The Pillars of the Earth (Pillars of the Earth, Bk 1)
The Pillars of the Earth - Pillars of the Earth, Bk 1 Author:Ken Follett The spellbinding epic set in twelfth-century England, The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of the lives entwined in the building of the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known—and a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.
My husband reads a lot of Follett (he's a mystery/thriller kind of guy) and I picked "Pillars" up from his pile of TBR stuff when my own ran dry. Wow!
This book is meticulously researched and is one of those can't-put-it-down, what-happens-next page-turners that you only come across once every few years.
The characters are earthy and so well developed, you never want the story to end. It is about the building of a cathedral, but overall about the village where the cathedral is located and the people who live there. The plot spans many years (25 or so) and takes you (the reader) from the saddest scenes you can imagine (a newborn baby lying on top of its dead mother's body) to moments of great triumph and happiness.
There is a sequal - World Without End - but I liked "Pillars" far better. Read them in order to get the most out of this epic saga.
Ugh, this book was overly long and complicated for what the story was about. I enjoyed the characters, and I very much enjoyed the architectural component since I have an art historical background, but it just took too much time to get into the characters and plot.
The Pillars of the Earth describes a story that is larger than life. All the trappings of medieval twelfth century life in England are depicted. The story includes wild battle scenes, hangings, morality plays, serfdom, courtly and monastic life painted with Follett's broad brush. The political intrigue of the period and the fracture between the church and the state, king and archbishop, rule of law and the rule of God are seen here.
This book contains unforgettable characters like Aliena, the beautiful and penniless daughter of an Earl; Thomas Becket, the priest turned martyr; pious, but ambitious Philip the prior of Kingsbridge whose desire to build a cathedral for the "glory of God" is overwhelming; William Hamleigh, displaced earl, is truly evil. Although long, the book is remarkable to read, with fast paced action and gripping, believable dialogue. The story will leave you breathless and satisfied in its stunning conclusion.
Dama reviewed The Pillars of the Earth (Pillars of the Earth, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
Looking at this book, I thought it would take me forever to read. But, from beginning to end, it kept me wanting to turn each page. I really, really enjoyed this book. It has become one of my favorites. I like that the details needed to describe places, people, and things weren't so exaggeratingly detailed, just enough to get the point. I was sad to have finished it.