Oprah's Book Club Selection
The “extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece” (Booklist) that changed the course of Ken Follett’s already phenomenal career—and begins where its prequel, The Evening and the Morning, ended.
“Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner,” extolled Publishers Weekly on the release of The Pillars of the Earth. A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, the historical epic stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. Today, it stands as a testament to Follett’s unassailable command of the written word and to his universal appeal.
The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known . . . of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect—a man divided in his soul . . . of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame . . . and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state and brother against brother.
A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, this is Ken Follett’s historical masterpiece.
Praise for 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 you." —Chicago Sun-Times
"Follett is a master." —The Washington Post
"A towering tale . . . a ripping read. . . . There's murder, arson, treachery, torture, love, and lust." —The New York Daily News
"Ken Follett takes a giant step." —San Francisco Chronicle
"With this book, Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner . . . a historical novel of gripping readability, authentic atmosphere, and memorable characterization. Beginning with a mystery that casts its shadow, the narrative is a seesaw of tension, suspense, impeccable pacing . . . action, intrigue, violence, passion, greed, bravery, dedication, revenge, and love. A love that entertains, instructs, and satisfies on a grand scale." —Publishers Weekly
"An extraordinary epic buttressed by suspense . . . a mystifying puzzle involving the execution of an innocent man . . . the erection of a magnificent cathedral . . . romance, rivalry, and spectacle. A monumental masterpiece . . . a towering triumph from a major talent." —Booklist