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The Pillars of the Earth: A Novel…
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The Pillars of the Earth: A Novel (Kingsbridge) (original 1989; edition 2007)

by Ken Follett (Author)

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22,019662105 (4.18)852
Adventure saga of 12th century England, from a stone mason whose dream is to build a glorious cathedral to a man of God in a web of dangerous political intrigue.
Member:larch100
Title:The Pillars of the Earth: A Novel (Kingsbridge)
Authors:Ken Follett (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (2007), Edition: Deluxe, 1008 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (1989)

  1. 92
    Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones (crgalvin, OTVTT2010)
    OTVTT2010: Molemmat mieleenpainuvia lukukokemuksia, laadukasta viihdettä.
  2. 71
    The Physician by Noah Gordon (ecureuil)
  3. 51
    The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer (Taphophile13)
  4. 20
    The Corner That Held Them by Sylvia Townsend Warner (nessreader)
    nessreader: CTHT is another medieval-set, multiple generation, religous institution novel, about a minor convent in England, sprawling over multiple generations and giving a sense of time passing, lightly touching on the lives of the nuns, but with the institution as the main character.… (more)
  5. 32
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (bugaboo4)
  6. 32
    Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd (mcenroeucsb, al.vick)
  7. 10
    The Stones of the Abbey by Fernand Pouillon (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Novel about a 12thC medieval master builder in France
  8. 00
    Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims by Toby Clements (Stepn)
    Stepn: As good, if not better.
  9. 00
    Das Haupt der Welt: Historischer Roman by Rebecca Gablé (MissBrangwen)
  10. 11
    The Lost Angel: A Novel by Javier Sierra (albavirtual)
  11. 00
    When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman (Anonymous user)
  12. 00
    World Without End by Ken Follett (delma28)
  13. 11
    Hild by Nicola Griffith (kiwiflowa)
  14. 02
    The Jester by James Patterson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The Jester and The Pillars of Earth are intricately plotted, suspenseful tales set in the Middle Ages. These books focus on the treachery and drama of the period.
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» See also 852 mentions

English (578)  Spanish (23)  Catalan (15)  French (11)  Danish (7)  Dutch (7)  German (7)  Italian (7)  Hungarian (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (659)
Showing 1-5 of 578 (next | show all)
Fun book in the tradition of _The Thorn Birds_ and other books bound for TV miniseries. Of course, there was in fact a recent miniseries based on the book.

In the past few months, I would have given it a 4, but I'm trying to be a bit more discriminating and critical with my reviews. A 1000 page book also has to have a bit more depth to justify the time commitment.

The story was reasonably rich and definitely sprawling, which you'd expect from a 1000 page book. I liked the characters, though they weren't particularly well developed.

It's not clear to me how historically accurate the book is, but I did feel like I learned at least a little bit about 12th century English history and about the development of Gothic architecture. I now understand a bit more what a flying buttress actually accomplishes, and can appreciate cathedrals a bit more (though I won't be traveling around to visit cathedrals like Follett).

If you're looking for beach reading or for a book to read on a long vacation that will keep you entertained, I do recommend _Pillars of the Earth_. ( )
  Robert_Musil | Dec 15, 2019 |
A wonderfully sweeping historical saga that is irrevocably marred by the author's lack of faith in his readers' mental acuity and insistence on recapping the plot for them at every turn. Very distracting and a little offensive; I was paying attention, Mr. Follett, I promise. ( )
  fionaanne | Dec 6, 2019 |
My god this was awful. ( )
  bcpeterson727 | Dec 3, 2019 |
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.
  Gmomaj | Oct 6, 2019 |
I had a hard time liking this book. By the second half I was ok with it. Sometimes my mood affects how I like a book, but this one was depressing at every turn. The references to the architecture were wonderful, though. ( )
  ahamel | Sep 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 578 (next | show all)
Great literature? Of course not. To begin with, the plot relies far too heavily on coincidence, and the characters tend to be chiseled into predictability. The writing depends heavily on dialogue - and although it's well-done dialogue, it's the stuff of escapism, not of the ages. But so what? It's a long, rich and rewarding story, full of glory and violence told in the tradition of medieval troubadors. Few among us could turn away from a tale that begins: ''The small boys came early to the hanging.''
added by Shortride | editSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, Harry Levins (pay site) (Sep 3, 1989)
 
A novel of majesty and power.
added by Shortride | editChicago Sun-Times, Algis Budrys (pay site) (Aug 20, 1989)
 

» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ken Follettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Conrad, Gabrielesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, Richard E.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kiel, AchimIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lohmeyer, TillÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundborg, GunillaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piggott-Smith, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Przygodda, ThomasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Röhr-Rouendaal, PetraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenthal, JeanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rost, Christelsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vázquez, RosalíaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Le nuit du 25 novembre 1120, le Vaisseau blanc appareilla à destination de l'Angleterre et sombra corps et biens au large de Barfleur: il n'y eut qu'un survivant... Le vaisseau représentait le dernier cri en matière de transport maritime et il était muni des plus récents perfectionnements connus de la construction navale d'alors... Si l'on a beaucoup parlé de ce naufrage, c'est en raison du grand nombre de personnalités qui se trouvaient à bord; outre le fils du roi, héritier présomptif du trône, il y avait deux bâtards de sang royal, plusieurs comtes et barons et presque toute la maison du roi... Cela eut pour conséquence historique de laisser Henry sans héritier... Cela provoqua la guerre de succession et la période d'anarchie qui suivit la mort d'Henry.
A. L. Poole
From Doomsday Book to Magna Carta
On the night of 25 November 1120 the White Ship set out for England and foundered off Barfleur with all hands save one. ... The vessel was the latest thing in marine transport, fitted with all the devices known to the shipbuilder of the time. ... The notoriety of this wreck is due to the very large number of distinguished persons on board; beside the king's son and heir, there were two royal bastards, several earls and barons, and most of the royal household ... its historical significance is that it left Henry without an obvious heir ... its ultimate result was the disputed succession and the period of anarchy which followed Henry's death.
-A. L. Poole,
From Doomsday Book to Magna Carta
Dedication
To Marie-Claire,
the apple of my eye
First words
Preface
The small boys came early to the hanging.
Chapter 1
In a broad valley, at the foot of a sloping hillside, beside a clear bubbling stream, Tom was building a house.
Quotations
The baby cried, and the sound tugged at his heartstrings like a well-loved hymn. p.89
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Norwegian translation is split into two parts: Stormenes tid I
sverdet og korset AND Stormenes tid II katedralen
Please do not combine an abridged audio with the complete work. Thank you.
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in 12th-century England, the narrative concerns the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge. The ambitions of three men merge, conflict and collide through 40 years of social and political upheaval as internal church politics affect the progress of the cathedral and the fortunes of the protagonists. "Follett has written a novel that entertains, instructs and satisfies on a grand scale," judged PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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