Pillars of the Earth

Pillars of the Earth

Book - 1989
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If you liked the Century Trilogy, you'll love the "extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece" ( Booklist ) that changed the course of Ken Follett's already phenomenal career.

"Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner," extolled  Publishers Weekly  on the release of  The Pillars of the Earth . A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, the historical epic stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. Today, it stands as a testament to Follett's unassailable command of the written word and to his universal appeal. 
 
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 twelfth-century England, this is Ken Follett's historical masterpiece.
Publisher: New York : Morrow, c1989
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780451225245
0451225244
9780451207142
0451207149
Branch Call Number: F FOL
Characteristics: 973 p. : ill. ; 25 cm

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j
johnintx
May 04, 2019

p. 64

t
taylortribe
Apr 17, 2019

GREAT book!

i
InsJavert
Jan 29, 2019

A finely written and engaging story! It is one of those books from the very first page until the end, simply and wonderously draws you in, written in such a way, the whole story is just the way it is supposed to be, a natural flow and ebb. Few authors are able to write this way but Mr. Follett seems to have done a keen job of it.

The characters, and there are many, are well developed, not overly done. Their interaction and support of one another is superb. You feel for them, you fear with them, you cry with them, the way you should when you're are fully engrossed in the story, because you begin to live the story.

The story; full of intrigue, conniving, political gain, mystery, plots, betrayals, envy, lust, pride, arrogance, and much much more. Again, a finely woven story, real, believable. A story you live in while you are reading it.

When you have well developed characters and a great story written out so well, you have a wonderful, adventurous story you just want to keep reading, just to know what is going to happen on the next page. I haven't read a book like this since "Lonesome Dove", another wonderfully written story.

h
Howie2020
Jan 21, 2019

For those who like thousand page books, this one is a great story for those who enjoy historical fiction, medieval times, and European history. Other than a few places where the writer gets a little too long winded on some rather vulgar scenes, the story itself is quite captivating. The character development is excellent and it was certainly a book that was hard to put down.

WestSlope_TheaH Oct 03, 2018

I was completely engrossed in this novel. I found the characters very compelling and well-developed, with distinctive voices for the four narrators of the story: Tom Builder (a stonemason), Philip (a monk), Aliena (an earl’s daughter), and Jack (Tom’s clever stepson). The story takes place over decades, from Part 1, chronicling 1135-1136, to Part 6, chronicling 1170-1174. Don’t be alarmed by the length—this book was so difficult to put down that I breezed right through it. As a work of historical fiction, I definitely see some crossover appeal for fans of George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, and, like Games of Thrones, it too was adapted for TV as a Starz miniseries in 2010. Certainly the history of the medieval era has similar amounts of treachery and violence!* Reading this book made me want to take a trip to Europe to tour grand old cathedrals. This novel really made me consider the building of a cathedral as the legacy of a lifetime. One final reason to pick it up: Ken Follett told the New York Times in 2014 that of more than twenty novels that he’s written, it was his favorite.

*I will caution that if you are sensitive to violence against women or sexual assault in your fiction, you may want to pass.

BostonPL_EileenS Aug 06, 2018

Follett is a must for historical fiction fans. This particular title is centered on the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge in 12th century England and is the first in a trilogy. The Pillars of the Earth has been nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

l
legadillo
Feb 22, 2018

Dynasty in all it's Joan-Collinsesque glory in 1100, with some architecture thrown in. Just fun.

r
readingthewater
Apr 24, 2017

Pillars of the Earth is fine, but The Heaven Tree Trilogy by Edith Pargeter is better, though it is older and harder to find. How is it better? Writing is more finely crafted, the people are more believable, their actions are less annoyingly gratuitous and you will learn a lot about building with stone. If you liked P of the E and want more, look for the Heaven Tree, The Green Branch and The Scarlet Seed and enjoy!

b
ba_library
Mar 26, 2017

I watched the DVD first and saw many comments that it differed from the book, so I read the book. I don't even remember how the DVD ended and will watch it again. The book is very good, but really huge (973 pages!) I thought it could have been edited down, but it was an interesting and compelling read. Set during the medieval period of historical drama between the era of church and state (royalty and monastic goals and ambitions). Some complain about the ongoing stories of lust and devotion (around page 600 you welcome them!) but I thought the interaction of real people versus the staid and moral church attitude provided a good contrast with the historical setting. Some members of the church were not so moral and forgiving while the local folk had to deal with issues of survival and existence while under the influence of bad lords and scheming bishops. Based around several people who had been inspired to create a beautiful cathedral. A good book, very interesting, but be prepared to set aside a chunk of time.

a
alanrichards
Mar 16, 2017

Thought the quality of the writing was disappointing. The story was interesting enough to keep you reading but could have been told with far fewer pages. It was a "C" read for me.

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Age Suitability

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h
Howie2020
Jan 21, 2019

Howie2020 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

brihawkins13 Apr 06, 2018

brihawkins13 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

c
Cheetaiean
Jan 22, 2015

Cheetaiean thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

LauraO18 Jul 12, 2012

LauraO18 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

SHIRLEY (INSITE) HALL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

m
markv
Sep 20, 2009

markv thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Notices

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LauraO18 Jul 12, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Many murders are vividly and graphically described.

LauraO18 Jul 12, 2012

Coarse Language: This title contains coarse language.

LauraO18 Jul 12, 2012

Sexual Content: Detailed and graphic sexual content...a rape of a teenage girl is described in vivid and horrifying detail.

LauraO18 Jul 12, 2012

Violence: Many murders and acts of violence and rape are vividly and graphically described.

m
markv
Sep 20, 2009

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Summary

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c
cpurvis
Mar 14, 2010

In a time of civil war, famine and religious strife, there rises a magnificent Cathedral in Kingsbridge. Against this backdrop, lives entwine: Tom, the master builder, Aliena, the noblewoman, Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack, the artist in stone and Ellen, the woman from the forest who casts a curse. At once, this is a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age.

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SPL_STARR Jun 16, 2015

"The small boys came early to the hanging."

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