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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

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    151
  • 4 Stars
    88
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    39
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    105
  • 4 Stars
    53
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
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    1

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    103
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    5
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    1
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  • Overall

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).

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Olivia
  • Athens, GA, USA
  • 01-28-08

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Time Warped Me to Another World

I was somewhat skeptical after reading some reviews but my wife encouraged me tho give it a try. Absolutely loved it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jennifer
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 07-31-10

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

  • Overall
  • Kelly
  • Bluffton, SC, United States
  • 10-26-07

Great Book

Beautifully written and narrated. One of my favorites yet.

13 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Uneeb
  • United States
  • 06-18-12

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful and interesting

Loved it. couldn't stop listening.
And it also historically intersting.
Give clear view on life in that century.