Review: World Without End

Editorial Review -

Ken Follett has 90 million readers worldwide. The Pillars of the Earth is his bestselling book of all time. Now, eighteen years after the publication of The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett has written the mostanticipated sequel of the year—World Without End. Read full review

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KateSherrod - LibraryThing

This retread of Pillars of the Earth is for people who want a retread only. The innovations in the plot are ridiculous, the story populated by stereotypes instead of characters, and the narrative ... Read full review

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Great read! ♥

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While it is a book that consistently holds your interest, it is too similar to the first book in the series, Pillars of the Earth, to be as good. It was too repetitive, and at times it felt as if it was the same book, same theme, same plot, with only the names and dates changed. It takes place in the same part of the world, the characters, descendants of those in the first, are always in the same circumstances of danger or mystery as they were in the first book. Their problems are still insoluble.
Wantonness in the area was rife, outlaws lived without fear, murder often went unnoticed or unpunished, unscrupulous behavior abounded, unwanted pregnancies were a common occurrence, secrets were a natural state of affairs, builders were still trying to build their dream, greed and jealousy controlled the townspeople and the clergy, the Church was corrupt, the Prior cruel, the nuns were subservient as were all women, the Noblemen were cruel and the townspeople, largely uneducated, often made foolish spur of the moment decisions for which they paid dearly for the rest of their lives. Injustice existed everywhere, as a natural and accepted course of events. There were the villains and the saints and they remained the same throughout this book with justice finally being achieved hundreds of pages later.
Perhaps reading four Ken Follett novels in a row was my mistake. The characters fell prey to the same error of ways as their ancestors and events were so totally predictable, it felt like a soap opera; time passes, but nothing really happens; one could stop watching, pick up years later, and still know the plot and the outcome. Then, of course, there is the fairy tale ending with everyone winding up accomplishing their dream of decades before.
The audio version had 36 parts making it a quite a task to complete. However, since the story continues with Caris and Merthin still in love, as in the first book, the reader is interested to find out what will happen to them. She doesn’t want to marry; it will take away her independence. He wants to settle down and have a family. What will they ultimately do? That is the question that continues to lure the reader onward.
Throughout the years they survive through the plague and its tragedies. They suffer through many unworthy accusations; he is accused of impregnating Griselda, the stepdaughter of Caris’ sister Alice; she is accused of being a witch. The reader will want to continue to read to find out what happens to scheming characters like Philemen, what Ralph and Godwin, and then to find out if Gwenda and Wulfric, and all the other unjustly treated characters, ever prevail. Will Merthin ever achieve his goals? What will ultimately happen to Caris? These are interesting questions but it takes an awfully long time, maybe a little too long, to reach the practically, fairy-tale like ending.
A friend mentioned that he really liked the series because of the theme about women’s rights that ran through the books. Another reviewer pointed out that there was no such thing as women’s rights, at that time, so he did not believe it had a legitimate place in the book. The readers will have to decide on that subject for themselves.
However, the history the author presents is well researched and very interesting. If the reader likes Follett’s style of writing, the book will not disappoint them, though the more than 1000 pages will be a chore to complete.

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World Without End

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I read Pillars of the Earth a few years ago, and, when I spotted this book in a book store, I grabbed it!
I love the first book, and, though this one was slow in the beginning, the more often I
picked it up to read it, the more involved I became with the characters, the plot, and the underlying theme. I'm still reading it, and I'm thoroughly engrossed. I can't put it down!
I think part of the allure is that it takes places during medieval Europe. I loved studying that part of history. However, the author does a magic act through a combination of his thorough research, with romance, intrigue, and the perpetual battle between good and evil, and he has produced another epic novel.
I'm sure it is a monumental effort for the author to write a book this size, but I hope he's working on another story about the the people in and around the town of Kingsbridge, England, durith the 13th, 14th, or 15th century!

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I am a bit disappointed with this 'sequel'. The story line is almost similar to Pillars - building of a structure, bad guys 'winning' always for years before they come to a demise, main lover characters always kept apart from each other, etc.

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I had greatly anticipated the publication of Follett' World With Out End. In say that hype did not live up to the reallity is very true. However to say that the book was not good would be a lie. It just was not as good as Pillars of the Earth.
Like of Follett's work, World With Out End is extreamly well researched & written. The story line is very believe able and has about sex, viloence & adventure that any reader would want. Plus the story has a searies of bad guys that the reader truely will hate.
The problems and frustrations of lead characters are very well described in historical context.
I would recommend this book if you had read Pillars of the Earth. It is not needed to have read the previous effort, but it does help to understand the context.

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1046 pages ??? book without end?? was I really ready to tackle another epic novel by Ken Follett, after last month reading his "Pillars of the Earth" I am a reader that feels he has missed the writers eniter work if he misses even one written word. WELL !!!!!
I loved this book from the six pages Mr. Follett is a gifted story teller who knows what good research is about... He has written this novel to tell us a wonderful story about life in the 1300's..mixing fact with real history.
You Have To Read This Fantastic Novel...To Experience Great Writing At It's Best!

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - longhorndaniel - LibraryThing

Liked this almost as well as the 1st; the one bothersome thing was all the sexual stuff; don't need that Read full review

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