Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth (Deluxe Edition) (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)The Pillars of the Earth Unabridged on 32 CDs [41 Hours]The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is an amazing book. I am not even close to being the first to put that out there as Oprah beat me to it a few years back. But for those non-Oprah fans, this book is amazing. How does Oprah pick her "Oprah books"? I will be kind and assume that she, herself, does actually read the book before declaring it be Oprah-worthy (or do you think someone reads it aloud to her?). But really, does she browse the bookstore, pick up something, and every 5th or 10th or whatever-th book "touches" her? Hehe maybe she only has time to read a few books a year and the ones she finishes makes the list. Then "the masses" think the book must be life changing if Oprah read it aaaaand....... sorry I completely digress(ed?).

I read this a few years ago after my friend Alicia (remember her from the garden post?) recommended it. I loved it then and looked forward to the day when I would read it again. I cheated (it's not cheating!) and listened to it this time. The reader, John Lee, does an awesome job. He also reads the sequel which I will talk about later. I will be looking for others narrations by him.

Back to Pillars. The story is the culmination of decades of research and dreaming by Ken (a spy(?)-type novelist) and all I can say is it was worth it. To the point that I wish I could meet the guy just to tell him thanks for writing the book. Or, congrats your crazy idea worked out. Or, write me into your next novel, but put me in the middle ages, too. Hmmmmm. I am going to have to think harder about the one sentence I will say to Ken when we meet. I feel like it's gotta be something clever. Ideas? Give me ideas. I will use your clever creativity when I meet him and then when you meet him you'll have nothing to say. Hehe except the clever one-liner that he's heard before (I feel like evil laughter should interject at this point, but that is probably just the late hour beginning to take over my mind. I think I am a different person late at night. So if you're reading this during the day ignore this part. Night-readers, I give you license to laugh villainously. Aloud.)

The story. Okay I never really share much about the story, I pretty much just tell you to pick it up and start reading. (Oh and this book has a nice intro by the author so start there.) The story takes place in the 1100's and is about the building of a cathedral (do not turn away at the mention of a church, less-religious folks, you WILL enjoy this book). Sounds boring, especially when you see that it's a thousand pages of cathedral building, but it's full of greed, corruption, love, politics, starvation, wealth...... and now disclaimer time. There's also a lot of sex and raping and pillaging. I shouldn't have to put that in there, I mean it is like the Middle Ages (it is, right? I know I should know that or at least look it up before I say that, but there ya go. I'm a mom with minimal sleep and overused brain energy so I'm allowed to make-up the *scuzz I don't know for sure. Go with it.) *Notice my purposeful avoidance of pirate language? (a.k.a. curse words, but it's more fun to talk about pirates) I just didn't want to hear that anyone was offended or accidentally listened with an English speaking kid around.

Alright, I'll wrap this up (can you tell I haven't been writing enough lately? I am just chock FULL of words.). Basically the book makes me wish it was still 1100 A.D. I have had the wild desire to drive to the mountains, get out of the car, and just start walking (with Knox strapped on my back, of course he gets to come to the middle ages, too).  It's made me feel exhausted with all the STUFF in the world and frustrated that I'll probably never live with woods in my backyard. Or walk 3 days to hear monks chanting in the most beautiful stone, handcrafted building in the land. Or drink wine like it's water (not to mention mead).... you get the idea.

And for your benefit (well, mine really, cuz I like being right) I just did some impromptu research and it IS the middle ages. Also, in the 10 minutes of reading I just did, I was freshly amazed at how well Ken incorporated actual historical stuff.

Read it. Or listen to it. And then tell me that you did to make me smile

No comments:

Post a Comment