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Beth Dunn

Beth Dunn

Posts : 10
Join date : 2008-11-29
Age : 61
Location : Saint Augustine, FL

PostSubject: THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH – KEN FOLLETT   Fri 13 Mar 2009, 7:54 pm

"In the quest to build the greatest Gothic cathedral ever known, a struggle between good and evil erupts, turning church against state and brother against brother."

The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett, was on Oprah's book list in 2007. I am looking forward to reading this - and will be back soon to report on it.

I finally finished this book and it was very good. I admit that when I bought the book and saw that it was 974 pages long, well, I was not sure that I would be able to make it through the entire book. I did.

A novel set in England in the 12th century, spanning several decades while rival monarchs Stephen and Maud battle for the throne… The characters were interesting, flawed, and complex. The storyline was captivating, intricate, and exciting. I think that because the story was told from the point of view of many characters, the author was able to show so much more of what was going on in many different places at the same time. Also, the length of the book allowed for a lot of time to pass (almost 50 years). I love how the author incorporated some actual historical events into the story, which made all the other plotlines seem so much more real.

The author spent a great deal of time and effort explaining specific features and aspects of a cathedral church construction. At first, I really tried to read through these parts carefully and understand them, but later on in the book I found myself skimming over them to get back to the actual plot. It was obvious that he had done extensive research on this topic and his descriptions did make it apparent what hard work it was for people to build such magnificent structures at that time in history.

The ending of the book was very gratifying, seriously my favorite type of book- the type that ties up all loose ends.

Now for the downside, this book can be vulgar and downright disgusting at times. The violence depicted is more graphic than I have ever read in any other book before. But I realize that the author was simply trying to be true to life at that period in history- knights, war, pillage, famine, etc. And for this fact, I appreciate the realism- but that didn't make it any easier to read.

Bottom line- I really liked this book. I qualify my recommendation though because of the reasons listed above. This book is NOT for everyone.

I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars.
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Posts : 123
Join date : 2008-10-22
Age : 51
Location : Geneva, Illinois

PostSubject: Re: THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH – KEN FOLLETT   Mon 13 Apr 2009, 4:03 pm

Great review Beth. This is a hard one to sum up. You did a beautiful job. I felt about the same way (I read it last year in February). I also thought that "blonde son" (cannot recall his name anymore), the bad guy, just would NOT die. He went on and on and on in his evil-ness ... was so hateful to everyone and I doubt he would have lived so long (not to mention he was a dolt).

Anyway, I loved the history too, the adventure, grit, etc.

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