- Publisher: NAL; 1st Edition...... edition (2008)
- ASIN: B002TR0AUC
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.8 x 1.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,813 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,468,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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World Without End (Paperback) Paperback – 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
This is being touted as a sequel to "The Pillars of the Earth" which is true enough, but it is also a little misleading, as it is set 200 years after the tales told in that magnificent novel, and as such can definitely be read as a stand alone novel. Having said that though, if you haven't read "Pillars of the Earth" - do - it is magnificent!
Knowledge of this wonderful earlier work will be helpful, as there is reference to characters from that time and being familiar with their adventures certainly gives you some insight into what is happening at the time, but if you are new to Follett's work, please don't let this put you off. He mentions enough of the earlier characters (without being boring to those readers who know the book SO well)for any new reader to have an idea of what has happened before.
The tale seems simple enough - 4 very different young people witness a fight in the forrest which leads to death and the hiding of a great secret, and this reverberates through their lives for years to come. What is not simple enough is the detail that goes in to these character's lives - they are all wonderful in their own different ways, and we can all feel that we can see the world they live in, taste their food, smell the odours of their environment and rejoice and mourn as they do.
Follett is also the master of understanding how humans think; how they plot and scheme, and how the whims of fate can change a life that seems completely planned and organised.Read more ›
I am happy to report that my concerns were unfounded. The book is long, but it has a lot going on and is not at all bloated. There are several stories being told, but they all interweave and the elimination of one would be a loss. Although it is set in the same location and refers back to some of the original characters, reading or remembering "Pillars" is not required. I enjoy learning about the construction and medical theories of the day and wish this aspect had been further expanded, but if a reader does not, there is not so much of it that it would be detrimental.
All in all, if you like historical fiction with plenty of death, love and destruction, this book is highly recommended. The length of the book will dissuade some from trying it, but those who have longer attention spans will not be disappointed.
But I was disappointed. While "World without End" is compelling stuff with endless twists in it's storyline and characters you grow fond of, this book just doesn't have that epic pizzazz that "Pillars" had in spades. A lot of the events in this book seem to be rehashed from its predecessor and now that the cathedral is built it seems that the major issues facing Kingsbridge (like becoming a town in its own right, having a cathedral at all) are over and done with. "Pillars" was at its heart a book about creation and the forces of the time that caused that-the church, the ruling class, the merchants, even the peasents. Its a book about a developing society that is setteling down not only from the recent Norman invasion, but is gearing up to be one of the greatest empires the world will ever see (even though that happens hundreds of years later.) This book has no unifying theme that creates the epic feel that "Pillars" had-the sense that you were reading about something great (though fictional) in history.
Anyway the basic plot follows the formula from "Pillars." We start out with a piece of a mystery that gradually revels clues to us as we read on.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great READ, and accompaniment & continuation of Pillars of the EARTH, a page turner for sure!Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent, incredible detail, well researched most enjoyable read. I could not put it down, sometimes getting up in the dead of the night to read some more!Published 4 days ago by Marianne van der Walt
I could hardly put it down. One of the best !!! I can hardly wait for the next onePublished 5 days ago by skybill20
Despite the fact that Pillars of the Earth was a slog for me, I picked this book up because I love torturing myself (apparently). Read morePublished 7 days ago by Margaret Carmel
Fantastic book I read this on holiday and found myself staying up late to "Se what happened next" - the mark of a good book!Published 9 days ago by Hazel
I enjoy nearly all of Ken Follett's books and this one is no exception.
The plot moves along nicely, though some of it is recycled from *Pillars of the Earth* with only... Read more