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Lunch » Tags » Untagged » The Pillars of the EarthTHE PILLARS OF THE EARTH by Follett, Ken (Author) on Nov-14-2007 Paperback » User review

Very Good Historical Novel

  • Nov 18, 2012
  • by
Rating:
+4
The twelfth century has been a dark time in English history. The country was unsettled by various fractions vying for power, but none of them prevailing over the others. The darkest moments came during the Anarchy, a period between 1135 and 1154 during the reign of King Stephen. This is the backdrop for much of "The Pillars of the Earth", a historical novel written by Ken Follett.

The novel centers on a fictional town of Kingsbridge and a decades long endeavor to build a cathedral there. The story spans several generations and presents a very interesting look on the ways that characters evolve and their interactions impact each other and influence the construction of the cathedral. Follett is very good at introducing numerous characters and alternating the point of view to include multiple perspectives on events and situations. The book has its fair share of heroes and villains, and various conflicts of interest propel the narrative. The book is also a great way of learning about history and events that had transpired almost a millennium ago. Particularly educational is the subplot of architectural development. Follett gives an interesting insight into the development of Gothic architecture out of the preceding Romanesque architecture.

Even though this is certainly an interesting and entertaining historical novel, it is not without its shortcomings. Prose can be monotonous and uninspiring at times. The plot twists are interesting, but all too often predictable. Oftentimes Follett telegraphs plot twists pages in advance, so by the time they occur much of the suspense has been blunted. The characters are somewhat flat and tend to have sensibilities that frequently seem quite anachronous. Another thing that I didn't appreciate was the somewhat liberal use of foul language and crass expressions. They didn't have much of an impact on the dialogue, and they too felt anachronistic.

If you are looking for a fairly entertaining and educational novel than "The Pillars of the earth" has much to offer. Just don't expect it to be high-level literature.

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review by . November 18, 2012
The twelfth century has been a dark time in English history. The country was unsettled by various fractions vying for power, but none of them prevailing over the others. The darkest moments came during the Anarchy, a period between 1135 and 1154 during the reign of King Stephen. This is the backdrop for much of "The Pillars of the Earth", a historical novel written by Ken Follett.    The novel centers on a fictional town of Kingsbridge and a decades long endeavor to build a cathedral …
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Bojan Tunguz ()
Ranked #53
I am a benevolent rascal. I love lounging in bed on a Sunday morning. Rainy days make me melancholy, but in a good kind of way. I am an incorrigible chocoholic. I hate Mondays, but I get over it by Wednesday. … more
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