Pillars of the Earth

svalbard

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#1
Are there any fans of Ken Follett's, Pillars of the Earth out there. He has just published a sequel set two hundred years later around the time of the Black Death. What I loved about the Pillars was that it had one of the most nastiest bad guys I ever came across in HF.
 

Riselka

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#2
I finished reading The Pillars of the Earth for the first time a week or so ago, and it definately goes down as one of my all-time favourites reads. If you're referring to William Hamleigh then I'll have to agree that he was, without a doubt, one of the nastiest pieces of work I've ever encountered in a book. I made the remark on Jack Whyte's forum that I was glad to see him finally get his comeuppance, but regretted it had not come along sooner. One of my fellow forumites on Jack's forum had this to say about him:

"William has to be the most revolting bad guy I've ever encountered in a novel."
She's currently listening to the audio book version of World Without End, and says that she's enjoying it just as much as she did The Pillars of the Earth.

As for me, the $42.00 Canadian is a little too steep for me to purchase a hardback copy, and the waiting list for a library copy is looooooooooong. I'm crossing my fingers that someone may wind up donating a copy to one of the charity thrift shops around here after they've done reading it. That's how I got my hardback copy of The Pillars of the Earth.
 

svalbard

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#3
Yes, William Hamleigh, that is his name and his side-kick was just as bad. Books are expensive in Canada, that is a monstrous price for a book.
 

tangaloomababe

Living in Paradise
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#4
My favorite book ever, love Pillars, I have reread it many times and still enjoy every word of it.
I brought World Without End last weekend and am about 3/4 through it and am thoroughly enjoying it. Its like meeting the children of old friends and you mention them occasionally but also learn the childrens stories to, if that makes any sence.

However Pillars remains my favorite. I loved Allenia as a character, a wonderfully strong female character not found in to many books.
Yes $42 is an outragous price to pay, it was advertised here for $49 but I picked up a copy on special for $32, its worth it though. I hope you find a copy Riselka.
 

Rosemary

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#5
One of my favourite books also! Can't remember how many times I have re-read it though.
Yes, I now have my copy of World without End and am really looking forward to reading it. They only have the expensive hardback copy but I couldn't wait for the paperback to arrive!
 

Snowdog

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#6
I was driven by this thread to look up some reviews for this and now have Pillars of the Earth on my list of books to get hold of. The blurb puts me in mind of a series of novels by Edith Pargeter - The Heaven Tree, The Green Branch and The Scarlet Seed - which is also (but not only) about the building of a church in the Twelth Century and which I highly recommend.
 
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#7
The blurb puts me in mind of a series of novels by Edith Pargeter - The Heaven Tree, The Green Branch and The Scarlet Seed - which is also (but not only) about the building of a church in the Twelth Century and which I highly recommend.
Loved Pargeter's Heaven Tree Trilogy. It has a poetic, almost ethereal atmosphere and is peopled with compelling and complex characters. I also loved Pillars of the Earth, though the writing style is entirely different. The cathedrals in both books are wonderfully described and make a great background to the overall stories. I read somewhere that the Trilogy was Pargeters favorite of all the books she wrote.
 

Rosemary

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#8
I was driven by this thread to look up some reviews for this and now have Pillars of the Earth on my list of books to get hold of. The blurb puts me in mind of a series of novels by Edith Pargeter - The Heaven Tree, The Green Branch and The Scarlet Seed - which is also (but not only) about the building of a church in the Twelth Century and which I highly recommend.
I've read some of her books but not those. Looks as if my 'Books To Get List' will now be even longer! :)
 

svalbard

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#9
Edith Pargeter's books on Lewellyn the Last of Wales are a great read, very evocative of the times. I would highly recommend them.
 

Rosemary

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#10
They are the ones I have read, Svalbard. Another series of books that are worth a re-read.

Just started reading my copy of World Without End, 200 pages and having trouble putting it down!
 

Riselka

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#11
Well, Chapters here in Canada is now offering World Without End at a 30% discount. So with my irewards discount card which gives me 10% off all books I buy there, it adds up to a 40% discount (ain't I good with math?) - so I bought a copy of it.

Haven't started reading it yet though, as I seem to be suffering from another bout of "reading doldrums".

And I see that The Pillars of the Earth is now an Oprah's Book Club choice.
 

Rosemary

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#13
I've just reached the 800 page! 1111 pages complete this book which is so difficult to put down! :D

Follett has done a great job with these new characters, some you really can't help but hate or love them. He's also wound them very well into the history of the 14th century.

I want to find out what happens but as usual I don't want the story to end! :rolleyes:
 

svalbard

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#14
It is strange considering I started the thread, but I have just purchased a copy of World Without End. A hundred pages in and loving it!
 

Falsteed

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#15
I read this on recommendation, and can't say I agree. While it started and progressed well, it became a bit absurd with its recycled plot--"good overcomes, evil sets good back, good overcomes, evil se..ect..". I couldn't find any deeper level and by the end the story just felt cheap to me, its length unwarranted.
 
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#16
I loved this book, i read it a few months ago and it's on my favorites list , but a lot of people are making the argument that it is not historically accurate. Me personally i am not a history buff so i could not really give an opinion, but i loved the book.
 

nj1

monkey is magic
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#17
Finished Pillars last night, great read. I agree with the earlier comment about the constant switching between good and evil, a bit much by the end of the book, you kind of knew what was going to happen and that good would come out on top. The fact that William Hamleigh was allowed to get away with all sorts and still be given the post of sheriff was a bit annoying, I know he bought the post, but still. Was also a bit dissapointed with his comeuppance, I felt his end could have been harsher, maybe a bit of torture first, he definately deserved it.
The biggest shock for me was the end of Tom Builder, didn't see that one coming.
Overall an enjoying read and wil definately go back to this book some time in the future.

Any comments on the sequel, is it worth a read?
 

Riselka

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#18
Any comments on the sequel, is it worth a read?
Well worth the read, IMHO.

It's not the "grand scale" novel that POTE is, as there's no one big building project going on throughout the book. The characterizations are similar to those in POTE - same really bad people getting away with things before finally getting their comeuppance, and good people getting put upon by the afore-mentioned bad people. But that's kind of par-for-the-course with most novels.

In respect to William Hamleigh, it probably would have been more realistic if he never actually got his comeuppance, and instead died peacefully in his sleep of old age, but I guess a lot of readers probably would have gotten very angry if Follett had done this.
 

Rosemary

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#19
I did finish reading 'World Without End' and it and 'Pillars of the Earth' will most certainly be re-read.:D

With World Without End, Follett has written another very good book IMO. I really enjoy Historical Fiction and I would certainly recommend it to other history fans. :)
 
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#20
***spoilers***


I just finished the part where Tom gets his dome smashed in and i am so mad at william that I dont even want to read the book anymore because i dont want to see the characters reactions to his death.

I guess thats really good writing by folletts part. gahh i must read more but im so fracking mad!!!!
 

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