Pillars of the Earth
by Ken Follett
Paperback- N/A

A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, ...

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  "Medieval community builds a cathedral - who would ever think it would be so scintillating?" by DPLbookclub (see profile) 02/22/08

Although extremely long, POTE gives any book club a LOT to talk about. Some interesting themes in the book are the strong women characters, the not-so-strong male characters, the role of nature, and whether every dastardly scheming character gets what he or she deserved. If your book club is willing to read the 900+ pages you should find it well worth the time.

 
  "Interesting Historical Novel" by AnitaWorkman (see profile) 03/26/08

This is a long one (about 1100 pages!) but a page-turner. Before you know it, you're 1/4th of the way through and completely into it. I have never read a book that took place in medieval times, and I really appreciate the fact that the central character was a very common person with a common experience. This made it a very enjoyable read for me. I learned a lot about that period.
There are a few cons. One; the book is very long, but well worth is. Two, some people might prefer books where the main character is a king, a princess, or some-sort of elite. It is the tale of everyday life, but because there are so few of those, it makes it unique.

 
  "Set in the 1100's - about building cathedrals" by sherikebr (see profile) 04/08/08

I didn't think I would like a book about building cathedrals. The book was very captivating and I got so engrossed in the characters I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. Some of the characters had such bad luck, yet they rose above that luck every time. I was surprised on how quick of a read it was considering it was 973 pages.

 
  "Dont miss this book!!" by beckylord (see profile) 06/04/08

What a novel!! Sweeping in what it encompasses. Enjoy every page!!

 
  "A Great Historical Read" by lilhiawatha39 (see profile) 06/17/08

I thought the book was great! I have to admit it was a bit long, but worth it! Great characters, great story, great details, definitely at the top of my list.

 
  "Long, but worth the time." by speechy (see profile) 08/14/08

 
  "This book is an awesome read." by joanmuratori (see profile) 09/05/08

So many pages....and still craving more when the story is over.

 
  "Attention Keeper" by memfry (see profile) 02/17/09

The attention to detail keeps the reader constantly unable to put the book down. Very vividly researched and well put together, the story line just brings each person to life and commands a sense of reality to their character.
Bravo! Ken Follett

 
  "Page turner set in 12th Century" by lesleychivers (see profile) 02/18/09

Excellent book, don't be put off by the length of the book.
Very interesting and informative look into life around the building of a cathederal.

 
  "Long but worth every page!" by DawnS (see profile) 03/04/09

 
  "Full of great characters and topics for discussion" by mel29 (see profile) 03/09/09

While this book was very lengthy, the author did a great job of keeping the reader interested, which surprised me since it was a book about building a cathedral!

The book has a number of well-developed characters and the saga has many themes that generate great discussions for a book club.

 
  "Cathedral building in 12th century England" by homeisbest (see profile) 03/19/09

Good character development. Good discussion about strong points as well as what was lacking which would have made the story more interesting.

 
  "Pillars of the Earth" by sluce (see profile) 07/28/09

OUr club really liked this book. A sweeping epic worth reading.

 
  "Pillars of the Earth" by dgarza8198 (see profile) 08/11/09

It was a little slow in the beginning, but in the end I liked the story. It was just a little too long.

 
  "This Book Is Worth Reading Twice" by mizbilli (see profile) 09/23/09

This was another one of those books friends kept talking about and I finally took their advice, and as usual, could kick myself for waiting...its wonderful...its LONG but never boring, contrite and I read it in what? A week??? Put this at the top of your list.

 
  "A Book About a Cathedral?" by whitneybug84 (see profile) 12/01/09

My aunt first recommended this to me and swore up and down that it was good. When she told me this, I looked at her like she was crazy. I unknowingly recommended this to a friend and she put it in a hat as a possible book club pick. Once I opened this book and began to read it, I couldn't put it down! I became entranced in each characters' story while learning the ins and outs of cathedral building. I strongly recommend this if you're into the historical fiction genre.

 
  "Pillars of the Earth" by dorothyschmidt (see profile) 03/02/10

I could hardly put this book down once I started it. It is beautifully written, with wonderful characters who immediately come to life. It is full of activity, excitement, history, and just a great story.

