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The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
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The Pillars of the Earth (original 1989; edition 2010)

by Ken Follett

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
17,338535100 (4.2)1 / 739
Member:joel.hilke
Title:The Pillars of the Earth
Authors:Ken Follett
Info:Signet (2010), Mass Market Paperback, 1008 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (1989)

  1. 82
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    OTVTT2010: Molemmat mieleenpainuvia lukukokemuksia, laadukasta viihdettä.
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    The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer (Taphophile13)
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    The Corner That Held Them by Sylvia Townsend Warner (nessreader)
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English (465)  Spanish (20)  Catalan (14)  French (8)  German (8)  Danish (7)  Dutch (6)  Italian (5)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (535)
Showing 1-5 of 465 (next | show all)
rambling, epic, highly entertaining, suspenseful, and surprisingly educational. ( )
  KRoan | Jul 25, 2014 |
This is a huge historical novel set in eighteenth century England dealing with the power struggle between the clergy and the royalty. The story has many likable narrators like Tom the builder, Phillip the monk, Alaina the Earl's daughter. It is pacy and reads like a thriller. ( )
  mausergem | Jul 20, 2014 |
This book was recommended to me because of it's similarity to the final volume of my trilogy, [b:Rashi's Daughters, Book III: Rachel: A Novel of Love and the Talmud in Medieval France|6368197|Rashi's Daughters, Book III Rachel A Novel of Love and the Talmud in Medieval France|Maggie Anton|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1348384870s/6368197.jpg|6555650], both in its medieval time period and a heroine in the woolens business. It was a little long for my taste, but I did enjoy it. I also learned a lot more about building a cathedral than I needed to know. ( )
  Maggie.Anton | Jul 18, 2014 |
Contains at least three of my favorite scenes in all of fiction:

Prior Phillip making his reappearance after hundreds of pages to purchase all of Aliena's cotton.

Phillip shouting, "I see you William Hamleigh!" as the knights come in to murder Thomas Beckett.

Phillip dipping his cloak in the Archbishop's blood and then leading the parade through the town declaring him a saint and a martyr.

One of the greatest fictional characters of all time. One of my favorite books. ( )
  BrendanPMyers | Jun 23, 2014 |
I enjoyed reading this book a lot. It was dramatic and engaging and the "action" scenes were very exciting.

The plot was rewarding and satisfying.

Some of the negative reviews complain about the depiction of the female characters, but I disagree. Aliena and Ellen are very strong women. When Aliena was first introduced, I didn't realize she was going to be a central character, but she became my favorite.

There is a lot of violence and some of it is uncomfortably described, but it serves the story, making the bad guy a really, really bad guy.

A little time has passed since I finished the book, though, and I don't find myself in the same camp with those who really looooved it. I have no interest in reading the sequel.

It's good. It's worth reading. But it hasn't really stuck with me. ( )
  keneumey | Jun 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 465 (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 (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ken Follettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vázquez, RosalíaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, Richard E.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, Richard E.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundborg, GunillaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piggott-Smith, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Röhr-Rouendaal, PetraIllustratorsecondary 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 Domesday Book to Magna Carta
On the night of 25 November 1120 the White Ship set out for Englandand 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
The small boys came early to the hanging. (Preface)
In a broad valley, at the foot of a sloping hillside, beside a clear bubbling stream, Tom was building a house. (Chapter 1)
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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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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A prior, a master builder, and their community try to build a cathedral to protect themselves while Stephen and the Empress Maud fight for the crown of England.

(summary from another edition)

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