I absolutely loved Pillars of the Earth. World without end -is a sad, sad, sequel. The villain is not as cruel and the characters are not as likable-it is almost a watered down version of the first. I made myself listen to this book,simply because I did not want to waste my credit!
While I enjoyed the book, I found the story to be far too similar to Pillars. Heroic builder, evil clergy, oppressive nobility, etc etc etc..... Rape, sex and violence scenes are far more graphic and numerous than Pillars if that sort of thing bothers you.
All in all, still a good book; but three stars is the most I could muster.
I listen to it when driving and walking and I did not want to stop driving and walking. John Lee is super!
Reading is as necessary as breathing.
I loved the follow up to Pillars, although I wonder if women would have been given as free of reign as Caris has as the Mother Superior. I understand that women were starting to assert themselves as merchants, etc., but living with her lover under the priory roof seems a bit much. Follet's antagonists sometimes seem a bit one-note--is there ever ANY redeeming quality to a villain? I wasn't as bothered by ill treatment of women by the men, only because I think it's probably unfortunately very accurate for the period.
Another wonderful saga by Ken Follett. I recently listened to The Fall of Giants immediately before this one and was completely drawn into this story as well. John Lee is fabulous. Good recording, no background noise.
The last chapter was so good I stopped reading for a few days bc, I knew the end was near. I'll be 35 Dec, 11 and already I planning my bucket list. When I see myself going out, I pray its with classic read such as this. This is one of the greatest, no scratch that its thus far the greatest I've ever read. I must admit there were times I wanted to throw my ipod in the trash when it seemed like Gwenda could never get a break. I wanted the Disney version when evil loses and goodness prevails, but instead I read life, real life and in the end I understood Gwenda's life better. I can go on and on about this book, but I fear if I do I will spoil the next reader discovery of a true masterpiece. Teh same goes for Pillars of the Earth....
Anyone who was a fan of Pillars of the Earth will love this book, but it stands alone if you haven't read the first one, set several generations after the first book was written. A great book, well read by John Lee.
Better than Pillars. The passionate love story of Gwenda & Wolfricke alone is worth the listen. I hope they make a mini-series out of this one too.