GUEST POST by Amy Van Duyn
by Ken Follett
Amy's rating: 5 of 5 stars
Like my friend Franny, I LOVE to read. There's nothing like getting into a really good book. I love the feeling of looking forward to coming home and picking up where I left off. The only problem is, the good books are over before you know it!
One of the best things about Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is that it hits the ground running and doesn't stop for about a THOUSAND "suck-you-in" and "husband-ignoring" pages full of political intrigue, conspiracy, interesting plot points and sub plot points, well-developed characters (in more ways than one, which you unfortunately have to hear all about over and over), and battles!
The book covers a span of several decades and takes place during the middle ages in England. Ken Follett does such a good job depicting medieval life that you will want to take a shower and brush your teeth after each read (praising the inventor of indoor plumbing and water heaters!). And you might even find yourself having ale for breakfast!
The book is fiction and at first jumps around between several characters and sub plots. Eventually, it all comes together and just pulls you along with it. The ending is not only climactic, but gratifying! This is one of those stories where even the good guy isn't completely good all the time. So, it's a little more realistic that way. But the bad guys, are TRULY evil!
Of course you have lots of people with a "stirring in their loins" and surreptitiously sneaking up on one another. There's a bit of rape and animal cruelty, which are usually VERY big no-no's for me, but I was already so engrossed in the book that I overlooked even these hot button issues for me. But Ken Follett succeeded in making me hate the main villain even more by using these techniques.
I have immediately started reading the sequel, World Without End. So far, it proves to be just about as good. This takes place a couple of centuries later, and features descendants of some of the main characters in Pillars of the Earth.
Oh, and one last thing. I was little bored by all the architectural references during all the cathedral building in Pillars of the Earth, although I did enjoy a few juvenile snickers during the use of the repeated use of the word "buttress", or even better "flying buttress" (picturing a butt with wings.........can't help it!). I mean, I couldn't build a dog house! So the terminology was lost on me.
All in all, great book! You won't want to put it down. Bathtub warning, if you read this in the tub, you WILL prune up because an hour will go by before you know it!
And to my dear hubby, sorry for all the half hearted "mmmm-hmmmm" and "yeah, sure whatever Darlin'" responses during the reading of this book. Don't worry, I'll be done with the sequel soon too. It's not too much longer!