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)
Epic Medieval Love-story
I'm still looking for another book that compares to this one. Haven't found it yet.
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.
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.
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.
A true epic. Ken Follette crafts a beautiful story. John Lee infuses life into the characters and story masterfully. His subtle change in tone for each character enables the listener to get lost in the story. You will start with the intention of listening for a few minutes here and there and find yourself listening for hours on end. Far and away the best audiobook I have every heard when you take into the account the combination of the author and the narrator.
The Audible version offered some emphasis to the story line. Mood was conveyed and tension in the story came through pretty good. I did not read the text, but the spoken word, when done by a diligent reader, offers more in sight into the mood and story telling process.
It may be more difficult, but the change of readers from male to female, as the story is relating, would be interesting.
Aleana and her brother- they experienced the fall from power, the response to that fall and their ultimate rise back to their previous staion in life. They hold a more broad knowledge base of life in that time and from different staions in their world.
I like to listen to talking books. I enjoy reading, but I enjoy more the spoken word. I particualrly enjoy listening while I drive. I drove over the road for 1 year and greatly enjoyed the companionship of Sirius radio and taliing books that I rented fro places along the highway. I offered consolation on long over night trips. That how I got 'hooked' on listening to stories. Listening does not put me to sleep as does listening to music. I can concentrate on the driving requirements and keep involved in the story/plot of the talking books. I drive severaltimes a year to my daughter home (300 miles) and I always take at least two talking books and the newer cars have provisions to play the Audible books through my Kindle on the car radio. My wife has become an advocate of listent to talking books while we drive.
John Lee's voice and skill really adds to a powerful story.
Being transported in time by Ken Follet's descriptions of the Cathedrals and the network of relationships of that era.
This story is a bit dry and oddly harsh. I don't like long, depressing dramas, but for those who do there is plenty to rave about in this book. If anything were to be changed, I'd like more character interaction that made the reader at least like the characters before we're supposed to pity them endlessly.
I cannot tell if it's the writing or the narration that keeps putting me to sleep. I've probably tried to listen to it 5 or so times and I keep quitting.
No. I don't think I'll ever finish listening to it.
There are some scenes involving rape that actually made me feel a bit queasy and I do not recommend it for those who are easily moved to tears.
I am easily amused!
I really enjoyed this book and spent so much time listening to the tale that spans over 4 decades that in the end the characters felt like family. Ken Follet managed to paint a realistic picture of what the daily life was like for Pryors, noblemen, craftsmen,and peasants in the 1100's. I have very vivid pictures in my mind of what the cathedral looked like as well as the towns and country around Knightsbridge. I cheered the good guys and boo'd the bad guys all while enjoying the history of the time frame and the wonderful love stories entwined throughout the tale. I have already started the next book, World without End, that starts in the same town with the descendants of the characters I came to love in Pillars of the Earth. Good Read!
exciting, surprising, and enlightening!
I haven't finished it yet, but I love the characters and how Mr. Follett really follows through with true life meaning and personality with each of the characters. I actually teared up when the Tom Builder tragedy happened! My father gave me the book, I read the first chapter and fell in love. I am, however, that person that falls asleep when reading words on a page. Audiobooks are a godsend to me!! The man that reads this is fabulous as well!! Thank you!!!
read last statement!
This is going to be a long movie, but YOU WILL LOVE IT!!
Please don't make it into a movie, because it will not relay what i am listening to.........xo
I thought this was a book about cathedrals. Certainly, it was that, but it was so much more. I was constantly amazed by the variety of perspectives on morality and spirituality presented through the characters in the novel, each perspective realized with stunning intimacy and humanity, and each very valid and understandable--even to the point of self-recognition--despite the natural tension between them. Even the villains of the story had motives that could be understood in a sense. I generally expect nothing more than entertainment from a novel, but in this work, there were actually moments I stopped the audio, and considered some very deep truths about life, love, leadership, and faith, and how they related to my own life. And through it all, pendulums of politics, economy, war, morality, and the human spirit make wide intersecting arcs that describe not just the building of a cathedral, but the entire era.
I was never bored for a moment. There were a few times when the ebb and flow of tension between the protagonists and the villains became a little exhausting, but it was all the more reason to keep listening. You may feel a bit betrayed by one short segment of the story that seems a bit rushed-- the restoration of the Earldom. That development was so long awaited and seemed so pivotal to the rest of the story that it's terse treatment had my crying
Prior Phillip. So much humility and wisdom. It would be like dining with the Dalai Lama.
A friend of mine recommended this to me. I avoided it for awhile because it was so dauntingly long and because it was a period story, which tend to bore me. This story didn't bore me. The beginning was a little rough, as it laid out characters. At first it seems a Cathedral in the English town of Kingsbridge, but really it's a story about the intersecting lives of a whole generation of people who live and work in the town. As the story unfolds you'll love, hate and care about each character, as they come and go from the story line. It's a story just so very amazingly told.
And also read. The reading is really well-done, here. He has a clear voice, and is able to emote and enunciate the voice (and sometimes accent) of each character so well, that following the story is simple and seamless. Except for The Help, this has been the best read story I've listened to so far.
This is easily in my top 10 of favorite audio books. The narrator, Ken Follett takes this from a long, long listen into a world you'll wish never ends. Even after 40 hours of listening, I wanted to hear more.
This is a story of cathedral building but it is so much more than that. Romance, betrayal, battle scenes (without too much gore), religion and soul searching all play out in richly detailed plot. I found myself cheering on Tom Builder, weeping for Aliena and praying for Prior Philip.
This is the book that readers tell each other about, instead of publishers making a splashy suggestion. This is a book you'll find yourself recommending over and over.
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