06 April 2009

The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)

I read this on my second week in London. I was living in a hostel, the new Best Friends Forever I'd met the night before had moved on to Libya and I was sitting in the common room being chatted to by a very intense young German man who spoke very little English and talked for fifteen minutes straight about the washing tokens the hostel offered and the different options available to us. He left to go check on his delicates and I pounced on the nearest book at hand, planning to be fully engrossed by the time he came back.

First chapter in I was slightly panicked. How was I going to feign excitement and engrossment in a thick as a brick tome on cathedral building in the middle ages? The Pillars of the Earth... for CRYING OUT LOUD... I might as well have grabbed the dictionary.

Second chapter in I went up to bed early, book in hand.
Half way through and the next morning at breakfast I barely gave the SPANISH GOD in the corner a perfunctory once-over.

Admittedly the writing is a little pedestrian, the relationships tedious and predictable and the character of Tom Builder hard to take at times.

But really, if it's a book about cathedral building and I couldn't wait to get back to it in between sight-seeing, I'm thinking there's something good about it. Fully recommended holiday reading for those who don't mind paying extra for excess baggage weight.

Rating: 7/10.
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