Pillars of the Earth – Audiobook Review

One of the first things you should know about me is that I am frugal. I hate spending money at all so when I do, I want it to be for something that is worthwhile.

Although I had read over and over again about the importance of reading and reading and reading some more as a writer, I kept putting off joining Audible because of the fifteen dollars a month it would cost me and because I was sure that I would go through more than one book a month.

When I finally decided to sign up, I did it with the self-agreement that I would buy books based on their length, so a five hour book was right out.

Which lead me to my first purchase, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. At almost 41 hours long, I figured this would get me through quite a few runs.

This book had been recommended to me years before with this description – “It is a book about a fictional village in England and the building of a cathedral.” With this description I decided, it would be a yawner and not really up my alley. But having recently read my first Ken Follett novel, Night Over Water and really enjoying it, I decided to give it a go.

Unfortunately for the frugal part of my personality, I developed my book ratings on this very first book. This was a truly exceptional read. From the very first run, I found myself adding mileage just so I could find out what would happen next. Soon I was adding trainers rides and my dog was thrilled because we had started going on two and three walks a day just so I would have the opportunity to progress through the book.

The story is so much more than a book about the building of a cathedral. It is about the life and times surrounding the history of the cathedral but it is also about good and evil, love and hate. It is a story of family, faith and all that goes with both.

Each and every relationship in the book pulled me further in. The antagonist has earned my never ending hate and the protagonist has earned my life long respect.

From beginning to end, I loved every moment of this book and understood why Ken Follett would step so far outside of his writing comfort zone to take on a project that everybody in his life discouraged him from taking. This was the book he was meant to write.

The reader, John Lee, was perfect for the book in that he was able to bring every character to life creating a picture of their personalities with every nuance. He goes on to read the follow-up book to Pillars, World Without End, another incredible read.

The only downside to this book is that you cannot listen to it in the car with your children unless you are prepared to answer a lot of questions about sex. The sex is not gratuitous but it is thrown throughout the book and is relatively graphic in nature.

I finished this first book in less than a week, but quickly purchased my next book, understanding that some things really are worth paying for.

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About Ann Brennan

Ann Brennan is first and foremost a mom of three beautiful children. She is the managing editor of Beyond Limits Magazine and the creator of Ann’s Running Commentary. In 2012, Ann took Ann’s Running Commentary to new levels – first with a segment on the RunRunLive Podcast, chronicling her journey to her first Ironman and second, with a new channel on YouTube. Currently Ann is working on a non-fiction book series and working hard every day to remind people to get up, get active and get out there.
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8 Responses to Pillars of the Earth – Audiobook Review

  1. I had never heard of Audible before! I just checked out the website, and it looks pretty cool! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I’ve heard of Audible but have never visited. I’ve been wanting to try some audio books and this will be my first one! Thanks, Ann.

  3. Caron says:

    i agree with Brigid..I’ve never heard of Audible before but sounds interesting..However i actually read this book and thought it was awesome!

  4. I read this book and loved all the characters. I missed them once I finished the book.

  5. Paula Kiger says:

    Well, so and here we have found another commonality. Every time I see my audible.com charge on my bank account I groan a little bit given the family financial issues right now due to hubs’s unemployment. But it’ll have to be the last to go!!

    Pillars of the Earth is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE books!! I read the paper version back in the early 90’s when I lived in NYC. When World Without End came out, I felt the need to reacquaint myself with POE because so much time had elapsed (as much as I love reading, I RARELY re-read anything). As luck would have it, my staff had just given me a book store gift card, so I bought the audio – I don’t remember how many cd’s there are in the audio set but a forklift was necessary to deliver ’em! The audio version was fabulous. I never have watched the mini series – not sure I want to ruin the magic.

    I also, conversely, don’t like running w/audiobooks any more – with my need being to increase speed I really rely on music mixes with a steady BPM. But as a mom of two active kids I do enough driving around that I go through A LOT of audiobooks (and your warning about the sexual stuff is duly noted! and true).

    Thanks for sharing this – I, too, am glad Ken Follett told the naysayers to take a leap off of a flying buttress ….


  6. Ann Brennan says:

    Caron, of you join look for deals. I found one that gave me 100 worth of books for my first month free.

  7. Astrid says:

    My public library has added many titles to their audio book offerings including this book. It’s easy to download the files to an iPod and take your time to listen to the book.

  8. Terri says:

    Loved Pillars of the World and Night Over Water. Good choices!

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