 
  "Pillars of the Earth" by Midnightreader (see profile) 03/16/10

This was a beautiful read. The story of cathedral building was fascinating. After reading this book and then traveling to Europe each and every cathedral visited came alive. The story of the various characters made this a very enjoyable adventure.

 
  "Stop after 2/3" by AvidReader82 (see profile) 06/05/10

Loved the beginning, could not put it down. But the last 1/3 was horrible. Totally contrived, predictable. You could just hear the author thinking, "OK. I have to resolve this plotline this way, so how can I get the characters to do X." Hope the movie is better.

 
  "Great Beginning, Ultimately Disappoints" by BSkol (see profile) 06/20/10

Could not put it down initially, but the last half was so bad. In our discussion, I also realized that the beginning wasn't even as good as I thought. The characters are totally one-dimentional - especially the villian. In hindsight, I'd say learning about that time period as the only things about the book. I can't even give it more than 1 star because it was completely disappointing by the end and I felt I'd wasted a lot of time reading it.

 
  "Good but long" by bekkihoch (see profile) 08/17/10

As long as the book is it never got boring but sometimes I skimmed over some of the details of cathedral building.

 
  "Pillars of the Earth" by kldupont (see profile) 08/22/10

Fabulous book, one of my all time favorites. Dramatic flowing story of medieval Europe and the artists who built cathedrals. Characters had tremendous depth. An epic that taught me so much about that period of time.

 
  "Love Love Love this book" by jbracey (see profile) 08/25/10

Very historical and engaging!

 
  "Mini Series" by Tonia (see profile) 09/22/10

I loved Pillars of the Earth because it spans the lifetime of two generations. It drew me in by including all the aspects of great novels ... well developed characters, romance, grief, ambition, deceit, mystery, evil, action, history, purpose, researched details, and a well thought out ending.

 
  "sweeping tale. much better than the mini series" by gymbackmom (see profile) 09/29/10

 
  "Not Worth It" by KarenCl (see profile) 10/25/10

Most of our club agreed that the ending was not worth it. The rest didn't like any of it at all. The first half or so was engrossing and it was good to learn so much about how people lived then, but after that, I just zoomed through, not really caring. It got really predictable, and I started resenting how much time I'd already put in.

 
  "Pillars of the Earth" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/14/11

Fantastic historical fiction, showing the impact on the lives affected by the building of a cathedral in the 12th century. Long book, but well worth the time!

 
  "Pillars of the Earth" by seuss1988 (see profile) 02/25/11

 
  "The Pillers of the Earth" by jktreads (see profile) 03/05/11

Sweeping story that opens our eyes to the soaring beauty of cathedrals and those that built them many years past.

 
  "Pillars of the Eart" by debgal34 (see profile) 03/08/11

Put off reading this book due the size, it was very intimidating. I ready it because someone in my book club chose it and once I started it I found myself stealing every moment I could to read it...real page turner!

 
  "Medieval Society" by Madisoma (see profile) 07/22/11

A story that will make you think about the builders of great medieval cathedrals. Very interesting view of life during those times.

 
  "Pillars of the Earth Hold strong" by lizblair (see profile) 09/03/11

Loved everything about this book, story, characters, history, writing....

 
  "Excellent read." by DGriffin (see profile) 01/04/12

I enjoyed Ken Follett's telling of this story and it's sequel a great deal. The characters were interesting and well-developed. There was detailed information about medieval life, cathedral architecture and design that helped support the story. Plus lots of mischief, misdeeds and mayhem. Great stuff!

 
  "In my top 5 faves...but" by ecoalson (see profile) 04/19/12

Recommend for committed clubs as it is a long book that should be discussed progressively.

 
  "The pillars of the earth" by Jen171819 (see profile) 07/26/12

 
  "Pillars of the earth" by niferwolfe (see profile) 07/28/13

Very well written, great character development, very graphic and a very interesting story.

 
  "Best book I\\\'ve ever read!" by liz_crowley (see profile) 02/13/14

I first read this when I was in my early twenties and nearly 15 years later, I\\\'ve re read it about 5 times. Brilliant, epic, beautiful and all encompassing.

 
  "A Must Finish" by ValerieW (see profile) 02/10/17

Don't let the size of this book intimidate you. It paints a picture of Medieval life with brushes of beauty and barbaric behavior. You can't stop thinking about the characters as you wait for the next opportunity to read a chapter.

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