#1 New York Times Bestseller
Oprah's Book Club Selection
The “extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece” (Booklist) that changed the course of Ken Follett’s already phenomenal career—and begins where its prequel, The Evening and the Morning, ended.
“Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner,” extolled Publishers Weekly on the release of The Pillars of the Earth. A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, the historical epic stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. Today, it stands as a testament to Follett’s unassailable command of the written word and to his universal appeal.
The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known . . . of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect—a man divided in his soul . . . of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame . . . and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state and brother against brother.
A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, this is Ken Follett’s historical masterpiece.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Ken Follett’s first historical thriller was a stark departure from his earlier spy novels, but from the get-go it’s clear he’s completely at home writing about 12th-century England. The epic story spans generations, tracking one man’s obsession with building the greatest Gothic cathedral of all time. We loved how Follett brings quotidian details to life with a historian’s eye, from the stink of the marketplace to the comforting sight of turnip soup boiling over a fire. The real treat, though, is the bestselling author’s masterful storytelling, which twists and turns with great detours for romance and intrigue.
Tom Builder's dream is to build a cathedral, but in the meantime, he must scrounge about to find a lord that will hire him. His search pulls him and his family into the politics of 12th-century England, as different lords vie to gain control of the throne in the wake of the recently deceased king. Prior Phillip, a man raised in the monastery since childhood, also finds himself drafted into the brewing storm as he must protect the interests of a declining church. Richard E. Grant seduces readers early on with a soft and deliberate voice that is like a loud whisper. However, his full range quickly reveals itself as he delves into characters with animated voices that exert their true essence. Even throughout the narrative, Grant musters a lively voice that imbues energy into the story. The only shortcoming is that the abridgment of Follett's 1989 novel proves to be too choppy. Though the story appears complete, there still remain abrupt moments throughout the tale. Penguin Audio's unabridged version is read by John Lee and runs 41 hours.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book!
This book was great. Got a little tedious in the last chapter. Otherwise, I would have rated it five stars.I am getting ready to read the "sequel" to it.
Thought "Fall of the Giants" was better.
Pillars of the Earth
The best book I ever read. Epic. I felt like I lost my best friend when I finished it.
This is one of the most amazing stories ever written. I rate Pillars, and it's sequel, World Without End, as second only to Lord of the Rings. Buy it - you won't be disappointed!