Apparently this book was quite a departure for Mr. Follett, and I admit that when I hear his name I think low-brow mass market crime or mystery novelsApparently this book was quite a departure for Mr. Follett, and I admit that when I hear his name I think low-brow mass market crime or mystery novels. Yes, I am a book snob. The worst kind of book snob, seeing as I’ve never read one of books before this one.
The Pillars of the Earth tracks the building of a cathedral, the story of the man who wants to build it, as well as the stories of those with whom he has entwined his life in various ways. It is, like so many books I seem to be reading these days, historical fiction.
Pillars starts off slow, which is not fun when the book is 800+ pages or so. If you’re going to be reading seemingly forever, it’s good to be pulled in from the start. I wasn’t, but thankfully this was my only reading material on a 9 hour flight, so I kept with it. In the end I truly enjoyed it, and am curious about the sequel.
While there are many characters in this book, Follett fleshes out most of them to a satisfying degree. Jack, Tom the Builder, Ellen and even Aliena are all people with at least two layers. Characters like William however, are much less developed, and it becomes clear that he is meant only to be an evil rapist who gets off (quite literally) on women’s fear, or Alfred, who gets even less development and exists mainly to be an annoyance to Jack.
But then again, it’s easier to hate the less developed characters, and you get the feeling that that’s what Follett wants you to do. Except for Martha. Folliett raises the question of why she sticks with Jack, but he never answers it, which is very annoying.
It was interesting reading this book on a flight back from Italy, where basilicas and cathedrals abound. It leaves you wanting to see the Kingsbridge cathedral, much like the ones I’ve just seen, and wondering what the builders of *those* cathedrals were thinking and dealing with in the years it took them to build.
Overall, a good, long read, and despite it’s rather abrupt end, will leave you wanting more....more
I finally managed to finish this series! I was initially inspired to read it after I went to see the film with my two ten year old nephews this past w
I finally managed to finish this series! I was initially inspired to read it after I went to see the film with my two ten year old nephews this past winter. I enjoyed it quite a bit, being a lover of kid and teen lit and general and having a soft spot for Freddie Highmore. So I ordered the series as one book back in the spring. It’s sat on my coffee table since then, and I would pick it up every now and again and read a bit and then forget it for weeks and then pick it up again.
However I had made a promise to my nephew that he could have my spiderwick books the next time I saw him, which will be the end of July, so I had to finally buckle down and finish it (plus I have another nephew visiting me right now, and he has comendeered the computer to play Rollercoaster Tycoon, so I was left with nothing to do!)
What struck me about the books, particularly from book 3 on after the kids meet Lucinda, is the amount of differences between the books and the movie. It doesn’t particularly bother me, mostly because it was completely necessary to fit the books into one film. I suppose it was just that I was surprised to be surprised — I had thought after seeing the film I would know what happened in the books, but clearly, clearly not. I am curious now how kids who read and loved the books before they saw the movie reacted to those changes.
Spiderwick was a fun read. It wasn’t particularly sophisticated, even for a kids book (it’s no Potter, or Narnia or His Dark Materials), but it was good fun that will have you rooting for the Grace kids and wondering what became of them. ...more
Quite possibly the strangest book I have ever read. I picked it up because it was by Cohen and seemed to focus quite a bit on my namesake. It was a biQuite possibly the strangest book I have ever read. I picked it up because it was by Cohen and seemed to focus quite a bit on my namesake. It was a bit like being trapped in a windowless room with someone who is really, really high and you are most certainly not. They are rambling on forever about mostly nonsense, with an occasional bit of coherence thrown in, which keeps you half-listening despite knowing you should probably just tune them out completely....more