Format: Mass Market Paperbound
Dimensions: 992 pages, 6.88 × 4.3 × 1.4 in
Published: April 28, 1999
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0451166892
ISBN - 13: 9780451166890
Read from the Book
Chapter 1 In a broad valley, at the foot of a sloping hillside, beside a clear bubbling stream, Tom was building a house. The walls were already three feet high and rising fast. The two masons Tom had engaged were working steadily in the sunshine, their trowels going scrape, slap and then tap, tap while their laborer sweated under the weight of the big stone blocks. Tom’s son Alfred was mixing mortar, counting aloud as he scooped sand onto a board. There was also a carpenter, working at the bench beside Tom, carefully shaping a length of beech wood with an adz. Alfred was fourteen years old, and tall like Tom. Tom was a head higher than most men, and Alfred was only a couple of inches less, and still growing. They looked alike too: both had light-brown hair and greenish eyes with brown flecks. People said they were a handsome pair. The main difference between them was that Tom had a curly brown beard, whereas Alfred had only a fine blond fluff. The hair on Alfred’s head had been that color once, Tom remembered fondly. Now that Alfred was becoming a man, Tom wished he would take a more intelligent interest in his work, for he had a lot to learn if he was to be a mason like his father; but so far Alfred remained bored and baffled by the principles of building. When the house was finished it would be the most luxurious home for miles around. The ground floor would be a spacious undercroft, for storage, with a curved vault for a ceiling, so that it would not catch fir
From the Publisher
View our Ken Follett feature page.
Learn more about The Pillars of the Earth
miniseries on Starz.
A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, this historical
epic-a twelfth-century tale of the building of a mighty Gothic
cathedral-stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious
scope and gripping humanity
About the Author
Well known as a writer of international best sellers, Ken Follett was born in Wales and began his career as a newspaper reporter in Wales and in London. His first bestselling novel, The Eye of the Needle, won the Edgar Award and was adapted as a film starring Kate Nelligan and Donald Sutherland. He followed this success with four more bestselling thrillers - Triple, The Key to Rebecca, The Man from St Petersburg, and Lay Down with Lions. His novel, Pillars of the Earth, departed from the thriller genre and was on the New York Times bestseller list for 18 weeks. It also reached the number one position on lists in Canada, Great Britain, and Italy, and was on Germany's bestseller list for six years. He followed Pillars of the Earth with Night over Water, A Dangerous Fortune, and A Place Called Freedom, before returning to the writing of thrillers with The Third Twin, a scorching suspense novel. Miniseries rights to this book were sold to CBS for $1,400,000. The series, starring Kelly McGillis and Larry Hagman, was broadcast in November of 1997. In November of 1998, Follett published The Hammer of Eden, another suspense story. Ken Follett is married to Barbara Follett, who is the Member of Parliament for Stevenage in Hertfordshire. He is a lover of Shakespeare and an amateur musician who plays bass guitar in a band called Damn Right I Got the Blues. He is also chair of the National Year of Reading 1998-99, a British government initiative to raise literacy levels, president of the
From Our Editors
A common Englishman dreams of building a cathedral, but knows that
the feudal class system in which he lives will hamper his efforts.
Determined to construct his glorious house of God, the builder
decides to boldly pursue his wish in spite of the fierce opposition
he faces in Ken Follett's best-seller
The Pillars of the Earth.
"Enormous and brilliant …a great epic tale…crammed with
characters unbelievably alive across the great gulf of
centuries…touches all human emotion-love and hate, loyalty and
treachery, hope and despair. See for yourself. This is
truly a novel to get lost in."-Cosmopolitan
"Wonderful…will hold you, fascinate you, surround
"An extraordinary epic buttressed by suspense…a monumental
masterpiece…A towering triumph from a major
"A seesaw of tension….A novel that entertains, instructs, and
satisfies on a grand scale" -Publishers
This Follett work is a fascinating read, despite its thousand-odd pages of text. Almost one hundred years of rich English medieval history is covered, with an elaborate cast of diverse characters. It offers romance, betrayal, sex, battles and drama. The story is complete with historical detail, describing the development of Gothic architecture. Follett has a direct but effective style. One immediately recalls both the style and subject matter of Edward Rutherfurd. I highly recommend this book to anyone -- particularly history lovers.