I desperately wanted
to like this book. It was recommended to me by almost everyone and my expectations were fairly high. I love historical fiction, so it seemed obvious that I would enjoy this book, just as so many others did. But something went wrong, and I ended up liking it a lot less, than I had hoped.
First of all, this is by no means a bad book. I may find the writing in it bad, but the book and the story itself is actually quite exciting and good. Hence the two stars. I read it rather quick considering the amount of pages, so it must have had something. BUT...
.. I really did find the writing style poor. I didn't care much for the long architectural descriptions of the cathedral (which was obviously written for experts and not for the common-reader like myself), I didn't like Follett's use of shorts sentences (which probably was designed to create suspense, but left me annoyed), and I really didn't like
the extremely simplified characterization of the novel's characters, dividing them into two categories (and two categories only); good vs. bad. There was absolutely no variation or even a hint of coloring in their personalities. They were tame and flat - almost one-dimensional.
I also disliked the use of repetitions in the plot. When something happened for the third time I caught myself thinking "Not again?!?!?!". These repetitions may work as a tool in the novel to underline the meaning of fate - but it spoiled the book for me.
As an easy-read, just for the pleasure of an understandable and exciting story, this book works just fine. As a new classical epic, however, it fails miserably.