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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    14,774
  • 4 Stars
    4,274
  • 3 Stars
    1,182
  • 2 Stars
    395
  • 1 Stars
    350

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    10,139
  • 4 Stars
    2,038
  • 3 Stars
    392
  • 2 Stars
    92
  • 1 Stars
    101

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    9,362
  • 4 Stars
    2,409
  • 3 Stars
    657
  • 2 Stars
    205
  • 1 Stars
    179
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Dalekchap
  • San Diego, CA United States
  • 04-11-08

Superb

40 hours long - no way, it ended far too quickly.

This is easily one of the best books I have ever read; once I had finished the audible version I bought the hardback as it had the drawings the author mentioned in the intro. This is a book that will be read again!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jason
  • Monrovia, CA, USA
  • 04-04-08

Loved it

Even though it was long it did more than hold my attention, what a great book!

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Addictive

I could not put it down, could not stop. I listened driving to work ... then sat for another half hour in the parking lot, just to hear a little more. I took a book and some necessary work with me on a trip, and ended up just listening to this book on my iPod. I sought opportunities to drive from place to place, so I could listen to this audiobook. I lost track of the news. I forgot where I was.....

The characters are memorable and terrifically developed. The setting and relationships between them are historically credible. The story flows seamlessly across the characters and the timeline. And, as you listen to a fabulous yarn, you are learning something about life in England during this period, the relationships between the classes at the time, how people advanced in their respective professions (or positions), how buildings were constructed, and how ideas flowed from place to place at the time.

Fabulous. A tour de force. I was sorry it ended ... and went out and got his next book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wonderful

One of the best books ever! I thought it might be hard to listen to 40 hours but I was disappointed when the book was over.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Pillars of the Earth

One of the best ever!!

  • Overall

Needs a Five

Even though it finally wore me out with about 3 hours left, it needs to get a five.Very entertaining book.

  • Overall

Fantastic

This is book is a great listen. Fantastically well researched, and brilliantly written. Well read too!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Holly
  • New Freedom, PA, USA
  • 03-01-08

Couldn't put it down...

Although I've found a book from time to time that I can't put down, I can usually break away from an audiobook. The Pillars of the Earth was unstoppable for me.

Follett develops the most intriguing cast of characters. I enjoyed all of them, the good guys, the bad guys, the downtrodden and the blessed. With them I starved, grieved, conquered, fell in love and triumphed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fabulous

This is an absolutely fabulous book. I highly recommend it.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stevon
  • Tempe, AZ, United States
  • 02-24-08

Excellent

I have to admit, when I first considered listening to this story I was intimidated by the 40+ hours length. But my wife started reading it and told me what a great book it was so I got my mind right and dove in. I'm like many of the other reviewers, I was sorry to have it come to an end. My ancestors were from England and came to America around the Revolutionary War. So the historical perspective of the book was my family's history. My ancestor was probably one of the hungry ones runnning around the forest!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful