The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1) by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)

Ken Follett is known worldwide as the master of split-second suspense, but his most beloved and bestselling book tells the magnificent tale of a twelfth-century monk driven to do the seemingly impossible: build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known.Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth centu...


Details The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)

TitleThe Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)
ISBN9780451207142
Author
Release DateFeb 4th, 2002
PublisherNAL Trade
LanguageEnglish
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction
Rating

Reviews The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)

  • DeLaina
    2008-08-28
    I devour books. That is my euphemism for being so OCD that I can't put it down and live my life until I finish it. For shorter books, that's generally not a problem, but for the 974 page Pillars of the Earth...well, let's just say we ran out of food, my children clung to my legs asking for food, and the floors did not get vacuumed for a good five days while I whittled away at this book.CLIFF HANGER: This book is not a cliff-hanger at the end of e...
  • Amanda
    2009-08-30
    This book was popular? As in a mini-phenomenon? Seriously? Am I being punked? Tell the truth--no one else read the book. It was all an elaborate media/pop culture scheme to trick me into reading this book. Please lie to me about this. I'm not sure I can go on living if I have to believe that this is what my fellow man is reading these days.My utter disdain for the book comes from many a source:A) It's 900 pages. Mind you, I'll read 900 pages, eve...
  • Emily May
    2016-03-30
    “The most expensive part of building is the mistakes.” Look, it's difficult to explain exactly why I liked this book. Seriously, if you take a look at the blurb, note the 973 pages, and the fact it's a very long story about building a cathedral in Medieval England, you might think I've been smoking something. But for me - and I'm assuming for a large number of other readers - it was so damn compelling.I'm going to get the crap out of the way ...
  • Francine
    2007-12-27
    I did not hate this book (hate would be too strong a word, and I can't hate it because I applaud the fact that Ken Follett attempted to write an epic novel). But I did not like it. I didn't like it from the start; his writing style hit me like a brick, but Jim thoroughly enjoyed the book that I kept trying to convince myself that I ought to give it a chance, hoping it would get better. When I was about 500 pages in, he saw how miserable I was and...
  • Matthew
    2018-03-08
    7.2 MILLION STARS!Did I just read one of the most amazing books I have ever read? Yes, yes I did!I cannot say enough about this book, the story, the writing, the characters, etc. etc. etc. Everything is perfect! If someone had said to me, “Here is a 1000 page book about the building of a cathedral 1000 years ago in England” I probably would have fallen asleep before the end of their sentence. But, do not judge a book by its description – it...
  • amelia
    2007-11-18
    This is seriously one of the worst books I've ever read. The only reason I finished the book is because I cannot put a book down once I start.The writing is terrible. The plotting may be dramatic, but I had almost zero interest in any of the characters; they seem to exist merely for events to happen to them, like actors in a disaster movie. Beyond that there seemed to be three characters in the book: Bad guy, good guy, and good victimized-yet-abl...
  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2018-02-17
    ”He was mesmerized by the challenge of making soft, round shapes out of hard rock. The stone had a will of its own, and if he tried to make it do something it did not want to do, it would fight him, and his chisel would slip, or dig in too deeply, spoiling the shapes. But once he had got to know the lump of rock in front of him he could transform it.” There are so many memorable characters populating this epic novel that I would be hard press...
  • Bookdragon Sean
    2014-01-17
    This book was so completely fantastic that I almost forgot the outside world existed when I was reading it. I’ve never be so emotionally invested in a story, as I was with this. It’s a rare book that does this to me. I think it’s because it follows the characters through such a large proportion of their lives, resulting in a large amount of intimacy and investment with them. Indeed, this novel spans a massive period of forty years and has 1...
  • James
    2015-08-31
    I read this out of order as once I read "World Without End," I was so captivated that I had to go back to read this one. It was good, but I much preferred "World Without End."Follett creates such a remarkable world full of characters you love and you hate. And to think it takes place over 500 years ago... so many historical adventures, realities... I love the relationship people had with the church -- not so much from a religious perspective, but...
  • Misfit
    2008-08-20
    I know I'm going to be in the minority here, but this is truly one of the worst books I have ever read. I came so close to throwing the book across the room on several occasions, and ended up skipping through many pages just to get to the final and not too surprising finish. The characters were flat and lifeless and seemed to have been transplanted from the 20th century into medieval England. The book was rife with unnecessary profanity that in n...
  • Dan Schwent
    2012-12-31
    Confession time: This is not a book I would have picked out for myself. First of all, look at the size of this kitten squisher! Second of all, Amanda's hate-filled review of it is one of my favorite reviews on Goodreads. However, it's one of my girlfriend's favorite books and when she suggested I give it a read, I knew what was good for me. Lucky for me, I enjoyed it.Pillars of the Earth is a multigenerational tale about the construction of a cat...
  • Jax
    2008-07-11
    A massive tome with a spine thicker than Arnold Schwartzenegger’s forearm, Pillars looks intimidating enough to make even the most avid readers wary; its 973 pages are densely packed with unforgiving walls of 8-point text with nary a line break in sight. Before I was more than a hundred pages in, however, it became apparent that length was among the least of this behemoth of a book’s problems. Follett's concept—a medieval, generation-spanni...
  • StoryTellerShannon
    2011-11-17
    A tapestry of medieval cathedrals centered around an epic drama and some would term it melodrama but that's open to debate. Ken Follet actually wanted to write this book years before it was published. But his agent told him to build up his base of fans by writing several more thrillers. His EYE OF THE NEEDLE pushed him up to the best seller list. At a later point, after writing those novels and studying medieval cathedral architecture, Follet got...
  • Troy
    2008-03-17
    Ahem."Pillars of the Earth" is a very long book. It's got a lot of soap-opera-like twists and turns - no amnesia, but just about everything else, including mistaken identities, illicit marriages, illicit lack of marriage, illegitimate children, questionable parentage, love triangles, revenge, greed, power, a few murders, rape, witches, politics, knights, swords and horsies. OK, that last bit is not so soap-opera-like. There's also lots and lots o...
  • Kay
    2011-06-11
    How does one review a book that one cannot even describe?So many times after gushing about how good Pillars was, people ask me, What’s it about?And I, swirling in the happy aftermath of a mind so blown away that it’s still traveling near the speed of light, struggle to gather what’s left of analytical thinking and dumbly blurt, “Um, it’s about building this cathedral…”Way to not to sell a book.I still have trouble really describing ...
  • Jason Koivu
    2010-11-29
    A monumental undertaking! An achievement to last the ages!Want to know how it feels to build a cathedral? Read The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. By the time you're done reading this huge book you will feel as if you've spent the better part of your life hoisting brick and laying mortar. The details are marvelous and intricate. Follett obviously did a lot of research in order to construct this mammoth book. This is reminiscent of Moby Dick ...
  • Amalia Gavea
    2016-06-14
    There aren't many things left to say when it comes to Ken Follett's masterpiece. The Pillars of the Earth is one of the most beautiful, haunting, exquisitely well-written novels of all time. It is a ''showstopper'' book not only in the Historical Fiction genre, but in Literature in general. Still, for an obsessed reader of historical novels like yours trully, it can become the standard by which all other historical sagas are measured. I don't kno...
  • Simona Bartolotta
    2011-12-22
    4.5“What you’re doing is wrong,” he said. “I mean evil. To give up happiness like this is like throwing jewels into the ocean. It’s far worse than any sin.”Since there is pretty much nothing I didn't like about this book, and since the only reason why the fifth star is missing is that Medieval history isn't really my thing and so I loved the Century trilogy far too much more in comparison with The Pillars of the Earth to give the latt...
  • Stephen
    2010-04-18
    6.0 stars. An absolutely amazing reading experience. This one may actually make it on to my "All Time Favorite" list. I listened to the audio version of this book, which means just over 40 hours of content, and when it was finished, I actually believed it should have been LONGER. This book grabbed me from the opening pages and kept me interested and engaged throughout the entire novel (a very rare feet for a 1000 page novel). With as much as I ha...
