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The Pillars of the Earth Paperback – 6 Apr 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 1104 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (6 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330450131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330450133
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (896 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning EYE OF THE NEEDLE, which became an international bestseller. His celebrated PILLARS OF THE EARTH was voted into the top 100 of Britain's best-loved books in the BBC's the Big Read and the sequel, WORLD WITHOUT END, was published to critical acclaim. He lives with his family in London and Hertfordshire.

Product Description

Review

'It's such a great read...I got to 800 pages, and I slowed myself down because I didn't want it to end.' -- Oprah Winfrey

About the Author

Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning novel Eye of the Needle, which became an international bestseller and film. He has since written several equally successful novels, including, most recently, Whiteout. He is also author of the non-fiction bestseller On Wings of Eagles. Ken Follett lives with his family in London and Stevenage.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

307 of 327 people found the following review helpful By Laura Hulland on 31 July 2006
Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
I dont care what the rest of you think, but I loved this book. I am a hardcore fantasy reader and was really loath to start this 1076 page monster. But a 2 week holiday with the kids loomed ever near, and I decided that this was the perfect thing to while away those long evenings.

We went camping in Southern France, it was hot, the van was cramped and we had no food as we were miles from a shop. Every time I felt sorry for myself I started reading about 12th century life and thanked my lucky stars, looked around and felt gratefull that raping and pillaging were no longer a problem and my only real worry was getting 5 kids ready for bed in less than 2 hours!

If you love medieval history, romance, factual events and treachery all woven together with fantastic characterisation, great descriptions and dialogue then this is the book for you. It depicts the life and times of the dark ages in a very real way, nothing is romanticised. The rawness of the descriptions was a refreshing change and I feel I could build a cathedral from scratch thanks to Follets excellent descriptions. (which are not boring but facinating)

It describes the lives of the aristocracy, peasants, royalty and follows the individual lives of about 5 various people including a monk Father Philip (for 63 years of his life_)and about some other very different characters who's lives and destiny's are all irrivocabley interwoven.

The opening paragraph describes a hanging in the most brutal way, and the descriptions of the behaviour and attitude of the observers just had me gripped from the begining.

I was so impressed that the minute I got home I was on the net trying to verify some of the facts therin. And sure enough it was all there. Follett has taken key moments in medieval british history and woven around it 3 dimensional characters which just bring it all to life.

I'm now off to buy some more from this time period!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Hill on 10 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
This book totally absorbed me.. kept me up too late.. and very nearly made me late for work as I was so absorbed in it in my lunchhour I didn't notice the time! It also filled my dreams with strange and wonderful scenes of medieval monasteries, castles and kings! Excellent history, rich world detail and great characters who grow and develop through time and experience. Even the once or twice when things turned out right "miraculously in the nick of time" were more than balanced by the times when the worst DID happen. It truly does make you grateful for a warm home and plenty to eat and a reasonable expectation of not being hacked to death in an unexpected raid from a neighbouring Earl too!!

Give it a read... and yes.. don't let that first hanging scene put you off.. it gets better from there on in!
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111 of 119 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 April 1999
Format: Paperback
From the outset, Pillars of the Earth gripped me. My imagination was captured by the day to day lives of some of the most real characters I have met between the pages of a novel. Each character evokes a response: compassion, respect, revulsion or even lust. The story spans many years, yet gives remarkable detail concerning the changing politics, lifestyle and even architectural and building practices of the day. I was given the book by a friend several years ago, and have given copies as gifts several times. My own copy is so battered from being read, reread, lent and returned that I'm now needing a replacement.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "rikki-jayne" on 8 Sep 2004
Format: Paperback
My mother in law reccomended this book to me, and I have to admit, I was a bit sceptical at first as history has never appealed to me, and religion is not my thing, but, after my husband went and bought the book, I thought I would give it a go.
Needless to say, just five days after reading the first page, I turned the last, after having been thoroughly entertained, intrigued and compelled to read every last word.
I have never read any of Folletts books before, so had no bench mark with which to judge, but from the opening lines I was gripped.
The characters entrenched themselves within my heart, and I found myself absorbed in the conspiracies and trials that the main characters faced.
It brought all my emotions to the surface, made me laugh, made me cry, made me gasp in horror...
I doubt I shall ever look upon a cathedral again without wondering if the "Tom Builder" who acted as master mason faced half as many trials during his life as Follett's characters did in their quest to build the cathedral in his book.
Pillars of the Earth will rank up there amongst my all time favourite reads from now on, an exceptional book.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By K. Wigglesworth on 9 July 2006
Format: Paperback
In line with other reviewers I agree that this novel is without doubt one of the finest novels that I have read. It is a must read... but I must give a warning! Make sure that when you pick this book up to read, you cancel all appointments and commitments for a couple of days. Lock the doors, take the phone off the hook, turn off the radio, pour yourself a glass of wine and immerse yourself into a story that has just about everything you could want from a novel. The book becomes so completely engaging that time almost becomes irrelevant. You have been warned!!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 April 2002
Format: Paperback
Right from the off this book draws you in.It's basically about a man whose dream is to build a cathedral.That might not sound too gripping but there is so much more to this novel than that.You follow the lives of the characters,share with them their highs and their lows over a period of time from 1123 to 1174.The narrative is superb and you will not be bored by too much historical information,though you will learn quite a lot about the way people lived their lives during the 12th century.To sum up:If you like historical fiction then you will love this book.
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