Liz asked:

Has anyone else noticed the numerous appearances of "his heart was in his mouth" or "with her heart in her mouth"? I would have thought an editor would have circled ONE use of such a cliche but I'm half way through and am at seven and counting. Gripping story though.....

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Sylvain Yes, I'm currently reading it & it's bothering me too!

Did you notice how Follett managed to include a "Previously on Pillars of the Earth" bit every once in a while?
Danny Murphy That took second to the running commentary of which character is, at this moment, "glad". She was glad. He felt glad. She was glad. Again. And yes, I find myself shouting back at the book on tape when he tells me what happened two pages ago. "I know!" I shout. "I was there!" This is the worst book, craftwise, I have ever read. No wonder the critics universally panned it.
Sherrie If one more man "knelt between her legs" I was going to throw myself out of the car.
Miriam Majome Hahaha! Can't say I particularly noticed it. Guess I was so enthralled by the book to notice any faults.
Björn Kristinsson The 'however's are what struck me. Reading on a Kindle it was easy to count: there's 200 of them. And 50 'nevertheless'es, most of them further qualifying one of the 'however's.
Cindy Van Patten Ohhh, after reading all the comments, thanks!, I am not going to read this. I so can't see the same word or phrase over and over. And I really don't want to throw myself out of the car-that was funny Sherrie. There are so many words and phrases, this is one thing that really gets me-repeating the same ones too many times.
KP No, none of those things bother me in the slightest.
Sam Osborne Given the period it fits with the language of a time that is year prior to Webster and dictionaries that grow and grow with new words which replace a stream of many.
Aisa Yes, and this isn't the only one. I noticed "her eyes raked the crowd" and variations throughout. Every author has their tics.
Mik Maes 'Grabbed his/her eating knife' / 'Felt mortal dread'
Dinh G Yes, he uses it way too many times!
I am enjoying the book though :)
George The phrase appears 11 times and suggests a need for editing.
Irena Pasvinter Yes, I noticed it too. The editor has been skipping through the lines, apparently.
Pratheek Reddy God, I did notice them so often throughout the book. The ironic part is that I have listened to a podcast of Ken Follett on the Graham Norton Podcast where he says that great writing requires using a phrase or expression only once and finding new ones the next time the same context arrives. That was funny.
Millie Kahn I couldn't get through much of it because it was so badly written, but don't blame the editor. These big publishers don't usually use copy editors anymore. They consider them an unnecessary expense.
Joyce Yes, I also feel the writer 'threw' in more complex words for the sake of it!? Defintely wasn't my favourite book stylistically, but the content was rich and the descriptions still captivated me
Matt Petterson ~100 pgs in, pretty sure I have already seen "dropped like a doll" twice
Joje Not far enough to check this level of style, and not a Kindle edition to do it easily. Even though it is gripping for this onceuponatime medieval hobbyist, I have noticed repetitions of information, definitely, and now you all mention it, I probably will begin to notice the words and phrases, too, now but probably without it disturbing my interest in tale or characters, just as I could read DH Lawrence with all his "ruddy" characters.
Oh yes, to Björn a year ago: I did catch myself looking at slightly heaped-up "but" uses, and found that with "however" often, but that is a style goof that I trained myself to look for in my own writing.
Lia One Yes, using it just a few times could have saved many pages or he could have written more about Martha and Ellen instead.
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by Ken Follett (Goodreads Author)
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