Title: Pillars of the Earth
Author: Ken Follett
Blurb: Set in the twelfth century around the building of an abbey, this book is nowhere near as dull as i sounds I assure you! Although you may expect that a priory, a stone mason's family and two gentrified families to have little to no adventures, Follett sweeps the reader away into the Middle Ages and the behind-the-scenes lives sadly absent in most history syllabuses. There's murder, rape, mystery, and intrigue - a curse, a budding romance, two generations of hatred, all wrapped up in an admittably a bit daunting 900+ pages. Don't be put off though, you're getting your money's worth, and when I forced one of my best mates to read it when she moaned about the length, she still finished it in two day's flat, with very little sleep because she was unable to put it down.
Rating: NC-17 for violence, rape and explicit sex scenes. (that sounds bad, but it is spread out over 900+ pages remember!)
Review - You'd think that what with studying for a history degree and all, I'd go for romcom type books for leisure reading. Well, no, because a) that'd be sensible, and b)that would mean I missed out on this book.
Historical novels are what got me into history in the first place, and this is one of the best. Unexpectdly written by a successful crime author over ten years ago, Pillars became a cult classic and has adorned best-seller lists for scores of weeks around the world.
The book covers the part of history usually so ignored; the background of the battles over royal succession; the lives of the peasants, and it does it in a rich fashion. Follett weaves a cast of a dozen fabulous characters into his epic, which deserves as much recognition as Gone With the Wind receives for opening people's eyes to the past.
There are several explicit scenes, but no more explicit than many chick lit novels and as a whole this book is just.. wonderful. I could go on about it for hours. I've re-read it about a dozen times since I bought it a couple of years ago. READ IT!
Grading - A+
Reason for Pimping - General hero worship of Follett and adoration of the book. Love it love it love it!