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.
"Follett is a master." (The Washington Post)
"A historical novel of gripping readability, authentic atmosphere and detail and memorable characterization." (Publishers Weekly)
This book is a finely crafted epic that weaves its way thru the Dark Ages in an interesting and smart way, informing us, enlightening us, and entertaining us. The author weaves the story of three generations of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things, most notably building a cathedral and establishing a town, where none before existed. As an architect, I found the building techniques accurate and well detailed. The author illuminated for me the behind the scenes workings of construction projects of the time, which are humorously similar to some of situations today's builing projects face. The pace of the book never dragged for me, although it is very long; one should consider the time investment required to finish it. The narrator was a perfect fit and did well with the terms and accents. I highly recommend this book to all mature listeners. I think I'll try another Follett offering to see how it compares since I so enjoyed this one.
Ripping yarn, but the story doesn't lend itself to listening. Would be more enjoyable as a good, long read.
The villains are basically Disney cartoon characters. The characters like vaguely like 1980s yuppies, using slightly archaic but still anachronistic language. On rare occasions where they express foreign and potentially intriguing ideas, like celibacy or a fear of hell, Follett doesn't have anything interesting for them to say.
There are a few nice plot points, but most every development is telegraphed far in advance. The writing is heavy-handed and makes everything too obvious. There is a warmth to the writing, and several likable characters, and I got about 20 hours in before I realized how bad it was. Now I've got only 4 hours to go.
OMG. This was a fantastic book. I was not sure what to expect since this was my first audio book, but John Lee was wonderful narrating. I wanted to jump into the story because you felt like you were there with them. You really need to take a listen.
It is like reading three books in one but you don't have to wait to read the next installment. The story was interesting and though I was skeptical about a book based on building a cathedral it was the characters you cared about. It was somewhat frustrating the constant problems the characters faced but it did keep me reading. It was well worth the 40 hours!
Listening to this book is entirely enjoyable. A compelling story filled with all sorts of interesting historical details. You will cherish the hours that you spend with this book, and will hate to see it end.
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