Convince me to carry on with Ken Follett's Pillars Of The Earth.

(63 Posts)
Showy Sun 19-Jan-14 22:39:20

So many people rave about it and I started it with gleeful anticipation. It is so badly written. Does the story distract from the clunky prose at any point? I'm about 100 pages in. 800 or so to go.

SinisterSal Sun 19-Jan-14 22:40:22

I won't - clunky, sluggish, iffy gender politics... Pity, it could have been great.

Stick to his earlier books which are proper, don't take themselves to seriously thrillers and way more fun.

gracegrape Sun 19-Jan-14 22:47:41

Hmmm, I read this recently and it wasn't as good as I had anticipated. Certainly not very well written and from a very male point of view, I felt. I did get to the end though as I thought the subject matter was interesting.

I know lots of men who really enjoyed it!

I thought that the writing was poor but that the story was, on the whole, interesting enough to keep me going. The follow up was worse, imho.

Showy Mon 20-Jan-14 20:47:41

I wasn't expecting such lukewarm sentiments. Everybody I ask in RL raves about it but it is so poorly written, I can't find myself interested in the characters.

I'm giving it another 50 pages this evening and if it doesn't get ridiculously interesting and quickly, I might abandon a book for the first time ever.

AGoodPirate Mon 20-Jan-14 20:49:50

Oh no I had people rave about it too so bought it for myself at christmas! Where were all you naysayers then? sad

Oubliette0292 Mon 20-Jan-14 20:50:29

I didn't manage to finish it - I took it with me on a business trip and ended up reading work stuff instead!

Methe Mon 20-Jan-14 20:56:21

I really enjoyed it smile

Interesting to see that it's classed as a mans book. I've always liked more masculine stories - I used to read a lot of Wilbur Smith for example. I couldn't real one of the chic lit type books for more than a page without my eyes glazing over.

I guess it depends what type of book you like.

I'm a 'man's book' sort of person overall too, I think. Chick lit makes me want to drown the writer, and then myself.

It's a very long time since I read it, but I enjoyed all the architectural stuff. It's just too long.

If you want long and gripping try Shogun

Chit lit drives me nuts too

Showy Mon 20-Jan-14 21:04:56

I've never read 'chick lit' in my life either grin. I have three degrees, all in literature and linguistics. I read vociferously and never before have I given up but my goodness, it's turgid isn't it?

Showy Mon 20-Jan-14 21:07:39

I don't mind masculine narratives at all btw. Follett is just a poor writer.

TheNightIsDark Mon 20-Jan-14 21:09:58

The two released in the century trilogy are really good.

I'm on my third attempt at pillars and still haven't got even 1/4 into it without wanting to gouge my eyes out with boredom hmm

I read the first of the 'Century' trilogy and found it all rather wearing. He and George R Martin both seem to think that a writer's worth is measured by the pound, and both would be far more effective with some v serious editing.

HooNose Mon 20-Jan-14 21:12:29

I liked it. Another one who enjoys reading male dominated stories though. Women don't interest me at all, I'm ashamed to say.

I do agree though that the sequel is not worth bothering with even if you end up enjoying Pillars. It felt like he was churning up the same story again only with less interesting characters.

kalidasa Mon 20-Jan-14 21:13:29

I too gave up, I can't remember how far in, it was the Kindle edition. I thought it was meant to be trash actually, but apparently not? Oddly sub-Hardy I thought, so I gave up and read some actual Hardy instead.

AGoodPirate Mon 20-Jan-14 22:57:20

How can anyone say they aren't interested in reading about women!? What a bizarre stance to take!

I liked it.
I liked the stuff about architecture and where different cathedral building techniques came from - I don't have RL application for that stuff, but I did like it.

But I agree the writing is not great - I got sucked in enough to get over that aspect of it.
I did not like or tolerate any other Ken Follett books btw.

Shogun is good.
Or try David Mitchell? The 1000 Autumns of <some Dutch name> (sorry, cannot remember) or Ghostwritten or, or course, Cloudatlas?

DramaAlpaca Mon 20-Jan-14 23:04:13

Nope sorry, I won't even try to convince you to carry on reading it. It was so dull it was like reading the phone book. Ditch it. Life's too short to struggle through a book you don't enjoy.

Showy Mon 20-Jan-14 23:14:34

I have read most David Mitchell smile.

Not wanting to read about women IS bizarre. Like we're a homogeneous, squirming mass.

I'm SO disappointed. Have read another 50 pages and clunk, clunk, clunk. Even my friend with impeccable taste said she's read it three times. I can only presume she was that drunk on no less than three occasions.

Theonlyoneiknow Mon 20-Jan-14 23:15:49

I REAllY liked it

PixelAteMyFace Mon 20-Jan-14 23:19:36

I enjoyed it, the subject matter made a change from the.usual kind of stuff I read, I found it interesting - but then I've always been fascinated by how cathedrals were built wink

Showy Mon 20-Jan-14 23:21:29

The subject matter is fine. I was excited by the synopsis. It's the dreadful writing I can't tolerate. grin

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