Christmas Awards 2011

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Pillars Of The Earth

Ken Follet
The Pillars Of The Earth
Pan Paperback ISBN 978-0-330-45013-3
£8.99 $24.99
1088 pages

This is a huge book in every way. This story is like a Medieval tapestry with all the intricate detail one would expect of the masterpiece it undoubtedly is. When I was advised to read it I expected such a best selling book to be upmarket and difficult to read. In places, where the descriptions of the cathedral take precedence, it is a little complicated. However, the stories – because it is many stories woven into one whole – are wonderful and absorbing, leading the reader along easily. Most readers will be so enchanted that they won’t mind the long passages that delve into the building of a cathedral.

It is the story of a man whose dream is to build the greatest cathedral on earth and of the evolution of these marvellous buildings. However, it is also the story of the people who lived through this time and the hardships they endured. The scheming of bishops and priors is fascinating but the story of Tom, Jack and Aliena and various other characters is what makes this book so compelling. This is the kind of book you find yourself getting lost in and it is hard to come back from a time that is wholly absorbing.

I know that in writing this review I am merely adding my voice to the many that have praised it but I wanted people like me who might think that it was too big a book and probably too highbrow to know that it really isn’t. The Pillars Of The Earth is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I loved every word of it.

It gets our highest award of a bouquet of red roses! Linda Sole

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