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The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)
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message 1: by Meghan (last edited Jan 23, 2008 08:18PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Please discuss The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

Since there seemed to be a good amount of people who are interested in discussing this book, I thought I'd wait to find out how they would like to approach this book. We can break it down in chapters, sections, etc. This is a long book, so we can hold off discussions a bit to give some people a chance to start reading it as well.

Your comments are welcome!

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
I want to read it, but probably won't be able to get to it for a month or two. And I don't want to have a set date I have to finish it by, since it's long. It might take me more than a month to read it, is what I'm saying.

message 3: by Meghan (last edited Jan 21, 2008 05:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
That's the cool thing about this format. No set dates! You can start whenever. I think we should break this down by chapters. It's pretty intense and there's a lot of sub-storylines going on.

I suggest maybe how the Oprah club is breaking their discussions down? It felt to me like a reasonable amount of chapters and still maintaining the integrity of the story.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
So I was thinking to give people adequate time to pick up this book, I will start posting discussions around the middle of February. Hope to see you then! (But feel free to talk here if you can't wait, just no spoilers please!)

Cody Wilshire (codywilshire) | 3 comments I thought it would take me more than a month to read it, especially because at the time I was dealing with exams and everything else, but man, I read it in less than five days. I barely slept! It was awful in the most wonderful way (the not sleeping, having to read bit). I am so in love with this book, I have yet to pick up the sequel but man...

I still just, gah, I love this book so much LOL.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
YAY! It is a book I read probably every other year (and it's about that time where I need to re-read it so this is really good timing!) Goodreads has made me feel so good that so many people have read this book (pre-Oprah) and loved it as much as me.

I will be adding the sequel to this list someday soon. I bought it, but I haven't had time to read it yet. It will be interesting to compare it to the first. It's suppose to be set 200 years later, but pretty much have the same sort of themes. I'm an architecture buff (total amateur), but it'll be interesting to compare the 1st book's gothic themes to the sequel's renaissance ones.

Alison I'm starting this, but it's going to take me a while. I've got a couple of things going. Your recommendations have totally intrigued me.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Ah ha! My evil plot of brainwashing you through Pillars by putting subliminal messages in the pages is working! You will send me gift cards to B&N...You will send me gift cards to B&N...oops! Did I say that out loud?

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
Alison, I want to start it too, but it'll take me a while as well. So we can be slow pokes together.

Meghan, you're a dork. :) Oh sorry, was that a personal attack?

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
yes. I'm a nerd. please make the distinction!

message 11: by Genevieve (new) - added it

Genevieve | 1 comments I started reading this book and so far I love it. Unfortunately, I have a habit of reading two books at a time, so it may take me awhile to get through. Would love to be part of the discussion.

message 12: by Meghan (last edited Jan 31, 2008 04:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Okay, I know I said we'd start talking about this in the middle of February, but I'm going out of town and not going to have regular internet access. So I'm going to post a few questions just to get us started. For those of you who have just started the book, these shouldn't contain any spoilers. The book itself is broken down into 6 parts, which is how I've broken up the discussion.

I'm taking these starter questions from the Oprah book club reading questions. If you really enjoyed the book, you may want to check the site out. They even include a look at the sequel to this book World Without End. It also includes a very nice family tree if anyone is having trouble keeping all the characters straight.

Please feel free to ask your own questions! If you post comments that include information beyond the designated breakdown, please preface your comment with "SPOILER" so those who haven't read beyond each part, know to read with caution.

Thank you!

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
OK, I'm totally not reading these because I haven't started the book yet. But since I've read both the RGBC books this month I can finally start this! Yay! So as soon as I'm done with Three Boring Cups of Put Me To Sleep Tea, and Cannery Row, I'll start this one.

Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
It's taking me a while to get through this. I'm not even through part one. It's hard for me to tell if it's just because I've been so busy, or because I can't get into the story.

message 15: by Meghan (last edited Feb 26, 2008 03:58PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Ack! Robbie - Put the book down and step away. Seriously. Maybe you could try it some other time, but it's not worth forcing yourself to get through. I would hate for you to say "you hate the book" because you made yourself read it. I would much rather you say "I just can't get into it" than "I hate it"!!

Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
I definitely wouldn't say I hate it! I truly have been busy. I think it's more that I haven't been in so much of a reading mode lately.

Although, there certainly is no shortage of other books on my end-table to start!

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
You know, I wonder if it's just the time of year. I'm really struggling trying to get through books myself right now. I don't know why, but I just don't want to sit and read like usual.

Alison I can't believe I said I was starting this book, but it might take me a while to get going. Yeah--that was two years ago.

But I'm almost finished now! I have been enjoying your two-years old discusssion.

Did you know there is about to be a mini-series of this on Starz? I'm still not 100 percent sure what Starz is, but I think I would have to buy it, or wait for it to come out on DVD. They could really make an actual TV series of's so dang long.

