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The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)
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Historical Fiction > HF March 2016 Additional Read - The Pillars of the Earth

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) Blurb

Ken Follett is known worldwide as the master of split-second suspense, but his most beloved and bestselling book tells the magnificent tale of a twelfth-century monk driven to do the seemingly impossible: build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known.

Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time—the twelfth century; the place—feudal England; and the subject—the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters—into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

At once a sensuous and endearing love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age, The Pillars of the Earth is without a doubt Ken Follett's masterpiece.

Join Karolina, Manju and I as we wade through this epic novel and discuss it. Please use spoiler tags where necessary.

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments I'm starting my reading this evening.

Em Lost In Books (emlostinbooks) Read the prologue and started the chapter 1. this book is huge so my deadline for this book is March 31, hence I will be slow.:)

Prologue was very captivating. I want to know who the prisoner was .

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) Will start this today.

message 5: by Karolina Kat (last edited Mar 04, 2016 01:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments I'm in the first Chapter. It's as enjoyable so far as the prologue, which was indeed captivating. I really enjoy the writing style so far and the narration. I'm curious about the whole story behind the hanging and the three misterious figures.

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments I have finished the 3rd chapter. I very much enjoy the way in which various characters carry the story, and how they cross paths with each other. I feel relieved that second and third chapters brought more characters into the picture as I don't really like Tom at the moment.

Anyone still reading? ;)

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) I am reading Karolina but am reading really slowly. Am in a reading slump of sorts! :(

I finished the first chapter. Quite liking the way it is written. The prologue was just fantastic. Can't wait to see how things reach to that point.

Hope to read more tomorrow! :)

Em Lost In Books (emlostinbooks) am reading this on alternate days so am slow but will complete it this month.:) Tom has just reached Salisbury. Story of Ellen was funny and I want to see more of her, am intrigued by her. hope she has some more role to play in this. :)

Em*bedded-in-books* (embeddedinbooks) | 2936 comments Have forgotten everything in this book. Vaguely remember the name Rom. :-(

Em Lost In Books (emlostinbooks) reread it then.;)

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments @Syl - the whole novel is starting with Tom :)

Once I finish chapter 4 (the whole part one), I'm going to make a little break then :)

Em*bedded-in-books* (embeddedinbooks) | 2936 comments Karolina, my brain is very porous. :-(

Manju, ha ha ha....

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments Guys... I know I said that i will slow down on the reading.... but I can't. The novel hits all the marks for me and is so entertaining and gripping. I love it too much to slow down. Let me know when you read some more - I am still happy to discuss it whenever you're ready!

Em Lost In Books (emlostinbooks) finally made some progress and am in Chapter 1 -V

(view spoiler)

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments Manju wrote: "finally made some progress and am in Chapter 1 -V

[spoilers removed]"


(view spoiler)

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) I will start this again today! *promises*

Sigh.... I just get distracted all the time! :(

Karolina - Am glad that this book is working for you. It gives me hope that I will also read it in one go! :)

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments Sri - To be honest I had my doubts, but Follet creates an amazing setting in my opinion and his characters are really well formed - it's hard to not be emotionally invested in their lives. I am trying to slow down, as my boyfriend is reading Pillars as well now, but it's really VERY hard.

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) I have read about a 100 pages of the book today and I have to agree with you, Karolina, I am loving it. Hope to tackle a few more pages today before moving onto another book. However, I can see what you mean when you say that it is hard to slow down. I started reading and when I looked up from it after a few minutes, I was already 100 pages into it.

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments Exactly, it's very enchanting in this way. Usually when I read large tomes like this one, even when they are entertaining, it's hard to not 'feel' the huge number of pages. Pillars... does not have that overwhelming feeling.

Em Lost In Books (emlostinbooks) 100 pages on few minutes??*faints*

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments So... I've finished the book. I don't want to say much, so I won't spoil anything. I loved the book. Let me know when you're readthrough some more so we can talk about the plot :)

Em*bedded-in-books* (embeddedinbooks) | 2936 comments I checked my reading log. It had taken me the good part of 3 weeks to finish the book.
Sadly the only thing I remember is the building of the massive cathedral, and faint memories of some intrigue surrounding it.

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) Karolina - I am resuming this book in earnest once again from today. It's high time that I read something substantial and finish this one. :)

Oh and am waiting for your review! :D

Smitha - I can totally understand your predicament. I also tend to forget books and their plots and have a very vague idea of what I have read in the past. In fact, with one particular book, I read it almost every year for nearly 7 years before I realised that I had already read this book and all those seven times came to my mind. However, for the life of me I can't remember the name of that book today and it is very possible that I might just read it again! LOL

Em Lost In Books (emlostinbooks) Ahtims wrote: "I checked my reading log. It had taken me the good part of 3 weeks to finish the book.
Sadly the only thing I remember is the building of the massive cathedral, and faint memories of some intrigue..."

