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Pillars of the Earth Paperback – Aug 1 2010

660 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1104 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Publishing; TV tie-in ed edition (Aug. 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780330534925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330534925
  • ASIN: 0330534920
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (660 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,832,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product 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. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

A radical departure from Follett's novels of international suspense and intrigue, this chronicles the vicissitudes of a prior, his master builder, and their community as they struggle to build a cathedral and protect themselves during the tumultuous 12th century, when the empress Maud and Stephen are fighting for the crown of England after the death of Henry I. The plot is less tightly controlled than those in Follett's contemporary works, and despite the wealth of historical detail, especially concerning architecture and construction, much of the language as well as the psychology of the characters and their relationships remains firmly rooted in the 20th century. This will appeal more to lovers of exciting adventure stories than true devotees of historical fiction. Literary Guild dual main selection.
- Cynthia Johnson Whealler, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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IN A BROAD VALLEY, at the foot of a sloping hillside, beside a clear bubbling stream, Tom was building a house. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Samm Munro on Dec 5 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book-a historical novel fan's dream come true. I have read this book twice and loved it even more the second time. If you only read one book this year, make it this one. Even though it is long and daunting in size, you will find it to be hard to put down. While reading this novel, I resented the intrusion of my job, my household chores and other mundane activies like eating and sleeping. While I believe it would make a great movie, I would be afraid that it would be spoiled by the need to cut so much. Thank you, Mr. Follett! It's a treasure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michel Morel on Nov. 15 2007
Format: Paperback
This book has been given to me by a friend. Not beeing a frequent book reader, the beginning of the book with the characters descriptions and all I was not too motivated. But getting into the story has got me using spare time to read more and more. Very credible story happening around the 12th century. Ken Follett's strenght, in my opinion, is describing the state of mind of his characters at any given time. I could imagine easily beeing there. Very good!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By NeuroSplicer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on Nov. 24 2007
Format: Paperback
PILLARS OF THE EARTH is one of those books one can really enjoy and will leave a memorable aftertaste long after the last page is turned.

The story is set in the middle ages (12th century) and starts in a stormy night full of death and new life, desperation and hope. It then follows the story of a stone-mason (Tom Builder) and his family in his efforts to continue building a cathedral (Kingsbridge) and, thus, carve out a living for his family.
The story, of course, also branches out into a number of interweaving stories, from the villainous lord William Hamleigh and pious Prior Phillip, to beautiful Aliena and Tom Builder's children and their own ambitions and schemes.

KEN FOLLETT is a well above average English writer (I would recommend also trying his NIGHT OVER WATER). If you have came across interviews of his declaring himself an atheist, do not let this discourage you from buying this book: he approaches a religious theme (the building of a cathedral by a monastery Prior) with respect and fairness.

Although not a masterpiece (and hardly a classic), PILLARS OF THE EARTH does occupy No.33 on the BBC's Big Read (a 2003 survey with the goal of finding England's Best-loved Book), just below Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and above...Charles Dickens' David Copperfield (yeah, I know...) - which goes to show how much people are enjoying the easy narrative and interesting plot.
The book runs for almost 1,000 pages, so make sure to have some free time ahead before getting started.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nath Drouin on Nov. 26 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am very confused about my feeling for this book. I really enjoyed the story but there are so many bad things about this book. First, from page 700 til the end I really skim throu the book because I couldn't read one more thing about trancept and buttress and all the repeatious things about construction work. But way before that I did pass over cockfight and dogfight and bearbaiting etc.

I laughted a some of the language. I don't think the term BAMBOUZELED was used in the 1200th. Kids didn't pay football because even my mother, 60 years ago played with a pig's blader on the farm. So my guest is it was pigball or simply ball.

I enjoyed all of the characters. Although they were pretty flat such as the bad one were bad without one iota of goodness in them and the good ones were good to the core.

Finally, I am very picky about giving a 5 stars to a book. If I could have given a 3 1/2 to this one that's what I would have done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Clemens on Dec 1 2007
Format: Paperback
If you like historical fiction, this is a book you can get lost in. Don't let the thickness of it intimidate you because it doesn't seem that long while you're reading it. You'll be on the 900th page before you know it.

Being familiar with and a fan of other books by Ken Follett, I originally bought and read this book several years ago. I was absolutely knocked out and captivated by the story and read it in two settings.

Part of what makes a story great to me is when I truly get wrapped up in its characters and begin to associate and have feelings for them, good or bad. In a sense, they come to life while I'm reading the story. This was especially true for "The Pillars of the Earth," having been totally entranced by the end of the first chapter. I especially come to care for Tom and his family, and later, for Jack and his mother. In fact, when one of the major characters dies midway through the story (I won't say who and spoil part of the story), I was shocked and had to lay the book down for several minutes.

As another note on this and Mr. Follett's other books, even though I am male (if that should make any difference), I respect his use of a strong female character playing a major role in his stories.

If you like Philosophy I recommend the book Understanding: Train of Thought.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Robbins on Nov. 14 2007
Format: Paperback
This is not your typical Ken Follett story. It is one of my (and my husband's ) all-time favourite books. It hooks you from the first sentence. I have given it to friends who also love it. Could never believe that someone didn't turn it into a movie (yet!). Glad it's finally getting the recognition it deserves. Enjoy!
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