Arctic | 25 comments yeah I saw an ad for this in EW and wondered if you'd heard about it too since you were reading it. It has Rufus Sewell and Donald Sutherland in it.

Starz I think is a movie channel (like HBO or Cinemax) that you can opt for and they show very new releases interspersed with short ads during the movies. That was my experience with it anyway.

it took me forever to get into this book as well. I finished it quickly enough but was ultimately disappointed with it overall.

message 20: by Alison (last edited Jul 19, 2010 02:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alison I found it to be so-so. What was good about it, for me, was inconsistently good. But I would watch the mini-series, because I think the story part of it (versus the telling) was pretty interesting. And they have some great actors on board.

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
I have Starz, and there aren't any ads in the movies. At least, not on the regular Starz channel. But I think with the Starz package, you get Starz Kids, Starz Romance, Stars Comedy, etc., and those may have ads. I'm not sure. But I don't think so. The only premium movie channel that I know for sure has ads is AMC.

Alison I did order Starz and it is a lot like HBO or Cinemax. It shows some relatively new release movies, but without ads it seems.

I set my DVR for Pillars, but it may be a while before I get to it. There were actually a few good new movies coming on this month. I DVR'ed a few, but I can't remember them now.

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
Did anyone watch? I'm curious about the violence.

Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
Alison showed me what she said to you about the violence, and I agree.

Alison Part 2 tommorrow night.

The sex is way scaled back, too. Although oddly enough, a few crude things are added that are not in the book.

Alison Robbie: Did you see Part III (I guess week 1 was parts I and II) yet?

I thought it was better than the first two installments. I think it's interesting how the writers have added more supernatural elements (the "glowing" cross, the bleeding skull). I felt that the novel stuck to more reasonable explanations of events, rather than Godly ones. For me it's getting better and helps me appreciate the story more. I still can't keep the Maude's from the Richard's from the Stephen's though!

Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
I saw part II yesterday. Part III wasn't available on netflix then. Let me see if it is now...oh, it is! I think I'll watch in right now!

Arctic | 25 comments this is on Netflix instant play? nice. I'm all over that.

I was really put off by all the explicit, almost gratuitous, violence and rape scenes in the book, so I'm glad to hear that the movie scales that back a bit. The story was interesting enough to make me want to see the screen adaptation.

Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
Watched III tonight. Maybe it's because my son kept coming in the room, but I felt like this one was a little more bloody than the others.


I thought the bleeding skull that Stephen saw was a hallucination. Or maybe it was dripping paint.

Was all that stuff about William's mom interacting with him sexually in the book? I don't remember it. They definitely have William looking more like an insecure bully than an evil man.

Alison Part III mini-series: A LITTLE SPOILERISH

Yes--I was going to say this one was a little more gory (the beheading, for instance).

And yes--the mom being sexual with William was added. Also Jack making the sculpture, and Jack getting into a fight with the quarry-men and injuring his hand. That was all added. And the fact that Prior Phillip told the Hamleighs where Aliena and Richard were (at the castle). That was new. Lots of new stuff.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
I'm kind of glad I'm missing the show. This sounds rather cheesy and melodramatic.

message 32: by Sarah (last edited Aug 03, 2010 04:39PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
Okay, I thought I was going crazy because I did NOT remember William having a sexual relationship with his mom. But I think it kind of helps establish why his character is such a creep. Victims of abuse often become abusers themselves.

And yeah, I didn't like how Phillip gave away Aliena and Richard. I think they're portraying him as not merely trusting, but also as naive and not much common sense.

I also felt like, in part 1, they didn't show enough of Tom wandering destitute and thus the desperateness of his situation wasn't really clear. It is much more heartbreaking when he leaves the baby on the grave when you understand why he can't feed the baby. In this movie version, it's just a little too quick and you don't fully grasp the situation.

I do like the casting though, for the most part. I like Jack a lot. I'm surprised to see Rufus Sewell as the good guy, but he's doing a good job. And I love Matthew McFayden. Is it wrong that I'm attracted to a priest? Heh. I just keep remembering him as a sexed-up Mr. Darcy.

message 33: by Alison (last edited Aug 03, 2010 10:39PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars


Another interesting twist is how they had Johnny Sixpence or whatever his goofy name was be the stealer of the pig, the baby-finder, and then convert as a monk. If you'll remember in the book, the pig stealer gets killed. And the monks (Prior Phillip?) find the baby.

Anyhoo--I will now cease with the comparison of book to movie cuz it looks like it will be endless. I am quite enjoying the series and am excited to see the next installment. Love Tom Builder, Love Jack, Love the Sexy Monk Prior Phillip. If only he didn't have that bald spot thingy going on.

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
YES! I didn't like that either Alison. It makes no sense.

