Extended Audio Sample

Download The Pillars of the Earth Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Pillars of the Earth Audiobook, by Ken Follett Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00001626211327 out of 54.00001626211327 out of 54.00001626211327 out of 54.00001626211327 out of 54.00001626211327 out of 5 4.00 (225,063 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ken Follett Narrator: Richard E. Grant Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Pillars of the Earth Series Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9781429586757
Regular Price: $40.00 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $29.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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.

A 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.

Ken Follett, internationally acclaimed master of split-second suspense, reaches beyond the expected to achieve his most brilliant and remarkable novel.

Download and start listening now!

BK_PENG_000750

Quotes & Awards

  • “Fast-paced, engaging—an enjoyable historical thriller, well told.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A towering tale…a ripping read…there’s murder, arson, treachery, torture, love, and lust.”

    New York Daily News

  • “Wonderful…will hold you, fascinate you, surround you.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “Enormous and brilliant...A great epic tale.”

    Cosmopolitan

  • “Follett has written a novel that entertains, instructs, and satisfies on a grand scale.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Arguably the best work of an author known for spy thrillers, this is historical fiction at its finest...Follett’s poignant characters blossom with Lee’s reading...After forty-one hours of listening, readers will yearn for more.

    AudioFile

  • “An extraordinary epic…a monumental masterpiece…A towering triumph from a major talent.”

    Booklist

  • “[Full of] historical detail...This will appeal...to lovers of exciting adventure stories.”

    Library Journal

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September2010
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection in 2007
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 5 barb | 4/26/2017

    " John Lee's narration is excellent and engaging. The story is remarkable and really gets your attention and keeps it throughout. Lots of characters, but not too many, with a good balance of each story line involved in the weaving of the plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anetyb | 5/13/2016

    " Very long story but it held my interest. Enjoyed learning about the architectural descriptions related to building those beautiful cathedrals and churches in those days. Reminded my of my travels to England and France and how I marveled at the architecture. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 2/16/2014

    " Great story, though the a bit tedious towards the end with the same characters going after each other....AGAIN. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 2/10/2014

    " I loved this book. While it is long it held my attention the whole way through. I'd definitely recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holly Gee | 2/5/2014

    " I love this book so much I have read it almost a dozen times. I will read it again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan Thigpen | 1/26/2014

    " This book grabbed me & did not let go! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Burns | 1/15/2014

    " Excellent Book!!! Could not put it down, didn't care that it was over 1000pgs the story drew me in! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie Lucas | 1/14/2014

    " A very long book that's an easy read, but many interesting stories along the way. Again, I'm a big fan of stories from the Middle Ages, so this is right up my ally. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann Hobler | 1/13/2014

    " OMG. What a wonderful experience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eliseo | 1/13/2014

    " It's a page turner. It's entertaining and has some interesting insights when it comes to leadership and political wrangling, but it is a bit of a mindless read and very predictable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan Wray | 1/13/2014

    " Great read. It's hard to believe that a 900 page book could be such an easy read, though I'm a sucker for historical English fiction "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 1/4/2014

    " Exhaustingly long, but mostly entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 12/16/2013

    " Was an assigned reading while in graduate school. LOVED IT! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat Van slyke petrouski | 12/13/2013

    " One of the best books I have ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Violette | 12/13/2013

    " I could not put this book down. A good read indeed "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick Garvia | 12/11/2013

    " Big, thick book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lacorota | 10/17/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniela Lleras | 10/7/2013

    " for someone who likes gothic architecture "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mara | 9/17/2013

    " I read this twice. It was that good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sonia Hogeland | 10/26/2012

    " I story is wonderful and the characters are all interesting through all their goodness and faults. Terrific book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann Van gessel | 9/13/2012

    " This was one of my all time favorite books!!! 5 stars!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 4/14/2012

    " I loved this book!!!!!!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James Fairweather | 2/3/2012

    " Pillars of the Earth is the best novel I've ever read. The depth of the characters made this story great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jmmmeek | 12/15/2011

    " I may not be a good person to follow on a book tour, but this and its successor were really good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Riemath | 9/20/2011

    " Favorite book I have read yet. Loved it!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristin | 7/15/2011

    " THis book is great and so is the mini series! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie Vanderyagt | 6/6/2011

    " Completely engaging even though it's such a long book. Character development was amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacey | 5/23/2011

    " Loved it! Another long read, but worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 5/22/2011

    " Almost as good as Pillars of the Earth, Follett's stories are just irresistible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 5/22/2011

    " Though I enjoyed Pillars of the Earth slightly more, I would definitely recommend World Without End to anyone who enjoyed the first novel. It may be long, but it's well worth the read. Many of the characters will stay with me for a long time to come. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ted | 5/22/2011

    " Excellent book. Ken Follett is a master world builder. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 5/20/2011

    " Not as great as "Pillars," but still fascinating... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 5/19/2011

    " I was so looking forward for the sequel to Pillars of the Earth that I asked one of my students to get it for me in his trip to London. I read it in the metro to work in 4 days. It confirmed that his writing compels you to read it till the end, and leaves you wanting more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 5/18/2011

    " Unfortunately too similar to Pillars of the Earth. The characters are nearly transplanted, and while the circumstances are different they are quite similar. Still a good book, but if you've read one you've basically read the other "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 5/17/2011

    " Excellent Book!!!! Ken Follett can tell a story!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Echantal | 5/16/2011

    " Good story - pretty much similar to Pillars of the Earth "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 5/16/2011

    " A must read! Pillars of the Earth was great and World Without End met every expectation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marla | 5/15/2011

    " Once again, Follett wowed me with his epic work. I especially like the way the lives of his characters intertwine and the detailed descriptions of all facets of life in the 1300's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerri | 5/12/2011

    " Although not as gripping as the first one, it is set quite some time later, I still really enjoyed Follett's writing and the saga he presents. What a masterpiece. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Ken Follett

Ken Follett burst into the book world with Eye of the Needle, an award-winning thriller and international bestseller. After several more successful thrillers, he surprised everyone with The Pillars of the Earth and its long-awaited sequel, World without End, a national and international bestseller. Follett’s magnificent historical epic, the Century trilogy, opened with the bestselling Fall of Giants. He lives in England with his wife, Barbara.

About the Narrator

Richard E. Grant is a British Swazi actor, screenwriter, and director. A prominent figure on television and film since the 1980s, he achieved international recognition as John Seward in the 1992 blockbuster film Dracula.