Grumpylibrarian's Reviews > The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
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's review
Jan 23, 08

bookshelves: fiction, 2008
Read in January, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I don't know really where to start or if I want to elaborate on this. Conceptually, this book is strong. It has covers a broad and interesting historical period with significant religious topics etc that make it hypothetically my particular cuppa.

That being said, it took me a full 350 pages to even begin to like the characters. The book starts off painfully slowly, lacking intrigue beyond the endless misery of Tom Builder. Then, when I finally began to enjoy him, he dies a seemingly random and undermentioned death. And in a book that easily stretches 983 pages (Signet Mass Market Edition), underdevelopment is a real crime.

Another irk is that the book goes back and forth in time-tense. Not to say the author intersperses modernity with the 12th century, but Ken Follett does use language, style, and syntax that I feel are indicative of the late 20th century. I just don't get the colloquialisms in this context.

I gave this 3 because I felt like it was a battle to read, and I can't give a 1000 page book a 2 without feeling stupid myself for finishing it. But do not mistake, I think this book is a pretty large misstep and not "brilliant." It's epic and enormous, but nothing spectacular.

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