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
Hey, what about the actress who is playing Empress Maude as Lisbeth Salander? She looks young. I saw Inception tonight and Ellen Page was in it. I could see her as Salander too. (Off topic, I know.)

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Ellen has my vote, but I read that she's out (of contention).

I'm totally for a Mr. Darcy as Prior Philip. Nothing says sexy like a celibate man! LOL

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
Robbie wrote: "Watched III tonight. Maybe it's because my son kept coming in the room, but I felt like this one was a little more bloody than the others.


I thought the bleeding skull that..."

Yes, I think the bleeding skull was paint. It showed it drip from the red sleeve of the robe. But because Stephen had had that dream (which I don't remember from the book) made him believe the paint was blood. And the glowing cross was just the sunlight reflected, right? I seem to remember that they did have all the monks go to the quarry and sing, but that was because it is a mortal sin to harm a priest.

I think it's been long enough since I read the book that I don't make the comparisons too much. I did think part 2 was kind of boring, though. Or was that part 3? Did someone say that the first episode was parts one and 2?

message 38: by Alison (last edited Aug 09, 2010 12:59AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alison The first week that it was aired, they showed parts 1 and 2. Then I guess they went one week at a time. Teasing bastards!

So, are you saying that Maude should play Lisbeth Salander?? I like that for a crossover.

I did watch Casino Royale (for the first time) in honor of Daniel Craig being chosen for the lead in the girl with...and I have to say...I thoroughly enjoyed him as a jacked-up Bond.

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
The scene where he is naked on the chair. Yum.

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod

So I just watched part 4 and the changes are starting to bother me more and more.

Having Regan Hamleigh kill her husband so William could have the earldom. Why? Just to make her character even more loathsome than she already is? Having her sleep with her son isn't loathsome enough?

I really miss the close relationship between Prior Phillip and Jonathan. In the book, Phillip thinks of himself as Jonathan's father. In the movie, Phillip never has anything to do with Jonathan (and Jonathan doesn't even have a name!).

Also, this whole prophecy thing with King Stephen and his hatred/fear of Jack, and Jack dying and then returning to life... Stupid.

message 41: by Alison (last edited Aug 07, 2010 06:37PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alison Yeah...we watched Part IV as well, and I was just coming to say that this week's episode took a turn for the wierd.

This entire installment was only vaguely reminiscient of the actual novel. There were so many changes, and to stay in synch with those changes, I fear the rest of the episodes will continue to veer even farther away from the original story.

I mean...when Jack started to be choked and was thrown out with the dead...when Regan kills Hamleigh...all that was such a major departure, that I felt like the original storyline was lost at that point.

Anyhoo...I would like to take a moment to dedicate a little time to the actor who plays heavens...he is ridiculously "pretty" for a man...Check out his Wikipedia doubt he is a male model...I also find it interesting that he has red hair, his last name is "Redmayne" and he starred in a play called "Red"...

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
I know. I remember when I was watching the Tonys and he won, I thought that was funny. I already <3 him cause he's a Broadway actor. And he is the only one in the Pillars series who is exactly how I pictured the character.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Well, I do have to remind you ladies that this is Starz that is producing this series...not exactly the top of the premium channels you know. Sort of on par with Lifetime imo.

I'll probably break down and get the dvd of it though. I'm dying to make fun of it and rant about it too. I sort of feel left out! :)

message 44: by Alison (last edited Aug 07, 2010 10:40PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alison Oddly enough, I was commenting to my husband on what a high quality production I thought it was in terms of the sets, costumes, and battle sequences. Apparently the budget was $40 million (I think I read that), and I think they tried to do it up right.

Again, the writers have just chosen to take some supernatural turns--i.e. playing up the curses, the Saints, the witchcraft--that were just not true to Follet's story. The only excuse I can come up with is that is was so long, it was just difficult to adapt. I know I wouldn't want to pore over 1000 pages and try to convert it to a screenplay.

How mean is Maude? That woman is mean.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Well, that's good to hear. It's nice to see them to the effort into it. Don't know why they have to "ramp up" the story to make it more appealable--are the masses so short-minded?

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
Actually I think Starz is really starting to be more like HBO and Showtime. They have some pretty decent original series (Party Down is one) and they show box office movies, not cheesy originals where someone is a battered wife with an eating disorder who rescues orphaned puppies and sleeps with her stepson.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
That's good. It used to be a step down from skinamax.

Alison OK--I just realized this was not a closed group and I was "talking" like it was. Yikes.

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
Alison: Oops. LOL

Well, the newest installment seems to be getting more back to the plot of the book, although I still really miss seeing the close relationship between Jonathan and Prior Phillip.

Alison I agree.

They got back on track with the book.

I thought this week was pretty good. In the book...Jack didn't join the church as a monk before he left, did he? I was thinking he just left, but didn't become a monk. Anyway--still love Jack.

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