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.

BigBoPeep Sat 01-Feb-14 18:15:39

yer, soft, rubbish, implausible porn!

My friend described PotE as a cross between a cathedral building manual and soft porn. Which I think is a fairly good summary grin

BigBoPeep Sat 01-Feb-14 18:03:07

I found PotE absolute mindless trash. Like it was written by a 12yr old with rape and violence thrown in to show how grown up he was hmm. The bits that attempted to be written from the main woman's POV particularly grated on my brain. Rubbish rubbish rubbish.

Nothing to do with male orientated, I like male orientated stuff.

AGoodPirate Fri 24-Jan-14 16:01:08

Hoonose actually I truly imagine that for you to say women (in books) bore you, you must have some sort of issue thing going on.

What do you enjoy about fiction? Women struggle, just like men, in novels. They prosper, fail, love, kill, hate, explore, fight, grow, learn, nurture, are jealous, they discover, they invent, know, change, they have feelings, they make mistakes, they're spoiled by power, they lose everything, redeem themselves, they are wicked and kind and funny. Like in real life!

pointythings Fri 24-Jan-14 10:56:05

I liked Pillars of the Earth, but only as a bit of mindless trash reading. Read the sequel too, it was easy reading on the train and pacy enough, but I did get annoyed with the clunky writing and anachronisms - I mean, someone in Medieval times describing someone as 'their girlfriend'? hmm

I haven't read GoT at all yet, love the television series though. I'm keeping the books for when the series is finished. If the author doesn't conk before he finishes it.

I gave up on Wheel of Time after book five and still feel like slapping myself for giving it that long. Turgid, repetitive drivel and a story tat could be told in a total of three boks max.

TheNightIsDark Thu 23-Jan-14 12:32:44

I want to be Arya. Failing that I'm pinning my hopes on DD having some of that spirit!

Arya was on my name list for DC3 blush

The Name of the Rose?
An oldie but goodie IMO.

Brienne in GoT is a female character that does all sorts of 'manly' stuff - as is Arya (I want Arya to be my daughter blush)

LornaGoon Thu 23-Jan-14 11:40:49

Yes, I found Pillars of the Earth was a bit long so I found myself skim reading after a while. I think his style might be euphemistically called 'populist' - hit a wide enough audience and it'll stick with someone.

The story and historical period are what interested me, which is why I read The Return by Victoria Hislop. Again, much skim reading, dull female characters and very badly written. Not sure how something this bad gets printed.

Margret Atwood does much better female characters and has written from various historical periods.

Bubblegoose Wed 22-Jan-14 15:58:38

"Are they women behaving as men by any chance?"

What a weird thing to say. How do men behave then? Going out and doing interesting stuff while the simpering women sit at home and sew samplers?

Guess I must be guilty of behaving like a man then.

Plenty of strong female characters in fiction. Hester Prynne, Scarlett O'Hara, Becky Sharp ... just off the top of my head.

Jaskla Wed 22-Jan-14 13:30:24

I really enjoyed Pillars of the Earth and went into it not having any expectations. I had actually never heard about the rave reviews and picked it up in a hotel library.

I really didn't like Wolf Hall though which others have mentioned. It's the only book I can recall giving up on completely.

wiltingfast Wed 22-Jan-14 13:23:21

Ah, I have this and am also struggling to get into it. Like all sorts of books I do including well written chick lit but I just can't get interested in the characters.

My friend raves about it though so I much try harder. Am currently pretty engrossed in the Game of Thrones series though so it will have to wait another while <guilt>

Actually I lied, I read no crime. A thriller yes, (think Frederick Forsyth and Thomas Clancy), crime no. I just find them boring. And I hate the gorey detail. Even in GoT I skim those bits!

Showy Wed 22-Jan-14 10:30:12

Game Of Thrones is quite good but the tv show is atrocious. I still prefer Wheel Of Time but you can file that under the 'needs editing' header too.

Showy Wed 22-Jan-14 10:27:33

grin @ interest = sex

DH did wander into the bathroom the other night and ask 'how's the new book?' I explained that a recently (as in hours ago) bereaved man had just left his baby for dead on his wife's freshly filled grave and was now having malnourished fever sex with a random woman who lives in the forest.

amy, I read Hobb over Christmas after dh recommended the Assassins series.

I've officially given up. I'm reading The Snow Child instead.

I don't think it is as bad as chick-lit tbh (although liking the phrase dick-lit!). It has been properly researched and the stuff about architecture adds interest and depth in a way that would not be done in chick-lit (in which 'interest' means sex and 'depth' means descriptions of which brands are being worn by various bloody irritating women).

myitchybeaver Tue 21-Jan-14 18:42:54

OP I agree with you. I also agree that it is clunky and badly written. I think it's comparable with 'dick-lit' in that it's as poor as chick-lit but somehow more worthy because a bloke wrote it.

Life's too short to read anything you don't enjoy by 50 pages in and there are so many fabulous books to choose from!

TheNightIsDark Tue 21-Jan-14 18:35:20

No the other century is winter of the world (I think blush). Next one due out in September.

Doshusallie Tue 21-Jan-14 18:28:34

Is it Part of the century trilogy? I just finished fall of giants, really enjoyed it.

The present tense stuff drives me bonkers. I finished, 'Wolf Hall' but the writing style irritated me all the way through. I am now reading Morrissey's is also in the present is also doing my head in. I might have to throw it out of the window.

amyshellfish Tue 21-Jan-14 18:22:38

I wouldn't bother with game of thrones. The female characters are poorly written and cliched.

Op have you read the assassin series by robin hobb?

TheNightIsDark Tue 21-Jan-14 18:16:55

I can't get into Wolf Hall. Which is annoying as I love that period.

Yy to the annoyance of GoT not being finished. I'm on the second rereading cycle!

Oh no, I've just bought Wolf Hall for my kindle grin

tobiasfunke Tue 21-Jan-14 17:51:24

That should be books without the apostrophe obvs before some pedant jumps on it.

tobiasfunke Tue 21-Jan-14 17:50:54

I have got to that stage where if a book is too much trouble to read by about 50 pages I give up. Life is too short and there are too many good books out there. I couldn't be doing with Wolf Hall at all- Mantell's third person present tense just jarred. Some book's are just not good fit.

Game of Thrones is rather gripping, but the writing is hardly first class - as said upthread, could've done with rather vigorous editing grin.
And I made my way through ALL the books last summer, to only realise in the end that it was not flipping finished. And the next instalment out in 2015. Maybe... shockangryhmm.
Brienne was a great female character though - I hope she survives the remaining books grin.

Interesting, exciting and entirely non-boring female characters -

Anne Elliot
Elizabeth Bennet
Hester in Philip Reeves' Mortal Engines series
Holly Golightly
Susannah in King's Dark Tower series
The woman whose name I have forgotten in the Tales of the Otori series
For starters...

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