Picture of author.

Ken Follett

Author of The Pillars of the Earth

149+ Works 112,949 Members 2,657 Reviews 257 Favorited

About the Author

Ken Follett was born in Wales, United Kingdom on June 5, 1949. He received an Honours degree in philosophy from University College, London. He began his career as a newspaper reporter for the South Wales Echo and later with the London Evening News. He decided to switch to publishing and worked for show more a small London publishing house, Everest Books, eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director. His first bestselling novel, Eye of the Needle, was published in 1978 and won the Edgar Award. His other works include Triple, The Key to Rebecca, The Man from St. Petersburg, Lay Down with Lions, The Pillars of the Earth, The Third Twin, The Hammer of Eden, Code to Zero, Whiteout, World Without End, The Century Trilogy, and A Column of Fire. Many of his novels have been adapted into films and television miniseries. He has won numerous awards including the Corine Prize in 2003 for Jackdaws. His nonfiction works include On Wings of Eagles. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

Ken Follett has written under several pen names, including Martin Martinsen, Simon Myles, Bernard L. Ross, Zachary Stone.

Image credit: Photograph by Barbara Follet, www.ken-follett.com


Works by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth (1989) 27,520 copies, 756 reviews
World Without End (2007) 12,841 copies, 317 reviews
Fall of Giants (2010) 8,628 copies, 314 reviews
Eye of the Needle (1978) 5,405 copies, 92 reviews
Winter of the World (2012) 5,029 copies, 160 reviews
A Dangerous Fortune (1993) 3,435 copies, 52 reviews
Whiteout (2004) 3,408 copies, 74 reviews
Edge of Eternity (2014) 3,315 copies, 108 reviews
Jackdaws (2001) 3,290 copies, 60 reviews
The Third Twin (1996) 3,140 copies, 35 reviews
A Column of Fire (2017) 3,024 copies, 91 reviews
Code to Zero (2000) 2,998 copies, 44 reviews
The Key to Rebecca (1980) 2,982 copies, 41 reviews
Night Over Water (1991) 2,971 copies, 46 reviews
A Place Called Freedom (1995) 2,933 copies, 50 reviews
Hornet Flight (2002) 2,739 copies, 51 reviews
The Man from St. Petersburg (1982) 2,718 copies, 31 reviews
The Hammer of Eden (1998) 2,396 copies, 31 reviews
Lie Down With Lions (1986) 2,221 copies, 38 reviews
The Evening and the Morning (2020) 2,213 copies, 74 reviews
On Wings of Eagles (1983) 1,998 copies, 25 reviews
Triple (1979) 1,887 copies, 27 reviews
The Modigliani Scandal (1976) 1,186 copies, 21 reviews
Paper Money (1977) 1,108 copies, 17 reviews
Never (2021) 1,098 copies, 36 reviews
The Armor of Light (2023) 609 copies, 21 reviews
Los pilares de la tierra I (1990) 168 copies, 4 reviews
Under the Streets of Nice (1978) 152 copies, 6 reviews
The Power Twins and the Worm Puzzle (1976) 132 copies, 5 reviews
The Big Needle (1974) 120 copies
The Mystery Hideout (Apple Fiction) (1976) 82 copies, 4 reviews
World Without End [2012 TV miniseries] (2012) — Based on the book by — 56 copies, 1 review
Secret of Kellerman's Studio (1976) 55 copies, 3 reviews
Capricorn One (1978) 38 copies, 1 review
The Shakeout (1975) 29 copies
The Bear Raid (1976) 22 copies
Die Tore der Welt (12 CDs) (2007) 11 copies, 2 reviews
The Big Black (1974) 9 copies
Jackdaws 6 copies
The Big Hit (1975) 4 copies
Amok - King of Legend (1976) 4 copies, 1 review
Eine Liebe in Kingsbridge (2006) 3 copies
Cattiva fede - Bad Faith (2017) 2 copies, 1 review
עורבות 2 copies
State of Terror / Never (2022) — Contributor — 1 copy
PAS IN DOI 1 copy
Skandal s Modilyani (2018) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Shining (1977) — Introduction, some editions — 23,515 copies, 456 reviews
Live and Let Die (1954) — Introduction, some editions — 3,598 copies, 81 reviews
The Pillars of the Earth [2010 TV mini series] (2010) — Original novel — 87 copies, 2 reviews
Granta 137: Followers (2016) — Contributor — 57 copies, 2 reviews
Eye of the Needle [1981 film] (1979) — Original book — 57 copies, 5 reviews
Murder on the Railways (1996) — Contributor — 42 copies, 2 reviews
Reader's Digest Select Editions 2001 v01 #253 (2001) — Author — 33 copies
Reader's Digest Condensed Books 1996 v01 (1996) 29 copies, 1 review
Reader's Digest Condensed Books 1979 v01 (1979) — Author — 27 copies
The Cruise (1995) — Contributor — 15 copies
Reader's Digest Best Sellers: Eye of the Needle | Orphan Train (1978) — Author — 15 copies, 1 review
A Feast of Stories (1996) — Contributor — 15 copies, 1 review
Kloakrotterne (1983) 5 copies
The Do-It-Yourself Bestseller: A Workbook (1982) — Contributor, some editions — 4 copies
Tordenøglen - og andre historier fra fremmede verdener (1982) — Author, some editions — 2 copies, 1 review
Appendici in giallo 1 (racconti) — Contributor — 1 copy


