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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.
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Critic Reviews

"Follett is a master." (The Washington Post)
"A historical novel of gripping readability, authentic atmosphere and detail and memorable characterization." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Gina on 07-25-09

Epic story to be read by all!

I downloaded this book based on a review by another person who said something about how they couldn't believe a book about a monk trying to build a cathedral could be so interesting. Well they were right!

I just skimmed over some of the reviews here after reading the book and I can't believe some of these people and I read the same book! I personally was never bored with any of the parts. Many times I sat in my car once I got to work, just to hear out the rest of the chapter. Ken Follet is a brilliant writer and really drew me into his characters. I even felt true hatred towards the villains - I would come in from my hour drive home work ranting to my husband how much I hated so and so.

Some reviews here talk about the book being vulgar, that is not true. There are some sexual encounters in this book (some the good kind and others terrible), but they add to the storyline. I personally felt it brought more realism to book, but did not feel like the author overdid the frequency of encounters like some other books do.

I'm traveling to England this month for the first time and thanks to this book I've altered my itinerary in order to visit some cathedrals. I want to marvel at the architecture and imagine the trials and tribulations the builders went through.

I love historical fiction and enjoyed how the author brought in real events (that I could look up) and gave the ordinary people of that time a voice. I could imagine how hard life really was for them and the life and death effects of the decisions and whims of the rulers. I have a better appreciation for their struggles.

The narrator did a fabulous job. Some narrators can ruin a book, but John Lee brought all those characters to life. Sometimes I'd forget it was the same man voicing every character.

I do wish the author had given his comments at the end of the book, not at the beginning. It gave away some of the plot.

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146 of 152 people found this review helpful


By Judith on 11-08-07

Couldn't Take My Buds Out

I thought, whew, 40 hours, but I really enjoyed it. One of those books that keeps you up late.
I liked the way the story moved. My only complaint was the repeaded rapes and the details of step by step sex, which, I personally find boring by most writers, I did >> a couple of times. I'm downloading the sequel now, so that tells the real tale. If you like family and political sagas, you won't be disappointed.

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97 of 102 people found this review helpful

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