Heather's Reviews > The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
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's review
Aug 10, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, own, own-audiobook

After over a year of sitting on a shelf collecting dust, I FINALLY picked this up to read. I had no idea what a gem of a story I had been missing! This is the first book of Follett’s that I’ve read, and all I can say is that the guy knows how to weave one heck of a story. This thing had it all – characters to love and root for, despicable bad guys to wish horrible things for, an incredibly interesting time period to wonder at and be thankful we didn’t have to live in, and a plot that kept unfolding right up until the very last pages of the book.

The story pulled me in from the get go. And while it’s not an edge-of-your-seat nail-biter, it did a fantastic job of keeping me asking questions, constantly wondering what was going to happen next, and made it difficult to put down when I had to. I loved how Follett took several different story threads and then manipulated them to come together and overlap throughout the story. I was truly impressed with all the paths the story took and that there weren’t any loose ends left when it was all said and done. Everything mentioned ended up serving a purpose at some point and I loved to watch all the pieces fall into place as the story moved along. There was steady rhythm throughout the story that I really enjoyed.

Follett’s writing is pretty simple, without any bells and whistles, which normally isn’t my thing. But it really never ended up being an issue because I was so wrapped up in the story that I didn’t notice it so much. Or more, I just got to where I didn’t care about it. The story itself was the star here, not the writing, and that’s okay by me.

This is one I can definitely see myself reading again at some point. And I already have the sequel, World Without End, on my list to read here before too long. I’m really excited to see where he takes the story from here!
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Reading Progress

August 10, 2008 – Shelved
October 12, 2009 –
page 86
8.84% "I'm hooked!"
October 14, 2009 –
page 139
October 17, 2009 –
page 198
20.35% "starting ch. 3 - part III"
October 18, 2009 –
page 340
34.94% "I wish I could keep reading but I've got to get to bed! Why can't it only be Friday night???"
October 21, 2009 –
page 427
October 22, 2009 –
page 488
October 25, 2009 –
page 588
60.43% "This is getting harder and harder to put down! I'm really enjoying it."
October 26, 2009 –
page 710
72.97% "only 275 pgs to go...."
October 28, 2009 –
page 802
82.43% "800 pages read and I'm still not ready for the story to end...I'm really enjoying this one!"
October 31, 2009 –
page 850
87.36% "Ugh! Things keep getting in the way of my reading time!"
Started Reading
November 1, 2009 –
page 983
November 1, 2009 – Finished Reading
November 2, 2009 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
September 19, 2014 – Shelved as: own
October 1, 2014 – Shelved as: own-audiobook

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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message 1: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I thought the prologue was quite compelling. I think this is going to be a good book!

Heather Me too! I'm in the middle of chapter 3 and it definitely has me wanting to pick it back up and read it. I've heard so many good things about it, so I'm hopeful that we'll all love it!

Heather Well, I wasn't on chapter 3 after all....just on part 3 of chapter 1. LOL I just made it to chapter 2 and have to say that I'm hooked! I'm REALLY enjoying the story so far! This is going to be a hard one to put down...

Fiona I'm hooked too!

Fiona I so want to keep on reading it but I haven't had the chance to really get into it today.

Hopefully tomorrow... but all day dog sitting on Saturday lots of reading hopefully.

Beth Knight Heather and Fiona, I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying Pillars. I am too!

Heather Yay!!! I'm so glad you guys are enjoying it too! I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to read it.

Beth Knight Me too, Heather. I was very hesitant to read it, although I've had my book for a couple of years. I probably never would have started reading it if it weren't for everyone deciding to read it together!

message 9: by Liz (new) - added it

Liz I'm glad you're all enjoying this. It's on my TBR, but for some reason I'm dubious about it.

Fiona Beth wrote: "Me too, Heather. I was very hesitant to read it, although I've had my book for a couple of years. I probably never would have started reading it if it weren't for everyone deciding to read it toge..."

Same here and I don't know why because I'd wanted a book about the building of a cathedral for so long, before Pillars came along in fact. I think it's the expectation and the hope that pulled me back from starting but so glad I waited and get to read alongside all of you.

message 11: by Beth (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth Knight Come on and join us Liz! It will be fun to have a bunch of us reading it together! It sounds like a lot of us were hesitant to start but it seems as though we're all glad we did!

Jennifer I was hesitant too but so glad for the group read! I'm only 50 pages in and already loving it. I agree with Vicki about the prologue - it had me hooked!

Fiona Yay you have finished it! Review? What did you think of by the end of it?

I'm so glad I read it with all of you guys, I'd had it for a while on my TBR but never worked the courage up to actually read it.

Heather Yeah, I'm going to work on my review tonight after I get the kids to bed. I've been dying to finally read all my friend reviews for it. If it's a book I'm planning on reading, I'll usually wait to check out reviews until after I've finished reading the book myself and writing my review, lest I be influenced...lol.

I was pretty happy with how everything played out in the end. No major complaints, really. How about you? Well, I guess I'll probably get my answer to that when I read your review, won't I?! I'll know soon :)

message 15: by Liz (new) - added it

Liz Beth wrote: "Come on and join us Liz! It will be fun to have a bunch of us reading it together! It sounds like a lot of us were hesitant to start but it seems as though we're all glad we did!"

I'm sorry I didn't join you (schoolwork has been trying to eat life). However, it sounds like this book has been enjoyed by many of my friends so I may have to bump it up.

Kellie So Heather, why didn't you rate this a 5?

Heather Good question, Kelli...LOL. I debated on the rating for quite awhile. I usually save the 5 star ratings for books that just blow me out of the water. And while I really enjoyed this one, I wouldn't say that it did that. It was a great story though! The 4 stars isn't a negative thing at all - only that it didn't work it's way into my all time favorites. :)

Kellie I was just curious.
You said a lot of great things and nothing negative.
I'm always interested in other reader's rating scale.

Heather Your question got me debating again as to whether I should have given it 5 stars. LOL! I have a feeling this book is going to haunt me in the same way Outlander does...I read that one earlier this year and am still debating if I should have given it 5 stars! Funny how some books just seem to fall on the fence and are impossible to decide about. Of course, it could be that I am just incredibly anal about the stupid star ratings and should loosen up a bit! :D

How about you, Kellie....What makes a book a 5 star book for you?

JG (The Introverted Reader) Great review, Heather! Don't you wish we could give half-star ratings?

message 21: by Kellie (last edited Nov 04, 2009 05:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kellie Books that I read between innings of my son's baseball game, in the bathroom, while I'm cooking...because I HAVE to find out what happens next.... Is a definite 5 star for me. :)
Plus, the book is unique. I never thought I would actually enjoy a book that took place in the 15th century. It's memorable.

Heather Thanks, JG! :)

Yeah, I really do wish we had the ability to give half-stars. I've heard several people say that they would like that. I wonder if GR will ever make that an option?

Kellie, I love it when I get my hands on a book that's downright impossible to put down! Those are the best kinds. And if they tug at the heartstrings on top of that - even better. :)

I don't know if you two saw in the HF group that Fiona is getting the ball rolling for a World Without End group read. I think we're looking at the first part of the new year as the time frame for that one. Just thought I'd mention it in case either of you are interested. I can't wait to see what Follett has in store for us with that one!

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