The Pillars of the Earth, a sweeping historical novel, takes the listener to 12th century England where forces royal and religious manipulate the balance of power to lean in their favor. Originally published in 1989, The Pillars of the Earth gained recent popularity after debuting as an HBO mini-series.
Set between the sinking of the White Ship and the murder of Sir Thomas Becket, the book's central character is Tom Builder, a man with a vision to build a Gothic-style cathedral at the Kingsbridge priory. Tom meets the independent Ellen, who some in Kingsbridge believe is a witch and her gifted son, Jack. Jack's brilliance for architecture becomes a fire point between him and Tom's possessive son, Alfred. The power struggle between King Stephen, Empress Matilda and her brother, Robert the Earl of Gloucester tugs at the story's passionate characters, bidding them to do their royal will, no matter the costs.
"Pillars of the Earth" reaches full dramatic swing at the Battle of Lincoln and ends with plot twists that will leave the listener satisfied but wondering what will happening in the best-selling sequel, "World Without End."
Ken Follett is a Welsh author who has sold more than 100 million copies of his books. Four of his books, including "Pillars of the Earth," have landed him at #1 of the New York Times best seller list. "World Without End" also held that coveted spot. Follett began his career as a journalist and has dabbled in politics since the late 1970s.
British actor John Lee narrates "Pillars of the Earth." Besides working as a professional narrator, Lee is a producer and screenwriter.
"The narration by Richard E. Grant and John Lee is absolutely phenomenal. They do an amazing job of bringing the characters to life and making the listener feel like they are right there in Kingsbridge. The audiobook is over 40 hours long, but it never feels too long. I was absolutely captivated by the story and could not wait to find out what happened next. The Pillars of the Earth is a must-listen for anyone who loves historical fiction. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great audiobook to listen to."
William R. (5 out of 5 stars)
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"For such a large read, it kept me anticipating every page. Lots of characters with EXCELLENT character development. Lastly, Pillars was a great method of learning a little about cathedral construction and design, as well as the politics and struggles between church and the throne during the period."
Lacorota (5 out of 5 stars)