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The Pillars of the Earth Audiobook
The Pillars of the Earth
Written by: 
Ken Follett
Narrated by: 
John Lee
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The Pillars of the Earth Audiobook

The Pillars of the Earth

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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 (16944 )
5 star
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Overall
4.6 (9040 )
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Story
4.7 (8980 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    Mambie San Fernando, CA, United States 05-15-12
    Mambie San Fernando, CA, United States 05-15-12
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    "Buy this book!"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen C. Woolery Highland, Illinois 05-07-12
    Stephen C. Woolery Highland, Illinois 05-07-12 Member Since 2011

    woolybully

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Greta period story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Pillars of the Earth to be better than the print version?

    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.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    It may be more difficult, but the change of readers from male to female, as the story is relating, would be interesting.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    N/A


    If you could take any character from The Pillars of the Earth out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Perry3rd 04-30-12
    Perry3rd 04-30-12 Member Since 2014
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    "One of the best listening experiences ."
    What made the experience of listening to The Pillars of the Earth the most enjoyable?

    John Lee's voice and skill really adds to a powerful story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Being transported in time by Ken Follet's descriptions of the Cathedrals and the network of relationships of that era.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    muhammedallia 04-23-12 Member Since 2011

    muhammedallia

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    "I just can't finish this"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.


    Was The Pillars of the Earth worth the listening time?

    No. I don't think I'll ever finish listening to it.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    beth LEAGUE CITY, TX, United States 04-04-12
    beth LEAGUE CITY, TX, United States 04-04-12 Member Since 2011

    I am easily amused!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Epic!"


    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!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lyraemarie United States 03-25-12
    lyraemarie United States 03-25-12 Member Since 2015
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    "This is a fabulous and warming story!"
    If you could sum up The Pillars of the Earth in three words, what would they be?

    exciting, surprising, and enlightening!


    What did you like best about this story?

    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!!!


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

    read last statement!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    This is going to be a long movie, but YOU WILL LOVE IT!!


    Any additional comments?

    Please don't make it into a movie, because it will not relay what i am listening to.........xo

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Cedar Park, TX, United States 03-22-12
    C. Cedar Park, TX, United States 03-22-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Amazing work, superb story, excellent production"
    What made the experience of listening to The Pillars of the Earth the most enjoyable?

    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


    If you could take any character from The Pillars of the Earth out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Prior Phillip. So much humility and wisdom. It would be like dining with the Dalai Lama.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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