Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Never thought I would pick up a book this big (900+ pages) but, wow! It's an interesting, huge story that covers the lives of a handful of people in the 1100s. It centres on the village of Kingsbridge and the building of a cathedral there. But no, it's more than that. There's a mysterious forest woman and her son. There's the earl's daughter that grows up and gets her revenge. There's the builder and his family who struggle to survive. There's the incredibly evil fellow and his henchmen whose sole purpose is to make everyone else's life miserable with random acts of rape, pillage, burn, and murder. They get what's coming to them though, poor insecure saps that they are.

The length of the book makes it possible to really know these people and the lives they lived. I cared about them and rooted for them. I cheered for the good guys and booed the bad guys. I got despondent when there were seemingly endless delays and setbacks to the building of the cathedral. And the starving? Oh man, these people counted on every last thing that could even be slightly edible. Take away a harvest or their livestock and they die.

Great book! And now I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel
World Without End. These are the kind of books that should be assigned alongside history courses, I think. 


Alyce said...

I've got this one on my shelf, and the length is a little intimidating. I love a good long book, but it's such a time commitment that I tend to avoid the longer books even though I feel like they are worth the time. Kind of silly of me.

trish said...

I've had my eye on the "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" trilogy but *phew* each book is a brick and I just can't bring myself to open the first one because I know I'll get sucked in and then there's no telling when I'll resurface!

One day, though. One day.