Ken Follett had long been a staple of the bestseller lists for his novels of intrigue and espionage. Then came The Pillars of the Earth, a grand novel of epic storytelling that readers and critics quickly hailed as his crowning achievement.
In 12th-century England, the building of a mighty Gothic cathedral signals the dawn of a new age. This majestic creation will bond clergy and kings, knights and peasants together in a story of toil, faith, ambition and rivalry. A sweeping tale of the turbulent middle ages, The Pillars of the Earth is a masterpiece from one of the world's most popular authors.
"Manipulating a complex plot in which the characters interact against a broad canvas of medieval life, Follett has written a novel that entertains, instructs and satisfies on a grand scale." - Publishers Weekly.
"This will appeal more to lovers of exciting adventure stories than true devotees of historical fiction." - Library Journal.
"The vigor and intensity of the first half of the book may bring The Pillars of the Earth popular success. But half a book isn't good enough, especially at these prices. repetitious." - New York Times.
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Rated of 5
J B Brush
If you are interested in this historical period, the Great Anarchy, you should read the Cadfael Chronicles by Ellis Peters. Her 20 volumes are mysteries set against the war between Maud and Stephen, but Peters' work is much more intelligent, and well-written.
One can suspect that Ken Follett benefited from Peters' meticulous research of the period. But his book is history sensationalized for the mass market.
I don't think I'll manage to read "Pillars of the Earth" all the way through.
Rated of 5
I think this book is wonderful. One should definitely not judge a book by it's cover, or even the first 60 pages... This book has been a page turner through and through, which I didn't expect and still don't understand how it is possible being so long. I definitely recommend it.
Rated of 5
The Pillars of the Earth
I have to admit, I'm a bit mystified by the hype. Only 60 pages in, but may pass this to the trash heap. Passages like (loose quote) 'a cathedral is just like a church, but it's where the bishop lives' or 'a cathedral has three parts, a head, shoulders and a body.'
Well, no kidding. Thanks for explaining what a cathedral is. And no, it's not a head, shoulders and body, it's a cross.
And, again, only in the first 60 pages, it seemed like the daughter, Martha, was more like the Kenny character from the Comedy Central series "South Park." I mean, she was almost run down by a war horse and then clubbed by a mutilated thief.
I realize I perhaps have not read enough, but I keep saying to myself "Oh come on, please!"
I hate putting books down, so maybe a few more chapters.
If you want a better book of the same period, a true masterpiece, read 'Narcissus and Goldman" by Hermann Hesse.
It wasn't selected for Oprah's book club, which may be a good thing. Only read one of other book on that list and it was junk. The only other I heard about was a fraud.
Rated of 5
Loved it.....all 900 pages
I can't believe there are so few reviews of this novel. Don't let the thickness of this book scare you away. At first I thought it would take me forever to finish it. The story and characters captured me right away and I had a hard time putting it down. It is now one of my all time favorite books.
Rated of 5
I can't believe.....
There isn't one reader review? This is one of my all time favorites! A must read!
Ken Follett was born on 5 June 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector. He was
educated at state schools and graduated from University College, London, with an
Honours degree in philosophy (he was made a Fellow of the college in 1995).
He became a reporter, first with his home-town newspaper the South Wales Echo and later with the London Evening News. While working on the Evening News he wrote his first novel, which was published but did not become a bestseller. He then went to work for a small London publishing house, Everest Books, eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director. He continued to write novels in his spare time. Eye of the Needle was his eleventh book, and his first success. Around 100 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide.
Ken Follett: fohl-ette
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