523 of 578 people found the following review helpful
Not an Oprah follower, but I love this book,
This review is from: The Pillars of the Earth (Deluxe Edition) (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)
Personally, I don't place a lot of stock in Oprah's book club lottery. The instant stardom that placement on this reading list bestows authors isn't always, in my opinion, justified. That being said, this is a wonderful book.
Pillars is complex, moving and informative. The research was excellent, the characters are engaging and the story moves at a surprisingly quick pace for a novel of this length. The descriptions of the scenes, the completeness of the political interplay and the twists of the plot make this one of my favorite books of all time. Normally, I have little patience for historical fiction unless it brings something new or truly engaging to the table. Pillars certainly does that and more.
In other words, while there is no such thing as the perfect book, this one comes very close. My advice is simple...READ THIS BOOK -- YOU'LL LOVE IT!
But do yourself a small favor, go to the used bookstore or the library, this is not a new release and you can enjoy Follett's favorite work for a fraction of the cost. A quick search of Amazon shows dozens of options that don't have the Oprah name or any other bells and whistles that I'm sure are unneeded to enjoy this spectacular piece of fiction
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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 15, 2007 6:16:55 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2007 10:59:11 AM PST
I loved "The Pillars of the Earth". I was lucky enough to find a 1st edition hardcover in a thrift store for a $1, and this was after searching for 2 years. The print of the regular paperbook..used or new..is too small and very difficult to read, at least for me. Oprahs new book; which I saw at Borders, is bigger and the print much easier on the eyes. What I'm really trying to get across is that my eyesight is not what it used to be and find it nearly impossible to read these larger novels with the fine print. So if you have this same problem, this is the book to buy.
Posted on Nov 15, 2007 11:05:41 AM PST
Your post annoyed me. Why does it always come back to Oprah? You are a very narrow thinker. Like Oprah and her book club or not you have to appreciate what she has stared. People are reading again. Does it really matter that what people are reading was suggested by Oprah? All she does is suggest. She doesn't get any money from the sale of the books, she doesn't get any kind of perks for suggesting a particular book. I have read many books suggested by Oprah and enjoyed most of them. Sometimes my taste are similar to hers and sometimes not. All her book club is is a SUGGESTION and she shares what she reads when she's read a good book. We all do that. Her suggestions are just more public.
Get off your high horse and be glad that more people are tuning off the tv and video games and are picking up books.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2007 8:25:07 PM PST
Ellen Francis says:
I agree wholeheartedly!! Thanks for your honesty and putting your "two cents" out there...even if it offends some people.....the truth hurts!!
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2007 8:22:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 23, 2007 8:25:37 PM PST
L. Wilson says:
Great post. Whether Oprah's name is on it or not does not matter. Maybe M. Phipps is in need of some self confidence. But, if Oprah is such a concern for M. Phipps, maybe he/she should have not purchased the book at all since her name was attached to it.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2007 1:49:12 AM PST
C. Rogers says:
It IS necessary to put the book in context - that of having been one of Oprah's. Most of her selections include, in some way, the negative baggage of her early years. They are downers. After reading a couple, I AVOID all her recommendations, and look for someone with much better credentials than a day-time "Promoter-of-all-things-Black" to review the book. Oprah has become a better spoken, quieter version of J. Jackson and his crowd. If it's Black - baby, it's good! If it's white - goin' haf a thank about dat a bit. There are so many other books that are good and perhaps greater that she does NOT pick - because she wants her audience reading HER way.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2007 9:37:14 AM PST
M. Phipps says:
My comments were in no way a rebuke of Oprah herself, merely a statement on the instant fame that her book club gives authors, some of whom I find lacking. I would suggest that those people who are so quick to defend Oprah against a misperceived attack might want to take a step back and examine their own motivations. I praised the book she chose despite an admitted bias based on some of her past choices. I'm sorry if I didn't praise her enough for picking Pillars but I reserved my praise for the person I think deserves it the most, the author.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2007 3:22:15 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 28, 2007 3:30:10 AM PST
H. Brooke says:
I don't understand your "motivations" for even mentioning that this book was an Oprah Book Club selection and your negative comments on her and her influence. What has this to do with a review of this fine book? This book found it's fame long, long before Oprah choose it as a book club selection. If you are going to critique a book based on who has recommended it why not include the New York Times Review and subsequent listing on their Best Sellers List or Publisher's Weekly's recommendation or Library Journal's recommendation, so many more and their influence on the reading public? Afterall, we see many books with the imprint of "NY Times Recommendation" on their covers and know the subsequent gains to the authors with this recommendation. I assume that you do not always agree with their selections either and that you find books on these lists "isn't always, in my opinion, justified".
This book was first published on September 7, 1989 and went into paperback on February 4, 2002, clearly a success by then, at least 5+ years ago. Amazon Reader Reviews (754 so far) began being written when the book was first published showing a clear praise for the book. This published book copy, with the Oprah Book Club selection imprint indicated on it's cover, was only published on the 14th of this month! (14 days ago and the same day your wrote your review, humm.... fast reader?) Given your stated feelings, how you choose to purchase this copy when there are two other published issues available without the Oprah Book Club imprint surprises me (whose copies are also listed on Amazon with the Reader Reviews). Did you really buy this particular copy or just wrote your review under the listing for this copy, maybe for "other" reasons?
I think it does such a disservice to the talents of all the authors recommended by Oprah to her Book Club to imply such a thing, her recommendation, to be the reason for their book's success. I believe it is much more appropriate that you take your own advice and you "might want to take a step back and examine your (their) own motivations" for wanting to make a statement in a book review about Oprah and her Oprah's Book Club recommendations.
To the statement written by C. Rogers; your racism and ignorance are clearly showing (the two always go hand in hand). After everything we know from History and Now, in this day and age? Shame on you!
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2007 1:13:04 PM PST
L. Cameron says:
I see only review here of the book that is the topic of these posts. When did it become appropriate to blog reviewers? Seems an inappropriate venue.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2007 2:28:52 PM PST
Karen L. Hopson says:
It may be an inappropriate venue but it's fun to read the ying and yang of the subject matter. I love good debates.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2007 4:51:20 PM PST
L. Menard says:
M. Phipps, I'm with you. In most cases I won't read or buy anything endorsed by Oprah. She has a God complex and I could care less what she likes or dislikes. There are people out there who use her name to make more money. Lately, it seems every product on line has the added blurb "as seen on Oprah." Who cares? Surely not me! In fact, the statement makes me think that the product is really no good and that they are using Oprahs name to fool all the Oprah lovers out there into buying their product. (And no doubt, they will)
I am reading Pillars of the Earth because a friend recommended it to me saying it is one of her favorite books. I didn't even know that Oprah read it. And again, don't care!