The Pillars of the Earth

By Ken Follett,

Book cover of The Pillars of the Earth

Book description

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Oprah's Book Club Selection

The "extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece" (Booklist) that changed the course of Ken Follett's already phenomenal career-and begins where its prequel, The Evening and the Morning, ended.

"Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner," extolled Publishers Weekly on…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked The Pillars of the Earth as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I am an avid reader and love to learn about history and the people who shaped this world in times gone by. I have an eye for literary craftsmen and give special praise to those who really excite my interest and keep me reading long into the night. I first picked up Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth back in college and it blew me away in terms of historical details, plot, and characters. I had never quite read anything like it before. It’s a lengthy saga detailing a small town in Britain during the Middle Ages but the gripping…

The first in a series, Pillars sets the stage for subsequent Follett masterpieces. I devoured this huge page-turner in no time at all. The graphic violence of the time contrasts its tender love-making. I shared Tom Builder’s angst when he returns to find his abandoned baby gone. Follett seems to be a wanna-be architect as he describes in glorious detail 12th Century churches and buildings. As a budding author, I learned a lot reading this book and its sequels. I’m still learning.

From Craig's list on to contemplate for a time.

As a life-long reader and historical novelist, Ken Follet is one of my larger-than-life heroes. When I enjoy an author’s voice, characters, and story, I treasure a big fat book that requires a significant time investment. Set in twelfth-century England, this epic tale humanizes medieval history. After completing The Pillars of the Earth, I feel like I could walk through the Kingsbridge Cathedral and experience a familiar connection with the stonemasons and architects who built it. Effortless and entertaining history absorption!

This book has the most beautiful atmosphere and I couldn’t put it down. Easy to read, but difficult to get over it once you finish it. The era in which the story takes place offers the reader many thrills and the ethical battles of the characters are deep. It’s a must-read. 

This may be the book that got me hooked on historical fiction about the middle ages. Follet’s account of the cathedral building was both grand in scale and meticulous in detail. I am always amazed when I see castles and cathedrals and wonder – how did that build that? How is it still standing? Follet’s novel answers those questions and also shows the lives of those who did the building – not just the rich and powerful, but the simple stonemasons as well.

From Alex's list on reimagine the Middle Ages.

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