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The Pillars of the Earth | [Ken Follett]

The Pillars of the Earth

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.
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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

4.1 (176 )
5 star
 (72)
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4.3 (62 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (62 )
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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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  •  
    Reademandweep 11-18-07

    and a penny for your thoughts

    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
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    37
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    "Spellbinding but Unabridged?"

    First, the narrator Richard E. Grant is about as good as they get. For me that's a determining factor in purchasing a printed copy or audiobook. Pillars is a refreshing change from most historical novels, you'll be hanging on every word about life in the Middle Ages! Follett weaves humanity into his story and keeps us wondering what will happen next. I did not realize I had purchased the abridged version until I was near the end and wanted more! When I purchased the sequel, I realized what I had done. Now I'm wondering whether I missed something by not hearing the unabridged version or if I only liked it this much BECAUSE it was abridged. Either way, this version is wonderful. (If someone heard both versions, please write a review).

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doreen Hill 03-19-08
    Doreen Hill 03-19-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    8
    2
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    0
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    "My first audio book!!"

    Couldn't have picked a better first or enjoyed it more! I am totally hooked on audio books now, and recommend this one to anyone who likes a bit of history in their fiction. Quickest 10 hours I've ever spent

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Olivia Athens, GA, USA 01-28-08
    Olivia Athens, GA, USA 01-28-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    3
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    "Get the Unabridged"

    Great Book - but I missed a lot with the abridged - at times it felt as though the story would end at a chapter and then pick up many, many chapters later - a little disjointed. I listened to the unabridged version of the sequel and it was so much better. I would definitely not recommend this abridged version. Think about it - you are missing 28 hours worth of text. So you're not missing just description - you're actually missing a lot of the plot.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Hamade 12-09-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Well read and written book"

    The story flowed well and captured my interest. the reader was wonderful and did an excellent job creating different voices for the various characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Uneeb United States 06-18-12
    Uneeb United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Great Book. Really Sad tho."
    Any additional comments?

    It takes a while to get into this audiobook. It starts off really sad. In the middle it's really sad. Even near the end it's sad. But it's still a good book. Once I felt invested in the characters I really enjoyed it. Great plot twist and amazing description of architecture.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 03-13-11
    Michael 03-13-11

    I am a middle aged male who thinks radio is bubble gum for the brain, so I listen to books in the car. At least one a month.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    10
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    "Powerfull Story - 10 hour version"

    This is a quality story about people. Struggle, intrigue, politics, character - it has it all. One of Follet's best.
    Not religious. I recommend it - you will not want to turn your car off.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer New York, NY, United States 07-31-10
    Jennifer New York, NY, United States 07-31-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Richard E. Grant is a Great Storyteller"

    Yes, Ken Follett wrote the novel but Richard E. Grant is the one who tells the story and he does so marvelously well, bringing characters and scenes to life in such an engaging way. He rivals the reader of the Harry Potter books for his ability to give each character their own voices. I could hardly bring myself to turn the novel off!

    Am now off to look for the other books read by Richard E. Grant.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Bluffton, SC, United States 10-26-07
    Kelly Bluffton, SC, United States 10-26-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
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    "Great Book"

    Beautifully written and narrated. One of my favorites yet.

    13 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nanc United States 10-29-12
    Nanc United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2010

    music head, history reader, fantasy fan

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If you like historical fiction you will love it"
    If you could sum up The Pillars of the Earth in three words, what would they be?

    Well written, beautifully imaged, historically accurate.


    What does Richard E. Grant bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator is wonderful! He has a different inflection for each character.


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

    There were several main characters, all very well developed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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