Marriage seems to bring on only hardships. Fearful poverty is always on the horizon either due to weather or wars between the nobility or mentally ill parents or husbands. Endless labor with no safe future or reward is all there is. A straw house, or one of wood or one of stone does not guarantee living without starvation and misery at some point no matter how much one might save or live sensibly. Even the cathedral, normally a symbol of human perseverance and permanence, falls several times in the book. Despite the chaos, and the failures of human justice and insight, and the uncertainty of living another 24 hours, people appear to overcome reality by communal delusions and hope through religious faith and class pride.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brandi Dayton, OH 10-05-11
    brandi Dayton, OH 10-05-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Surprising pleasure!"

    I really thought I would not like this story because I'm not into historic fiction, especially medieval genres. However, it came highly recommended to me and from the very beginning, I was hooked! The book is more about the characters than the time period. And these characters are just amazing. The wisdom, determination, and sheer will of the characters to overcome adversity had me listening every chance I got. Amazing book!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    morebooks99 10-03-11
    morebooks99 10-03-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great read, great listen"

    I'd already read the book twice so I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend hours listening to it. It was on sale so I decided to give it a try. It was just as great as I remembered and it had been long enough since I read it for me to enjoy all the details. John Lee did a great job of bringing the characters to life. Now on to World Without End. I've only read that once!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Olive 10-02-11
    Olive 10-02-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story"

    This is a pretty good book. worth the credit.
    The characters are well developed. I like the amount of time the book spans.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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