Robert's Reviews > The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 02, 2009

liked it

Written in modern language, this book still succeeds (almost) at being convincing in its medieval setting. Almost, because other writers (notably George R R Martin) manage to be slightly better at getting the tone right.

The Pillars of the Earth is the story of the construction of a Cathedral. With a cast of many characters, and set in a time of civil war, there is some excitement to be had in this book.

Ken Follett is mostly known as a thriller writer, and in some ways this shows. The characters aren't quite as complex and multidimensional as one might hope for - or their multidimensionality does not convince. The villains are too evil. The good guys do have weaknesses, but they tend to be too resourceful. In the end, this is a story about fundamentally good people outsmarting truely evil people, again and again and again, with the system / powers that be mostly siding with the evil people.

As a novel, it is long, but quite engrossing and readable. I'm not sure it deserves to be on Britain's 50 best books list, but then again, those TV-audience created lists aren't exactly the stamp of quality that the cover blurb makes them out to be.

Decent read, but not great.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Pillars of the Earth.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.