12th century (290) 20th century (355) adventure (356) architecture (485) audiobook (370) British (227) cathedrals (777) ebook (652) England (1,446) espionage (894) fiction (8,192) Germany (217) hardcover (251) historical (1,212) historical fiction (5,149) historical novel (901) history (908) James Bond (350) Ken Follett (351) Kindle (576) literature (308) medieval (749) Middle Ages (843) mystery (772) novel (1,127) own (408) paperback (255) read (855) religion (245) Roman (521) romance (261) Russia (235) spy (607) suspense (816) thriller (2,187) to-read (4,309) unread (322) war (312) WWI (435) WWII (1,054)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Follett, Ken Martin
Other names
Martinsen, Martin
Myles, Simon
Ross, Bernard L.
Stone, Zachary
Country (for map)
Wales, UK
Cardiff, Wales, UK
Places of residence
London, England, UK
Cardiff, Wales, UK
Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, UK
University College London (Philosophy)
Harrow Weald Grammar School
Poole Technical College
Labour Party (UK)
Plymouth Brethren
Awards and honors
Fellow of University College, London (1994)
Royal Society of Arts (Fellow)
Olaguibel Prize, awarded by the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos Vasco-Navarro for contributing to the promotion and awareness of architecture (2008)
Honorary Doctorate (DLitt | University of Glamorgan)
Honorary Doctorate (Letters | Saginaw Valley State University | 2007)
ITW Thrillermaster (2010)
Al Zuckerman (Writers House)
Amy Berkower
Bob Booman
Short biography
He was born on 5 June 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector. He was educated at state schools and graduated from University College, London, with an Honours degree in philosophy. He was made a Fellow of the college in 1995.

He became a reporter, first with his home-town newspaper the South Wales Echo and later with the London Evening News. While working on the Evening News he wrote his first novel, which was published but did not become a bestseller. He then went to work for a small London publishing house, Everest Books, eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director. He continued to write novels in his spare time. Eye of the Needle was his eleventh book, and his first success. Around 100 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide.
Disambiguation notice
Ken Follett has written under several pen names, including Martin Martinsen, Simon Myles, Bernard L. Ross, Zachary Stone.



trilogy about cathedral building in Name that Book (November 2015)
*Group Read: World Without End by Ken Follett* General Thread in 75 Books Challenge for 2010 (January 2011)


A little on the long side, but SO good!
my6boyzmom | 313 other reviews | Jul 20, 2024 |
Absolutely fantastic. The entire book was so well done. Usually the beginning of his books bore me a bit. But, this one was just so compelling.
sunnydrk | 20 other reviews | Jul 10, 2024 |
I very much enjoyed this 5th Kingsbridge novel. I really liked the characters although the ending didn't live up to the rest of the novel.

The novel focuses on several characters to represent the time period from early 1790s to 1815. Sal Clitheroe's husband dies due to the negligent and arrogant attitude of Will Riddick, making Sal someone hates throughout the novel. After being forced from her home by the Riddicks, Sal and her son Kit move to Kingsbrige because she works as a weaver for Amos Barrowfield. It's here we also meet Spade, a mill owner like Amos. Amos inherits a failing business when his father dies. Amos possesses kindness, intelligence, and tenacity. He finds that his father owes Mr. Hornbeam a great deal of money, and Hornbeam has every intention of taking over the business, leaving Amos and his mother destitute. Spade engages several businessmen to loan Amos money in order to have a chance. Amos works hard, treats his workers well, attends church as a faithful Methodist, and teaches children at a free Sunday school his friend Elsie runs. He thinks that he loves Jane, but Jane knows that she isn't the woman for Amos even though she truly likes him. Jane wants riches and social status, so she's looking for a man of money and position. It takes Amos a while to see these truths.

Hornbeam desires wealth and fear of others. He believes most people are below him, and he treats people as such. He marries his daughter to Will Riddick who is in the military. Will's position allows Hornbeam to get the exclusive orders to make clothes for the military. Amos, or any other mill owners/weaves, can not get these important contracts. As Sal, Spade, and Amos vie for business and to live with dignity, Hornbeam continually plots against them, resulting in horrible consequences.

As with all the books in this series, the ending brings the people together who should be and makes the antagonist "pay." The ending lacked. There is a detailed description of Napoleon's final battle that runs too long. Then, the novel pretty much ends neatly in a short time. Hornbeam's final scene lacks belief, for you don't see him believably progress/change to accept what happens. Characters are together and it ends. Otherwise, I loved the book because of Amos. I really enjoyed reading the book--in fact, I didn't do anything else for several days in order to have a couple of hours to read a day. I do recommend it very. much--just don't have high expectations for the ending.
… (more)
acargile | 20 other reviews | Jul 6, 2024 |
Century Trilogy, The - Book 2
MontanaMick | 159 other reviews | Jun 30, 2024 |


1980s (1)
1970s (1)
1990s (1)
2020 (1)


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