Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follet

I don't know where to begin.  As I start writing now, I feel like I did when I first started this book.  Hesitant.  Intimidated.  Overwhelmed. 

In fact, I started it about three times before I REALLY read it.  It's thick.  The time frame, the subject and the intensity were quite intimidating.

I'm so glad I got over that!  This book is absolutely amazing!  The plot keeps you moving, wanting more.  The characters are endearing or loathsome, depending on which one you're reading about (and there are quite a few!)  The theme, which is too difficult to sum up, was compelling and wonderfully woven.  I just loved this book!

I actually started (the fourth attempt) LISTENING to this book.  ( - check it out!) An internet friend of mine suggested I listen to it.  That honestly helped me get into the story, although I realized I really am a poor listener!)  I would pop my earphones in as I exercised.  Time flew.  I grew engrossed in the story.  And I could multi-task! Being able to hear the names, the places and the story itself really was what drew me in.

And then I couldn't put the book down after I listened to about half of it and actually picked the novel up.  (It also got too hot to go on my walks and listen!) 

Some of the situations in Pillars were graphic, violent and harsh.  The times themselves, middle of the 12th century, were just that - violent and harsh.  This book is set during a time that's been called The Anarchy.  A king is dead.  Who will replace him?  There is a battle between religion and power of the kingdom.  Everyone wants to win.  Anyone who tries to win by force, greed and manipulation shall never gain true power.  The battle rages on as faith is tested. 

And that's what it boils down to for me.  Faith.  Faith in God.  Faith in oneself.  Faith in dreams being fulfilled.  Tom Builder had a dream to build a magnificent cathedral.  All the trials and tribulations that spin 'round and 'round about him could pull him under......or lift him up.  Does it really matter who is king in his world?  Does it really matter who has the power?  Read the book.  Find out.

Who should read it?  I can't say EVERYONE because it's definitely not for everyone.  It's not gender specific, but there are some major heroines and romance in this terrific novel for the chicks.  Sword fights, power plays and murder could draw in anyone interested in mystery and suspense.  Fowl language and awful, corrupt actions aren't for the readers who prefer innocents and purity.  And if the incredible length of this book doesn't scare you off......

Read.  The.  Book.

(Five stars, baby!)

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