The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett Book Summary

#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 the release of The Pillars of the Earth. A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, the historical epic stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. Today, it stands as a testament to Follett’s unassailable command of the written word and to his universal appeal. 
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.
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 historical masterpiece.

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The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) Book Reviews

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- Excellent5 star

One of the best books I ever read.

- Excellent5 star

This is an excellent novel. I loved the plots, twist and turns and the historical information. I loved this book and I didn’t want it to end. Do read this book. This is Ken Follett at the top of his story telling. He is one of the greatest writers of all time.

- Captivating4 star

Really loved how everything is connected and every character is linked. The entire plot is really well planned it is aesthetically pleasing. The ending attempts to discuss bigger topics but feels a bit out of place. Overall, a great read.

- Great idea....drivel writing1 star

Wow. I had hoped for something truly extraordinary and epic, but this was filled with cliches and felt that the author was envisioning a predictable Mel Gibson schlocky movie while writing it. Big disappointment. There are far more intelligent pieces of works out there.

- I’m just going to say this — he is an amazing author!!!!5 star

I absolutely love all of his work, and appreciate all the details he puts into it.

- Nice easy read!5 star

Great historical content!

- Absolutely couldn’t stop reading.5 star

In my top ten favorite books all-time.

- Pedestrian writing and plot3 star

Too plodding and predictable—I felt like each paragraph was religiously written from an outline. I got halfway through and just decided I didn’t care anymore.

- Pillars of the Earth5 star

Superb! Wonderfully strong heroines. Enlightening.


I have read thousands of books. This will forever be my favorite.

- Didn't want to put it down5 star

Just an excellent read. Follett really knows how to develop his characters in such a way that you feel as if you know them. Very interesting information on building a church during the Middle Ages. I'm looking forward to reading the next in this series.

- Highly recommend5 star

One of my favorites of all time - a tale of intrigue, romance, faith, endurance, betrayal, and so much more. Do yourself a favor and give this one a shot.

- Terrific read5 star

I loved this book, a summer read, engaging, action packed and full of great details about people of the time. Recommend!

- Breathtaking!!!5 star

A master piece done by the author. I couldn't stop reading...I love it. It's a book with a lot emotion; sometimes I can feel the pain while I was reading some sad passage so the book. A fantastic book.

- Captivating !5 star

Remarkable saga of the Middle Ages, the church, the culture of corruption, the deplorable living conditions of the 1100's England. Fascinating study of the period and the building of great cathedrals, woven around the lives of a few flawed but dedicated individuals. Highly recommend.

- Spectacular!5 star

One of the finest books I have ever read. Brilliantly crafted over the course of decades with characters full of depth. The frustrations and triumphs during the build of the cathedral and the trials and tribulations of those involved in it's construction kept me deeply invested in this novel from beginning to end. Utterly incredible read!

- All time favorite book!!5 star

I could read this a million times and will still love it!!

- Absolutely wonderful5 star

Loved this book and its sequel is just a riveting!

- Loved every page5 star

This was my first Ken Follet book and I loved every second of it.

- A very looong story2 star

I like Ken Follet's writing, but this story is just waaaay to drawn out. And the worse thing about it is that it doesn't seem to go anywhere! If you are an architect with keen interest in cathedral design then i would suggest this book, otherwise steer clear..

- Epic5 star

Best book I have ever read. Couldn't put it down. Totally worth every penny.

- Unbelievable, astonishing, remarkable5 star

This world and the people in it will become part of you. Once the story ends you will want to begin again and live among your friends again and again. Love, hate, heartache and life happen in this book. Do yourself a favor and get lost in THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH. My favorite book of all time.

- Pillars of the Earth5 star

One of the best books I've ever read along with the following in this series (and I have read thousands of books). I don't think Ken Follet could write a book that you would be able to put down easily. He is a most impressive writer. His details are meticulous putting you right into the story along with his characters. You are there!

- Outstanding historical novel5 star

Well written and captivating. A great account of human character and good vs evil told through the lives of various people living in Southern England as Europe emerged from the Dark ages.

