Jason Koivu's Reviews > The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
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Jan 27, 15

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from November 29 to December 23, 2010

Want to know how it feels to build a cathedral? Read the monumentally huge book The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. By the time you're done you will feel as if you've spent the better part of your life on it.

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The details are marvelous and intricate. Follett obviously did a lot of research in order to construct this mammoth book.

The love story is intriguing and captivating. A little weird too. But that aside, it's the sort of romance that'll sweep up most readers...sweep them up like a broom down a bowling alley lane. It goes on and on, and frankly, it drags, which kinda killed the romance for me after a while.

Seriously, the length of this sucker is unnecessary and exhausting. I think Follett was let off the leash with this one and he ran with it as far as he could. I've read how it was a pet project of his. Apparently he wrote previous books for his publisher on the promise that he would be allowed to create his baby: the behemoth known as The Pillars of the Earth. That's one fat baby.
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Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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message 1: by B0nnie (new)

B0nnie skimming the bad parts saves many a book . . .


Lucinda I have to completely agree with you in that Pillars contains so much detail that is apsolutely breathtaking. It is really beautiful and is a long, big read! x


The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) I agree with all of you, I thought I spent the better part of my life reading this one. It could have been a trilogy or a bilogy.

Yet, when I was done, I felt like they were all family...I'd spent so long with them. And that wild Celtic Pagan chick sounded exciting, attractive and engaging... even when she was a Grandmother.


message 4: by Angela (new) - added it

Angela I saw so many good things about this book. Had it sitting on my shelf for quite a long time but still haven't touched it. It sounds interesting but it's so big! Too intimidating :D I might give it a go soon.


Jason Koivu Rabii wrote: "Hello dear,
My name is Rabii Abdou, I saw your profile and my spirit ask me to contact you about this important issue so please, I would like you to send me mail here ( rabiiabdou25@yahoo.in ) so ..."


Well sure! Why not, I mean, this sounds absolutely legit and not seedy at all!


message 6: by Serina (new) - added it

Serina when I first heard about this book I thought there is a TV series done for it so why not watch it first see how it goes, I saw the first episode , with the heavy British accent which sounded a bit weird in the show and then I decided this I could give it a try! The thing is the show is soooo different from the book but a lot enjoyable , I wish it goes on e same way till the end .
By the way I stopped watching the rest of the show!


Jason Koivu Serina wrote: "when I first heard about this book I thought there is a TV series done for it so why not watch it first see how it goes, I saw the first episode , with the heavy British accent which sounded a bit ..."

I forgot they did a tv version. Thanks for reminding me!


message 8: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim I got the impression that Follett is quite the fan of architecture - commenting on Continental innovations in cathedral design among other commentaries.

Follettt also took the opportunity to address in some detail female entrepreneurship (the daughter of a fallen nobleman becomes a wool merchant) and her innovations in clothmaking and dying.

I wondered, as I read of the young woman's exploits, whether any women at the time actually ran businesses. I wrote to Follett inquiring whether he'd found reliabale accounts of such - but got no answer.


message 9: by Dolors (last edited Jan 27, 2015 12:20AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dolors Let's confess, some bestsellers are worth reading and this is one of them, plus it bring me fond memories of my first books read in English! :)


message 10: by Anne (new) - added it

Anne Bwahaha! Great review!


message 11: by Joseph (new)

Joseph I thought Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction by David Macaulay made a nice companion piece to this one.


Jason Koivu Dolors wrote: "Let's confess, some bestsellers are worth reading and this is one of them, plus it bring me fond memories of my first books read in English! :)"

I don't know if ALL bestsellers are worth reading (there's a quite a few romance novels I wouldn't touch), but this one is definitely worth reading.


Jason Koivu Anne wrote: "Bwahaha! Great review!"

Glad it gave you a guffaw!


Jason Koivu Joseph wrote: "I thought Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction by David Macaulay made a nice companion piece to this one."

Thanks, I'll check it out!


message 15: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim JAson wrote:

there's a quite a few romance novels I wouldn't touch

But you read THIS one!

; - }


Katherine Coble For me it's not long enough.


message 17: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Okay, they are DVD's and not books, but PBS has two great videos on this subject, "Building the Great Cathedrals" and "The Great Cathedral Mystery". You can buy them together at
http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index....

Preview for "The Great Cathedral Mystery" (about building the Brunelleschi dome in Florence) http://video.pbs.org/video/2365175110/

Preview for "Building the Great Cathedrals: http://video.pbs.org/video/1619317222/

Or you can just keep eye out for either of this on your local PBS station. I've watched both of these programs and really enjoyed them.


Jason Koivu Stephanie wrote: "Okay, they are DVD's and not books, but PBS has two great videos on this subject, "Building the Great Cathedrals" and "The Great Cathedral Mystery". You can buy them together at
http://www.shoppb..."


I've probably seen one or both of these. I've watched a lot of documentaries in my day. Thanks for the info!


message 19: by Joseph (new)

Joseph They also did a video version of the David Macaulay Cathedral book a while back that was quite good.


message 20: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Oooh, I'll have to look for that one. Thanks!


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