The Pillars of the Earth : The Pillars of the Earth

  • by Ken Follett
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • Series: The Pillars of the Earth
  • 41 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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What the Critics Say

"Enormous and brilliant . . . this mammoth tale seems to touch all human emotion - love and hate, loyalty and treachery, hope and despair. This is truly a novel to get lost in." (Cosmopolitan)
"A historical saga of such breadth and density... Follett succeeds brilliantly in combining hugeness and detail to create a novel imbued with the rawness, violence and blind faith of the era." (Sunday Express)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very very surprised

I am usually a fan of thriller type books and have listened to authors like Charlaine Harris and Nelson Demille, who I rate very highly.... I drive roadtrains for 12 hour shifts so like going for longer type books, and saw this book was 41 hours long and had seen a good review for it...so I got it with my credit for the month since it cost a little more. I thought there was a good chance it was going to be a mistake... I mean set in the 12th century about building of a cathedral, haha, i am not religious or much of a history buff....
Well all I can say is "This is one of the best books I have listened to since joining audible.com and I have listened to heaps"... Totally engrossed in it from the first 30 pages and it never stopped..... Get it and listen to it you won't be dissapointed whether you are a harley riding dude or a chick working in a lawyers office, you won't regret it.....
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- Alan

Modern tripe

What disappointed you about The Pillars of the Earth?

The predictable one-dimensional characters, the predictable and unneccessary laciviousness, the lack of authenticity and the predictability.


What could Ken Follett have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not written it.


Did John Lee do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, except his Welsh accent was all wrong (I'm from North Wales, we don't speak like extras from Gavin and Stacey, we don't call our fathers 'Da' - hate it when the whole of Wales is charicatured as South Wales - we're far more lyrical up here - Bryn Terfel, Rhys Ifans - listen to their accents).


What character would you cut from The Pillars of the Earth?

All but Aliona and Tom Builder.


Any additional comments?

I was so looking forward to listening to this, I love historical fiction, but there was nothing here which immersed me in the past, it was a modern story coincidentally set in 10th Century, with modern language, modern characters and modern sensibilities. It was beyond bad, really. I stuck with it until about three-quarters of the way through (admittedly, I increased the speed on my iPod to get through it more quickly) but the nastiness of the characters, the predictable way they acted, the vicarious pleasure Mr Follet seemed to take in the depravity shown towards women, it angered me and made my skin crawl. I abandoned the listen without regret.

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- Miss Annie Jones "Magpie"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-18-2010
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.