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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 (16585 )
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4.7 (8642 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Diane D. 06-07-12
    Diane D. 06-07-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect!"

    Ken Follett writes the perfect book and John Lee does an amazing job with the narration. This was a book that I never wanted to end. Follett takes the reader to a time and place and makes one feel as though they are there. You love and hate the characters along the way. Great listen

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. G. Shalhoub Medford, MA, United States 06-07-12
    R. G. Shalhoub Medford, MA, United States 06-07-12 Member Since 2015

    Dually addicted bookie. Read and listen to most books together. If I don't like reader of audible I dump it and move on.

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    "The only Follett story worth listening to"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Time listening was not particularly well spent. There are lots of better books to listen to...and it's LONG.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    His performance is the primary reason I finished the bloated story.


    Do you think The Pillars of the Earth needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No...but he wrote one anyway. I began listening to it...and dumped it after a couple hours...I found myself rooting for the plague in his sequel...


    Any additional comments?

    My suggestion is to read Bernard Cornwell's stories that are set in the same historical time period and place...much better written and the performances are quite good.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosemary 06-06-12
    Rosemary 06-06-12 Member Since 2011

    Retired teacher then social worker living in Spain.. have three grown up children 7 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.

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    "A Riveting tale."
    Would you listen to The Pillars of the Earth again? Why?

    Yes I would because there are so many characters of interest, they come alive and one cares about what will happen to them and how the sory progresses.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Enormous research, and the progression of the story through the various characters


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

    Loved his voice, his accents, and his portrayal of the characters.


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

    There were several moments that moved me, My moods fluctuated with the experiences, good and bad, of the central characters.


    Any additional comments?

    Amazing and entertaining I was sorry to finish it and will certainly read it again.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Merry SONOMA, CA, United States 06-04-12
    Merry SONOMA, CA, United States 06-04-12
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    "i love period books. they take me to another time."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Pillars of the Earth to be better than the print version?

    i am legally blind. so there's no question.


    What other book might you compare The Pillars of the Earth to and why?

    game of thrones. same thing period story.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    he has a good clear voice and makes his characters recognizable by ear.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Pillars of the Earth and why?

    i liked the forrest girl, who lost her husband to hanging early in the book. she was interesting and not predictable.


    Any additional comments?

    i wish all the books were free, because i live on a very limited income and audible books are a big part of my entertainment.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn United States 06-01-12
    Dawn United States 06-01-12 Member Since 2013

    Dawnknitella in Oregon

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    "Entertaining epic!"

    I really love John Lee's narration - I swear that guy could read the telephone book and it'd be engrossing. This wonderful tale has all the highs, lows, sex, and mayhem I like in my stories. Very entertaining and I was sad to have it end. Good thing there's a sequel...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Harrisburg, PA, United States 05-27-12
    Heather Harrisburg, PA, United States 05-27-12 Member Since 2016
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    "A surprisingly enjoyable Audible listen."
    Would you listen to The Pillars of the Earth again? Why?

    Yes. Despite the length and dryness of some parts of this book, it was a story I found myself hooked into. The characters were memorable.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 05-26-12
    Ryan 05-26-12
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    "Steadfast and Beautiful"

    I won't tell you what to think of the book. It's not really my place. Just know going into this novel that it brings to the forefront many dark subjects and is not shy about getting into the gritty details. In other words, keep your headset handy if you're going out into public.

    Pillars of the Earth wonderfully interweaves dark, violent politics and sycophantic characters with well meaning, dreamers with aspirations most anyone can relate to. Pitting the two against one another in an all out, decade encompassing duel for the souls of folks of Kingsbridge. Forcing those who value feudal law to battle alongside and with those who value religious law and those who value personal gain. It's truly an all encompassing tale of good vs evil with shades of gray to be found at every corner.

    John Lee is simply outstanding as a narrator. He handles each character with perfect grace, swiftly maneuvering the vast variations of each character without leaving the listener wanting. It's especially important as Pillars of the Earth is told through the viewpoint of a wide cast of characters, each with their own unique viewpoint on the dark times in which they live. I also appreciated that Lee didn't waver during the more harrowing scenes of the novel. That consistency helped keep me going when I began to worry the most for the livelihoods of those characters I loved most.

    There were a few times I felt Lee was let down by the production quality but for a nearly 41 hour book, a rough few mins at most low quality sequences is hardly worth crying over.

    At the same time I also felt as if there were a few sequences Follett really needn't incorporate into the story. Towards the middle of the tale I couldn't help but role my eyes at another detailed description of our primary villain performing his most infamous evil act. We get it, move on already. The first description gave us more than enough hatred to carry on with!

    Still, you'll be hard pressed to find a more broad covering book than Pillars of the Earth. There's quite literally something for everyone. So kick back, relax, and enjoy!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Querubin Madrid, Spain 05-24-12
    Querubin Madrid, Spain 05-24-12 Member Since 2016
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    "a real page turner"
    If you could sum up The Pillars of the Earth in three words, what would they be?

    church vice virtue


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    prior Philip


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the encounters of Jack and Aliena in their secret place


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

    the death of Agnes


    Any additional comments?

    as an enghish student I have apreciated very much the diction and voice of the reader. I have followed the written text at the same time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 05-16-12
    Richard 05-16-12
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    "Excellent Listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a very good book....but particularly enjoyable to listen to. John Lee does a fabulous job and I truly became lost in the story.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Collingswood, NJ, United States 05-15-12
    Justin Collingswood, NJ, United States 05-15-12 Member Since 2011
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    "I couldn't turn it off!"
    If you could sum up The Pillars of the Earth in three words, what would they be?

    Epic Medieval Love-story


    What other book might you compare The Pillars of the Earth to and why?

    I'm still looking for another book that compares to this one. Haven't found it yet.


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

    This is tough. There are so many good well-developed characters in this book. There is the tough as nails Phillip, the fierce Aliena, the unruly Jack, but my favorite has to be Jack's mother, Ellen. No one else could stand on a table in the priory, "curse" the bible and get away with it like she did.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud several times, I hissed at William with scorn. I shouted with excitement when the townspeople fought off William and his knights and when Aliena and Jack found each other at last. Follet is a master at drawing me into the action. I felt like i was there.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an epic adventure. Follet had me from chapter 1 and the best part is that I had no idea i would get so caught up in the lives of these characters. I had no idea where these characters would take me but the ride was so interesting. The characters were so developed i didn't want the book to end.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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