Told you join in. Am still chapter 2. You'll catch up.;)

Em*bedded-in-books* (embeddedinbooks) | 2936 comments ROFLOL, Sri
Manju, passing up - can't undergo the throes of re reading a time while unread ones stare at me sulking.

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments Sri - here's my review: I try to keep them spoiler-free so it's basically a short summary of what I loved about the book. I am planning to read the 2nd novel in the series later ths year, because I've read that Follet plans the third installement in 2017.

Are you planning to watch BBC's mini-series based on the novel? I do, but I have to wait formy boyfriend to finish the novel.

And by the way - they plan to make a video game based on Pillars. I do enjoy video games but I am not sure if such an adaptation is a good idea.

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) Nice review Karolina! I loved how your review entices the reader to pick up the novel immediately! :)

Oh is it? I thought this was to be a two book series and not a trilogy. It's great news though. I need to rush and finish it now.

I am not really a big fan of watching television or movie reproductions of books but do let me know how it is once you start watching it as I feel that a lot of this book's splendour will come out in a television series. In a way, am glad that it is a mini series rather than a movie.

Oh a game based on the book. Now that I have to check out. I also love video games but am more into adventure games using hidden objects and mini puzzles etc than into any other but this does seem intriguing, although I do agree with you on not being sure as to whether it will truly work.

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) My biggest problem with this book is its weight! Don't laugh but am so used to reading on the Kindle that handling such a huge paperback is proving to be quite difficult, which is largely the reason why I keep postponing it. lol! But I guess I need to overcome that and finish it as the story is definitely proving to be interesting. Am more than three fourths into the first part and want to finish Part 1 today before going to bed. Hopefully I shall get that done. :)

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments Thank you very much Sri! Maybe I was a bit too enthusiastic, because it's hard to restrain yourself when you write about something you like :)

Actually, I really like BBC adaptaions. I don't know if you read Wolf Hall? But their mini-series based on the book was outstanding. I will let you know if Pillars are good as well.

Ha! Actually the game is supposed to be an adventure one :) That's my favourite type too, aside from some RPGs. The premiere of the third book by Follet is supposed to accompany the game's premiere.

I can imagine the size of the physical book being an issue. I've actually read Pillars on my kindle, and I loved the fact that I don't need to deal with a 1000+ pages copy of the book. I can't imagine laying in my bed holding such a huge tome. It seems like a heavy task ;)

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) I totally agree with you. It is indeed difficult to restrain yourself and I totally believe that the review is for your own benefit, to gush or rant about a book that you loved or hated. So go ahead and gush, I say! :D

I did attempt reading Wolf Hall but just couldn't wrap my head around the various Him, Himself's and other such confusing instances in the narration, so I had to leave it half way. However, I am planning to read the book some time this year and hopefully I should be able to process it better! :P

Ah okay. Will take a look at the game when it is released and see how it goes. Sounds exciting though!

I finally gave in and bought the Kindle version today despite have the physical book. It is indeed really difficult to read the book while lying down in bed! lol

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments Oh, the trick to Wolf Hall is realising that all these "him/himself/he" 99% of the time refer to Thomas Cromwell and not anyone else. But the book is uneven, I agree. I have enjoyed it nonetheless, but hey - I majored in British literature and culture so I'm a bit biased.

I will let you know if I come across any more news on the matter of game. It's going to be done by the game studio that I like and observe quite closely (Daedalic Entertainment - maybe you've heard of their Deponia series? It's tons of fun).

I understand that choice, but it always frustratd me a little with kindle - to buy the book you already bought...

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) Wow! I am jealous of your major! I have been looking out for courses in British literature, hopefully I can find something that I can do while sitting here in India! Till then, I am mighty jealous! :P

I hadn't heard of Deponia but just checked it out. It sounds like super fun and have marked it on my wish list. Hopefully I shall get it soon. :)

I totally agree, which is why I try not to do it much but there are times when you have no choice but to get the Kindle version, especially now when I already have reading glasses and reading small print is a problem for me. Sigh.... age is so horrible when it brings about such useless changes in life and makes me admit that I have grown old indeed! :( :P

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments I know, I got lucky. At my university there was a whole English Studies Institute. You can try searching online - there are websites like coursera that offer you free online courses prepared by universities. :)

Do you know the Humble Bundle? Deponia is often there and wuite cheap because the first game is already a few years old. It can also get a pretty cheap prices on Steam sale :)

I totally agree, another thing is, at least here in Poland, that the paperbacks are very poor quality and they wear down ultra fast. So often I rebuy the books I own on kindle, just to make sure I will have it still even when the paperback falls apart. Anyway, with all this bickering, I must also say that I love my Kindle, because I can buy books in English ultra-cheap and ultra-fast (shipping physical books in English to Poland can take months). But I still enjoy the times when I can sit down with a book in my hand :)

