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Publisher's Summary

International number-one best seller Ken Follett returns with The Evening and the Morning, a thrilling and addictive novel from the master of historical fiction. 

It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages, and in England one man's ambition to make his abbey a centre of learning will take the listener on an epic journey into a historical past rich with ambition and rivalry, death and birth, love and hate. 

Thirty years ago, Ken Follett published his most popular novel, The Pillars of the Earth, which has sold more than 27 million copies worldwide. 

Now, this novel, the prequel, will take the listeners on an epic journey that will end where The Pillars of the Earth begins.

©2020 Ken Follett (P)2020 Penguin Random House LLC

What listeners say about The Evening and the Morning

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good story, fantastic story telling.

usual ken follet story line with the protagonist being victimized throughout and its rising again and again inspite of all the defeats and wrongs done by the establishment.

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I went in blind and now I can see

John Lee was an unexpected treat. Was wary at the start but then I couldn't get enough. Wished it works never end

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  • Louise Harvey
  • 17-11-20

pretty grim, but stick it out

I was not prepared for the hours of utter despair ahead of me when I embarked on this book. It really was pretty grim. Characters who I came to love endured near-constant victimisation, cruelty and punishment. There seemed to be no end to the villains and villainy that was perpetrated in this book, and seemingly boundless in the ways in which it could be applied (in the same kind of way that Game of Thrones does it). I felt for my favourite characters so much, that honestly it really ground me down seeing them suffer so, and for much of the story I felt myself wondering whether anything good might ever happen. I appreciated the way that this book created such an immersive and engaging story experience for the listener, but for me anyway, it generated so much sadness that I nearly gave up on it. The only thing that kept me going was the hope that some redemption, justice, and reward would come in the end. The writing itself, and the storytelling was really impressive, and so was the character development, and the absolute authenticity in representation of that time period, (in all its ugliness). However readers like me need some regular breadcrumbs of happiness to keep me going – some little breathing spaces where you can reassure yourself that bad things don’t ALWAYS happen! Apart from that it was a terrific book.
In terms of the narration – a lot of reviewers didn’t like the halting kind of cadence to the narrator’s delivery, and I can see why they might say that. When I first started listening, it was really noticeable. But after an hour I didn’t notice it anymore, and by half-way through I couldn’t imagine it being narrated any other way. Generally the different characters’ voices were distinct enough that you could always tell who was talking, and the various accents (especially the French) were very well done. I can’t say how this book compares to the other ones written by this author – I read Pillars of the Earth, but it was so long ago and I was pretty young at the time, so I don’t really remember much about it to be honest. I will certainly think about reading the other Kingsbridge books.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Erin Bush
  • 13-11-20

A Masterpiece

This story had me captivated from the beginning. It transported me back in time, and kept me engaged.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 15-03-21

Brilliant!

I absolutely loved listening to it. It made me want to listen to the entire Kingsbridge series again. Maybe I will...

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  • Spank
  • 09-03-21

Another Great Follet Yarn

I love Ken Follet’s writing. His ability to keep you interested in his long novels is amazing.
His “baddy characters “ really make you despise them.

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  • Nicky UG
  • 12-01-21

Brilliant!

Like Pillars of the Earth, the story was riveting throughout the book. Enjoyed every minute of The Evening and the Morning.

Excellent audible narration by John Lee.

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  • Jennifer Webster
  • 10-01-21

A long journey to justice

This interesting, well paced story leads the reader on an adventurous journey of human emotion, from tyrannical injustice, through unsettling pangs of loss, revenge, bewilderment and, finally, the joy of hard earned justice and community building, with all sorts of everyday characters playing theirpart. A gripping read with a somewhat hasty, yet satisfying resolution.

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  • Larry
  • 30-12-20

Boring - Predictive

The characters are either selfless heros or despicable villains. There is very little character development beyond that premise. Every undertaking by a hero is thwarted by the evil villains; that theme is repeated endlessly and predictably until finally the villains come to their end - well the story had to end some time and had to have a happy ending.

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  • Armando
  • 17-12-20

A romantic novel, without much historic content

Lots of content about the romances , and evils of the main characters, with little historical content. An ok novel, that's it

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  • Etta
  • 03-12-20

Good story Awful narrator

Ken Follett is a favourite author but the story was spoiled by the awful narration. While the reader could do the character’s voices credibly, the word emphasis for the narrated parts was inappropriate with the timbre of the voice rising and falling in the wrong places. If i wasn’t a ken follett fan i would not have reached the end.

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  • Gordon
  • 25-11-20

Performance

A great book by a top class author, but I shall have to revert to reading the old fashioned way. I'm sorry but John Lee is just awful.

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  • Ed
  • 25-09-20

Tell me if you've heard this one before

As a stand alone novel, it's ok, maybe even good. As a part of a sensational series which I've read several times it's the worst of the four.
A young genius hero builder falls in love with an intelligent and practical noble woman. Their love is forbidden and they are kept apart for years. The noble woman makes bad choices and suffers horrendous treatment by the other nobles. There's an evil Bishop and a good prior locked in a battle between god and greed.
That's the plot of the first book Pillars of the earth. It's also the exact same plot of this book. Except without all the fascinating and engrossing characters.
If this were a film I'd call it a remake. It's the same book, with almost the same characters just done worse.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Madeleine
  • 19-09-20

a book to read over and over

what a wonderful story. captivating from the start to the end. I could start again.

17 people found this helpful

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  • mollyeyre
  • 28-09-20

A brilliant tale

This is so well written, however, I felt so stressed in parts because of the way people were treated, or how some behaved that I found it difficult to keep going! However......... I had to keep reading as I NEEDED to know the fate of the characters.