- Entertaining - a great way to learn about Medieval England4 star

I am happy this is the first Follett book I read as he seems to have some poor reviews on his earlier works. From the first page I was engrossed in this book. The way Follett takes characters in the 12th century and makes seem as real as if I spoke them yesterday is quite impressive. The book was almost too entertaining to be a novel labeled as historical fiction, so I began fact-checking. As near as I can determine, Follett appears to do his research. When you complete this book you will put it down wanting more, and luckily you can get that with the next book "World Without End." Also, you will find that you have actually learned history. You will know what it meant to be an Earl, the lands he managed, and the importance and power of the church. You might also find you suddenly know something about architecture in 12th century England. This will become more true after reading World Without End. Even if you only mildly enjoy history, chances are you will find this book entertaining.

- A bit slow at the beginning...5 star

But give it a chance. There are characters that will outrage you and others that will empower you. You'll fall in love. Any book that can create such strong emotions in its reader, whether negative or positive is a must-read in my eyes.

- A good read4 star

This was a good book that several people had encouraged me to read. I thought it started slowly but definitely picked up as the story unfolded.

- Pillars of the Earth5 star

Ken Follet has done it again! A long book with intriguing interplay of history and fiction and characters that always make one want MORE!

- Pillars of the Earth5 star

What an excellent read/adventure! True Ken Follett storyline and multiple character imagery.

- The Pillars of the Earth5 star

Great book loved the characters great ending cannot wait to read sequel.

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- Pillars of the Earth is amazing5 star

Years ago I bought a copy of this novel in paperback form. I read it, my mother read, then my visiting grandmother read it. She returned to England with it and my aunts and uncles and cousin read it. It travelled to Spain for more relatives to immerse in the historical fiction of Tom Builder and the people of Kingsbridge. The novel has made a crusade through many minds and captured many hearts with its indelible story of good versus evil.

- The Pillars of the Earth5 star

Great ended WELL... In that time in history there is no GOOD to end with.... So well is good.

- Surprisingly engaging5 star

Rarely does one find a book of this length so difficult to ever put down. Not only was the plot so engaging but the prose was so literary without being stilted.

- Great read5 star

This story is a great read. I couldn't stop reading! I look forward to reading more of this authors books.

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@NASA_Nerd: On pillars of fire and smoke @AstroBehnken & @Astro_Doug break free from the bonds of Earth. A historic moment as SpaceX Cr…

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@NASA_Nerd: On pillars of fire and smoke @AstroBehnken & @Astro_Doug break free from the bonds of Earth. A historic moment as SpaceX Cr…

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@JackBurtonSays: Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, & the poison arrows fall from the sky, & the pillars of…

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@JackBurtonSays: Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, & the poison arrows fall from the sky, & the pillars of…

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Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, & the poison arrows fall from the sky, & the pillars…

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And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke… Joel 2:30,31

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@k4wz: Joel 2:30-31 King James Version (KJV) 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars o…

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@yooniestarboy i think i have the pillars of the earth on my to be read list, thank you for the recommendation im g…

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@kingvgucci Oh, I'd like to try those books! I hope I find them in pdf. And I do have some recommendations haha. Yo…

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Joel 2:29-30 [29]And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. [30]And…

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@CB3live i mean she CANT be talkin bout the same God that was flooding the earth, turning folks into pillars of sal…

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@earthshakerph: Earth Shaker 3.0! The Earth Shaker 3.0 (ES 3.0) is the organization’s response to the fast-changing world greatly affe…

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@JohnKrahn2 @ChadCottle @RossGilroy @yourmomspants1 @rkdoctr @willsworldview @globalist13903 @Cleisthenes5…

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@k4wz: Joel 2:30-31 King James Version (KJV) 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars o…

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@NASA_Nerd: On pillars of fire and smoke @AstroBehnken & @Astro_Doug break free from the bonds of Earth. A historic moment as SpaceX Cr…

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