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The Pillars of the Earth | [Ken Follett]

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 (14627 )
5 star
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4.6 (6810 )
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Performance
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  •  
    JEFF FORT SMITH, AR, United States 08-05-10
    JEFF FORT SMITH, AR, United States 08-05-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "The Pillars of the Earth"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna San Francisco, CA, USA 07-09-10
    Donna San Francisco, CA, USA 07-09-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    50
    2
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    "Poor Choice for an Audiobook"

    Ripping yarn, but the story doesn't lend itself to listening. Would be more enjoyable as a good, long read.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricardo H. D. Kovach 06-27-10 Listener Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    3
    Overall
    "EXCELLENT"

    More then 40 hours of pleasure.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. M. Lucas Indiana, USA 06-04-10
    R. M. Lucas Indiana, USA 06-04-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    57
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    "Can't wait for it to end"

    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.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Landenberg, PA, USA 05-16-10
    Kim Landenberg, PA, USA 05-16-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    "Pillars of the Earth"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Las Vegas, NV, United States 05-12-10
    Carol Las Vegas, NV, United States 05-12-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    3
    Overall
    "You will enjoy this book!"

    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!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucinda 05-10-10
    Lucinda 05-10-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    15
    5
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    "A delightful book"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Rocklin, CA United States 04-22-10
    Michael Rocklin, CA United States 04-22-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Solid read"

    Long book but good story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dionne North Bend, PA, USA 04-09-10
    Dionne North Bend, PA, USA 04-09-10
    ratings
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    25
    1
    Overall
    "Wonderful!"

    Can't wait for the tv show!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MG Albuquerque, NM, United States 03-27-10
    MG Albuquerque, NM, United States 03-27-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
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    81
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    2
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    Overall
    "Excellent!"

    I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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