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Ben Hopkins

Photo © Jorg Gruber

Ben Hopkins

Ben Hopkins is a screenwriter, film-maker and novelist. He has lived in London and Istanbul and now lives in Berlin. His films include features and shorts, fiction and documentary, and have won awards at festivals such as Berlin, Locarno, Antalya and Toronto Hot Docs. Cathedral is his first novel.

All Ben Hopkins's books

Latest reviews

  • “Ben Hopkins’s novel has the look of an old-fashioned doorstop of a saga. But when you immerse yourself in the shifting perspectives of Cathedral, what you also discover is a clever (even postmodern?) commentary on the ironies of history.”
    — The New York Times Book Review, Apr 20 2021
  • “As the edifice rises and decades pass, Hopkins weaves together a multitude of voices to examine the relationship between medieval worship and the era’s politics and economics. The resulting epic is both sweeping and human.”
    — The New Yorker, Mar 1 2021
  • “Hopkins admits to having enjoyed writing Cathedral immensely, and this is evident in the compassion, humour, pathos and sheer vivacity of a novel which signals the arrival of a bright new talent on the historical fiction stage.”
    — The Historical Novel Society, Jan 29 2021
  • ★ “An expansive fictional epic addressing themes of art, religion and power in the mode of Ken Follett or Umberto Eco [ . . . ] Hopkins’s compelling and descriptive tale will leave readers eager for more.”
    — Shelf Awareness (Starred Review), Jan 27 2021
  • “The design and construction of a lofty Medieval cathedral over the course of a century brings together a vast array of characters in a tale of ambition, obsession, desire, vanity and power.”
    — USA Today, Jan 23 2021
  • “Superbly crafted, visually and emotionally vibrant, filled with strong, relatable characters, and so engaging that, even at over six hundred pages, I was sorry when it came to an end.”
    — ForeWord Reviews, Jan 21 2021
  • Cathedral is an ambitious epic [ . . . ] A rich, occasionally bewildering array of characters peoples its pages [ . . . ] Their stories interweave to create a memorable tapestry of politics, religion and conflicting human desires.”
    — The Sunday Times, Jan 15 2021
  • “Hopkins’s debut is the superior [to Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth]. Beautifully written and profoundly insightful about its very human characters and their yearning for both God and Mammon.”
    — The Times (UK), Best Books of the Month, Jan 13 2021
  • ★ “Rich, moving, and unforgettable, it exposes the vanity inherent in trying to make a mark on history and exalts the power of love, creativity, and truth to leave a meaningful trace on this ephemeral world.”
    — ForeWord Reviews (Starred Review), Jan 8 2021
  • ★ “Ambitious and satisfying [ . . . ] This sweeping work is as impressive as the cathedral at its center.”
    — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review), Nov 23 2020
  • “To a dedicated historical fiction reader, [Cathedral is] heaven [ . . . ] It is a rich tapestry with a satisfying substance full of historical detail, personal insight, individual tragedy and triumph.”
    — Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association, Nov 2 2020
  • “This first novel by screenwriter Hopkins imagines a paean to the glory of God arising from the unholy muck of the Middle Ages.”
    — Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review), May 18 2020


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