Julie Davis's Reviews > The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
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Nov 07, 2011

did not like it

I reviewed this on my blog long ago, however as it keeps coming up thanks to that television series, I'm posting that 2005 review here.

Having gotten to page 400 I would say that I have given this book a really fair trial ... and am putting it down with a sigh of relief at not making myself go the full 1,000 pages. I started out liking it fine but as I went on really became dissatisfied with the writing style and picking it up became a chore for which I had to steel myself. Perhaps a little too much of "The Day of the Jackal" remained with Follett on this one for me to like it. There was a tendency for modernism to creep into the way that characters were portrayed. For example, the malicious peeping Tom had thoughts racing through his head that just struck me as too much "here and now" versus the way they would have been framed back in the day. I understand that he may have been motivated in those ways from our point of view but, although human nature remains the same now as it did then, the way that humans understood their own nature and that of others ... and framed that understanding to themselves and others is quite different.

 I know that this book has a lot of fans and that's ok ... but it isn't for me.

For the moment, anyway, I'll have to stick with Kenneth Roberts and Samuel Shellabarger for my historical fiction.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Jamie yeah, I had some problems with this book (see my review). I'm just wondering what (aside from the depravity of the "religious" characters) made you rate it 1 star.

Julie Davis I didn't mind the depravity of religious characters necessarily ... look at our own time. Human nature is not different now than it was then. My beef was with Follet's writing. I'll copy my comments from my blog into the review spot ... :-)

Jamie thank you - I look forward to reading your review.

Jenny (Reading Envy) I couldn't get past page 100, truly awful. How does this end up on so many lists?

Jamie "How does this end up on so many lists?"

So many people like "period piece" soap operas...?

Julie Davis I wouldn't have read as far as I did except it was a gift from a friend who really loved it, so I was determined to read it. And failed. :-)

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