This is the sign of a brilliant author, I was living WITH the characters and was fully involved!

But..... So stressful! 😊

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • F. Hartas
  • 24-09-20

Another great book from Follet

Not entirely sure where the low ratings are coming from. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it takes unexpected twists and turns, keeping you wondering what will happen next.

I ended up binge listening to it and now I'm sad it's over...

11 people found this helpful

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  • Ruth
  • 19-10-20

The narrator is one toned I can't listen any more

Really struggling listening to this. Only got to chapter 4. No charecter in the narration.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Farniboy
  • 08-10-20

Poor Effort

I bought the Pillars of the Earth 30 years ago and I was entranced. How could the story of the building of a cathedral be so exciting, interesting and moving? I recommended the book to all my friends and it soon became a firm favourite.

The sequel, World Without End, was a pale imitation of the first book. It stuck too closely to the original, and the wrap around mystery was disappointing .

The third book was a marked improvement, the action wasn't just set in Kingsbridge, the scale was bigger and the book was better for this. It actually laid the groundworks for the English Civil War and that was the direction that I'd hoped the author would go when I heard a new book was imminent.

This however is poor. Its a prequel of The Pillars of the Earth set in the reign of Ethelred the Unready one of the late Anglo-Saxon kings. The characters of headstrong proto feminist noble woman, handy builder learning as he goes along (with a foreign interlude) and the noble/corrupt priest are all here. The characters are thinly written and the situations they find themselves in are uninteresting. Whole storylines are lifted from Follett's own books. Storylines are set up and fizzle as though the author had got as bored as I had.

Ken Follett is a frustrating writer, some of his books are superb, some are fine page turnovers but some are thieves of your valuable reading/listening time. This book is one of his worst and easily the worst Kingsbridge book.

It's the last time I'll automatically download one of the authors books in the first week. I'll wait for more listener reviews.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Nicola
  • 29-09-20

Excellent

Enjoyed this so much more than the disappointing Column of Fire, the last of The Kingsbridge trilogy, it’s a worthy prequel and much more in the vein of Pillars of the Earth and Workd Without End.

8 people found this helpful

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  • dk.bookworm
  • 28-09-20

Another great book

It’s a while since I originally read (listened to ) this series, but I quickly found myself back in time.
As you would expect, a wonderfull story, with great characters... no one does evil villains like Ken Follett and John Lee does a brilliant job of bringing them to life.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Robert J. Punton
  • 27-09-20

Magnificence

Follet and Lee at their magnificent best a partnership born for storytelling, Ken writes a great tale John bring it to lfe with his silky skillful tones. Want to reread trilogy after listening to this prequel. A must read listen

5 people found this helpful

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  • Marioncostadelsol
  • 24-09-20

What a cracking Tale!!

Masterfully presented and energetically sustained through bitter and sweet events. Gripping story, great characterizaton. Thanks

4 people found this helpful

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  • Leesa F
  • 28-09-20

Enjoyed this prequel to the Pillars of the Earth

It was nice to be back in the world of ancient England. Since reading the Pillars of the Earth I have visited Kingsbridge, Glastonbury, Salisbury and Westminster Abbey from Australia and imagined the world of characters in all books in the saga.
Listening to Edgar’s story meant I could picture his world more clearly but I missed referring to the maps that accompany the books.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kym Angrave
  • 18-09-20

Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant

Absolutely loved the prequel to Pillars of the Earth, i will have to read it again as theres so much in this

3 people found this helpful

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  • ajay kapoor
  • 13-02-21

Unpudownabble

If you have liked Pillars of Earth and World Without End this is the book for you. It is a long book 24 hrs or so but never a dull moment. Almost had me looking forward to my daily work commute !

2 people found this helpful

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  • Paul de Rome
  • 24-01-21

Annoying narration

The narrator’s attempts at french and british accents are annoyingly poor. Too distracting to continue so i gave up listening. I may read the physical book one day

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-01-21

Narration style wrong for this book

I very much disliked the style of narration - abrupt, disjointed and the tone and pauses difficult to appreciate the story

2 people found this helpful

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  • Noggin
  • 05-04-21

Not a happy fit

Overall I enjoyed this audiobook and will continue with the others in the series. Despite some disappointment, I am now invested in fate of Kingsbridgr and its inhabitants.

I acknowledge that John Lee is a superlative narrator, so my disappointment stems from the mismatch between story and narrator that I felt. However, I do realise others might not share my view and I wouldn't like to discourage other readers.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jeffrey R. Parker
  • 10-03-21

Great Story and performance.

Great story but had hoped for a stronger conclusion. Surely Bp Winston deserved more than an illness to take him down.

1 person found this helpful

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  • natalie crawford
  • 01-03-21

Good but dark!

Overall the book was a great listen but I found myself getting overwhelmed with all of the horrendous treatment of women. At a few points it was really hard to keep listening and I found myself consideringon not continuing. Unfortunately it was probably historically accurate of how they were treated the time but holy moly it got dark! If you are not phased by those sort of things then you will probably be fine but if you find it triggering then maybe consider another book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Corey Hanson
  • 17-02-21

Amazing read

Couldn’t stop listening. Ken Follett is a wonderful story teller with many characters you get invested in. I will be re reading the whole series for sure after this!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-21

Yet another awesome story by Ken Follett

The Evening and the Morning is another excellent story by Ken Follett.

As always the story has so much depth and feeling that you want never want to stop reading and in some ways with it would never finish.

One thing I really love about the book is that isn't about super heros, master fighters, or massive battles like so much these days. The book is a hope, fate and time which makes it feel as though you can see it happening in your mind.

1 person found this helpful