Did you manage to finish part one? :)

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments and by the way, you know you're old when the best party for you is the "Kindle party" ;) Happened to me long ago, too

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) Thank you for introducing me to such a wonderful games store. I bought Deponia and a couple of others as well! Just couldn't resist! :P

I usually buy from Big Fish Games. It is slightly expensive but I have a membership there and they have loads of games on sale, almost half price or even less sometimes. So I wait for those and then buy and often get a few games free depending on what I buy and how many punches I get etc. So it works out good for me at the end. :)

Hahaha I love the sound of Kindle Party. Yeah I have had a problem since ages but somehow recently it just got worse and I have to wear glasses for both reading and driving. Actually throughout the day but somehow I cheat and use it only when working or reading or driving. Lol!

I am almost onto finishing part 1 of the book. It is quite detailed isn't it, this part? I am loving the pace, which is almost melodious in its output. Getting to learn all about religion during that time, the politics within religious groups and the intrigues that people play to gain the top spot, it all makes for a great reading. Also, I think that the description of the country side, its people and culture, legal system or rather basic laws, are described really beautifully. Can't wait to see what happens next. :)

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments hahaha it's always like that with digital games stores. I know Big Fish Games but they do have large prices. Steam sometimes offer the same games on sale (usuallyat the beginning of summer and around Christmas). Do you know the Polish game studio Artifex Mundi? They make pretty hopa games :) I played most of them. What else did you buy?

And about Pillars - I loved the manner of storytelling. You can get this feeling that whenever the characters brush against each other, they also give up the focus of the story. It amazed me, how enjoyable I found it to learn about technical side of Medieval masonery for example. There is a lot of passion in every detail of the story. I particularly enjoyed Philip in the first part, there is something very likeable about him, it's hard to not cheer him on in his endeavors.

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) Finished Part 1 and I have to say that the events that took place in the last chapter have made the book more exciting.

Some of my thoughts about this part:

Story in general (view spoiler)

Monastery (view spoiler)

Characters (view spoiler)

I think that is it for the first part. Moving onto the second now and I am quite intrigued with (view spoiler)

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) Oh yes!!!! I ADORE Artifex Mundi!!!! :D :D I have quite a few games by them on my PC, which I play quite frequently. I didn't know it was Polish. Love their Time Mysteries, Grim Legends, Nightmares from the Dark. I have a few others as well (not sure which ones as I am yet to play those) but I love their games. :)

Will check out Steam as well. :)

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Srividya Vijapure (theinkedmermaid) I agree with you on the passion that is evident in the writing. Irrespective of what they are talking about there is a thrill underlying it which reaches out to us as readers and makes us feel more excited about it.

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments As to the marriage of Church and Kingdom, it's just as you said. The notion is more common to me, as European reader, because that's a huge part of our history. On the other hand though, it is described in a way that proves itself interesting to me nonetheless. (view spoiler)

About the characters. (view spoiler)

And about Artifex Mundi - I should have some spare steam keys to unlock in ther games (I bought a bundle of their games and I had some titles in my library already). I can send you a PM message with the games I could share with you, maybe there will be some that you haven't played yet.

Em Lost In Books (emlostinbooks) am in second part of chapter 3 and Ellen is accusing of favoring Alfred over the other two kids. Am really enjoying this book so far. all the part about election was hilarious yet cleverly done. New bishop is very cunning and knows just how to twist the circumstances for his own good.

I pitied William when Alinea insulted him in front of everyone but then I think he deserved it because is too self centered and lustful, never giving a second to other people's feelings. How he extract the secret message from Gilbert was cool.

Em Lost In Books (emlostinbooks) Till chapter 5

(view spoiler)

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments William is a terrible character, I whished him the worst after what he did.

Ellen's story is revealed gradually, and I really enjoyed the whole process as well as the fact, that each part of the novel uncovers the next fact about the past and reason for the prologue scene, while dealing with the current events.

I trully agree that it's a complex and great story. This book unlike any other so far this year, has made a huge impression on me and I am still under its spell. Pillars' complexity, flowing narration and very life-like characters are enchanting.

Em Lost In Books (emlostinbooks) Am really loving how the story iz evolving. It also has a surprising pace and never feel dull. I thought it to be a slow book since its such a massive tome.

Also author has done justice to every character he has introduced so far. He never tell everything about them but feed reader small pieces of information here and there.

Karolina Kat (lindetiel) | 753 comments Yes, the characters feel very human this way. We don't learn about them through description but through their reactions and eyes of the others - just like we do in real life. It's an amazing feat to achieve.

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