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The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth (original 1989; edition 2002)

by Ken Follett

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
20,72063670 (4.19)1 / 829
Title:The Pillars of the Earth
Authors:Ken Follett
Info:NAL Trade (2002), Edition: 1st Thus., Paperback, 976 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (1989)

  1. 92
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English (557)  Spanish (21)  Catalan (15)  French (10)  Danish (7)  Italian (7)  German (7)  Dutch (6)  Hungarian (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  All (634)
Showing 1-5 of 557 (next | show all)
Definitely a case of way-too-high expectations set by people who had read this book and recommended it. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book, but I just wonder what I would have thought of it without the verbal praise. The book is very readable; it's a page turner. Follett does an excellent job of building the characters (although when those same characters break down, it is less well done--kind of abrupt). Book is not for everyone, especially the teen readers that I work with. Some teens will like, but most likely those that tend to be precocious or are into stories of diplomacy, intrigue, and power. There are several sexual assaults in the story that may be difficult for others (not to mention Follett's frequent and thorough explanation of his female character's bosoms). ( )
  rdwhitenack | Jun 10, 2018 |
This book gives an historical life story involving a monk who is truly inspirational. The events are, at times, gory and blood curdling but is true to the way of life in the times.
I could not put this book down, my emotions were up and down like a roller coaster. The characters were so real that I found myself, uncharacteristically, wanting certain characters to die and feeling such hatred for the despicable bishop, Earl, knights and their vicious followers. The main characters, namely, Tom, Ellen, Aliana and Jack had my heart pounding and hoping throughout for their safety. Follett made the characters real for me and is an exceptional writer. ( )
  Jawin | Jun 7, 2018 |
I have a soft spot for historical pieces, but this was exquisite. My first book by this author and I understand he does not usually write in this genre. It was amazingly written. When books are this long, it's a careful balance to keep your attention throughout. This was not an issue with this author. I bonded with each character quickly and enjoyed feeling like I was there while they grew up. I'm not religious so I was unsure I would enjoy a book about "cathedrals" but of course it's so much more than that.

There are graphic moments, that include rape. Remember the era you are reading if that offends. This book made me feel like I was living in the 12th century for about a month and it was an amazing ride. This will go down as an all time favorite. ( )
  Nemorn | Jun 4, 2018 |
Where do I begin with a review of this book? This book, though a real 'tome' in its own right, had me reading as quickly as possible. For those who love generational sagas and historical fiction, this is the book for you. We follow a handful of individuals all centered around the building of a great church. As the church is slowly built, the reader follows the strings of these characters' lives as they connect to one another throughout time in more ways than the reader initially realizes. This book is everything I love about historical fiction that is strong in time and place as well as atmosphere. It quickly made it as one of my favorite novels. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Jun 2, 2018 |
This is the story of Philip , prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk who is driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known. Tom is the mason who becomes his architect. Through this historical masterpiece, Follett tells a spellbinding story of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the medieval time of twelfth-century England.
  SABC | May 23, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 557 (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
Vázquez, RosalíaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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
Rost, Christelsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
To Marie-Claire,
the apple of my eye
First words
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.
The baby cried, and the sound tugged at his heartstrings like a well-loved hymn. p.89
Last words
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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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Book description
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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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.

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (4.19)
0.5 18
1 101
1.5 21
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