The Pillars of the Earth : The Kingsbridge Novels

  • by Ken Follett
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • Series: The Kingsbridge Novels
  • 41 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, this is Ken Follett's classic historical masterpiece.
The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame...and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.
The Pillars of the Earth is followed by World Without End and A Column of Fire.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Award-winning novelist Ken Follett is at his most magnificent in Pillars of the Earth, Book One of the Trilogy series by the same name, narrated by professional voice artist John Lee. This incredible book has been voted in the top 100 of Britain's Best Loved Books in the BBC The Big Read. The scope of detail in this audiobook is unparalleled. Its intricate plot is weaved with history, religion, politics, love and dishonour. It is an all-encompassing saga, delicately capturing the very core of existence in 12th Century England. Available now from Audible.

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What the Critics Say

"Enormous and brilliant . . . this mammoth tale seems to touch all human emotion - love and hate, loyalty and treachery, hope and despair. This is truly a novel to get lost in." (Cosmopolitan)
"A historical saga of such breadth and density... Follett succeeds brilliantly in combining hugeness and detail to create a novel imbued with the rawness, violence and blind faith of the era." (Sunday Express)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Pillars of the Earth

Watching the current TV series is rather like reading the abridged version of this epic tale which is the only version that was hitherto available in the UK. One of the things that really draws you into this tale is the vast array of interesting characters and the depth of their characterisation. Enjoy the minutae of their everyday lives, the way that people ate, slept, worked and were beholden to their Lords & Masters in the 12th century. Historical facts like the English civil war and battles fought in 1142 are interwoven with everyday tales of love, hate, treachery and corruption. Absolutely compelling listening and despite the length, I was dissapointed when I finally came to the end.
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- Robert

Better than the TV series

I know its a cliche, but i would strongly advise anyone who watched and enjoyed the TV series to listen to this unabridged version of the book. While i thought the series was excellent, it does contain some alterations to the original story. The story contained in the book hangs together much better. It is also more historically accurate. For example Stephen was not captured at the same time as Gloucester. The book more accurately represents Stephens weak character and his reluctance to take on the Earls- which doesn't come across in the TV version.
It is a story which you do not want to end. Moreover, the ending is not obvious- just when you think everything is sorted the book has another twist in stall. The characters in the book are very realistic, while William and the bishop are more evil than appears on the tv version.
Beware the book is much more graphic than the series- some pretty sexually explicit scenes- not for children to hear! Although this is not arbitrary, it adds real sense to lawlessnes of the society during this war and immorality of those given power.
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- Julie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 18-10-2010
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.