  • Matt
    2013-08-04
    Ken Follett leaves his comfort zone with this epic tome, which highlights the development and building of a massive cathedral in Kingsbridge, a rural English community. Follett takes the reader back to the 12th century, where Tom Builder is looking for work. After the death of his wife in childbirth, Tom leads his family from town to town hoping for employment scraps to ensure his brood has a means to survive. Meanwhile, a young monk by the name ...
  • Dana Ilie
    2014-04-27
    This is one of those novels where you come to care about the characters (most of them; others you come to hate), where you are cheering them on and hoping things will finally go their way. As in his previous novels, Follett doesn’t shy away from hard truths; this was a brutal time in history, and there are some horrible and disturbing acts of violence in the novel (and not all occur during battle), but that only makes you root for the main char...
  • Michael
    2008-07-28
    A friend recommended this book. He is no longer a friend. I confess a snooty predisposition against pulpy books. I was going to the beach so I thought this would be a good beach book.So what's it about? A master builder wanders medieval England looking for work. He's with his family--pregnant wife ("she was his soul-mate"--the author actually writes that twice), medieval Bart Simpson-ish son, scrawny daughter. He Dreams of Building a Cathedral. A...
  • Lucy
    2008-11-10
    I hated this book. Let's just get that out of the way so there is no confusion later on.Ken Follett describes a gloomy, dismal, nearly barbaric society whose citizens' greatest concerns seem to be their egos and their lust for power and control. He uses the building of the great European cathedrals as the impetus for his story; the magnificent structures were made possible through trickery, lies, greed, criminal acts and selfish ambition. Forget ...
  • Dem
    2009-09-19
    This is an amazing read, I loved this book. A lengthy novel at over 900 pages and not for the faint hearted and yet the story moves at a surprising quick pace. The characters are so well portrayed and engaging that you cant wait to turn the pages to unravel their fates. I loved the twists and turns of this novel and as historical fiction goes this is among the best I have read as the research is excellent.Set in 12th-century England, the narrati...
  • Richard Derus
    2011-12-27
    Rating: 3* of fiveThe Publisher Says: As a new age dawns in England's twelfth century, the building of a mighty Gothic cathedral sets the stage for a story of intrigue and power, revenge and betrayal. It is in this rich tapestry, where kings and queens are corrupt - and one majestic creation will bond them forever.Honest. That's all of it. I guess they figure if you haven't read it by now, you ain't a-gonna?My Review: This was a group read on Lib...
  • Lianna
    2008-02-15
    Toward the end of this 1000 page book I noticed the ad for the equally non-descript titled SEQUEL released 17 years after Pillars. This raises a lot of questions. What kind of author leaves his fans hanging for 17 years? Can there possibly be anything left unsaid after 1000 pages? Is this why Follett looks so smug on the back cover w/his black turtleneck?Maybe in the sequel he'll explain why he couldn't find room in the story for Martha after age...
  • Tina
    2008-01-28
    I finally finished this book and I loved it!!The characters were interesting, flawed, and complex. The storyline was captivating, intricate, and exciting. I think that because the story was told from the point of view of many characters (5 or 6, I think), the author was able to show so much more of what was going on in many different places at the same time. Also, the length of the book allowed for a lot of time to pass (almost 50 years). I love ...
  • Patricia
    2007-11-12
    Hmmm... a family relation lent me this book. I was mostly interested in what kind of books my particular relation was into. I think you can learn a lot about a person by reading their favorite books. I am actually a little disturbed. Yes you may call me a prude, but there was sex in it. I know what your thinking... thats not a shocker. But its not just sex... it is violent sex. It has several graphic rape scenes. And I have to admit violence to w...
  • Candace
    2017-10-17
    This epic novel draws the reader into the 12th century story filled with tragedy, romance, success, betrayal and revenge. We have a host of characters to love and hate. Through these characters we live vicariously. The description is so well written that the reader feels they are in the story, whether in Kingsbridge, England building a Gothic cathedral or in Saint-Denis (France) studying cathedral architecture. The plot and subplots weave through...