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Book Review: The Pillars of the Earth

September 12, 2009

I commented on V‘s latest book review and it reminded me that I did not post my review of The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I purchased this unabridged audio book before my drive to Dallas. The audio book is 41 hours!! That was actually one of my main motivations for purchasing it, figuring it would get me through the 18 hour drive (each way). I ended up not listening to it until Howdy and I were driving back from his grandmother’s funeral in Iowa at the end of August (also an 18+ hour drive). We also listened to it on the flights to Hawaii, and finally finished it while we were there.

This book is over-saturated with details. At first it’s not so bad, but when you can fall asleep in the car for 2 hours and wake up and not have missed any “action”… it’s a little disheartening. The book just seemed to go on and on… and on. I am not someone who is intimidated by long books or loses interest easily, but it was VERY difficult to care about this book. The writing is okay, but the story itself is too slow. Sometimes I would just sleep a while and ask Howdy what I missed when I woke up, then he would give me a 5-minute synopsis of the last 2-3 hours, which got me completely up to speed.

My other “cons” with this book would be: the graphic sex scenes, which were quite disturbing when they involved the villians of the story (read=rape). Also, waiting for the bad guys to get what was coming to them. The story went on and on with the protagonists getting screwed and no consequences for the antagonists. Normally, this wouldn’t be too much cause for annoyance, but then suddenly it turns around and wraps up nice and happy with the main protagonists getting what they wanted while the bad guys are killed or humiliated.
I did, however, enjoy Ellen and Aliena’s characters. Because of the length and detail in this book, Follett had plenty of time to completely flesh out the characters. So I suppose I would say character development is a “pro”, although the majority of the characters, are either “good guy” or “bad guy”. 

Overall, I did not particularly care for this book, I will not read it again, and I do not recommend it. I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. grumps permalink
    September 17, 2009 8:38 am

    weird. this is one of my favorite books ever

    • September 17, 2009 11:50 am

      maybe i would have felt differently if I had actually read it in book form, instead of listening to it on audiobook… I could have read it much faster and skimmed the parts I thought were too long, which would have probably made it more enjoyable.

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