but, if you want to hear another version of a similar story with similar characters, this wasn't bad. I'm somewhat convinced that John Lee could bring any story to life and make it enjoyable. Thus, his narration makes up for the areas the story falls flat, or repetitive.
Follett definitely likes his plucky female characters. I can't say I disapprove. His lovelorn males are a mess, though. His villains... dastardly.
A good book to pass the time on vacations and bus trips. Many of the characters appear similar to the Pillars of the Earth not only because many of the characters are descendants from the characters of the previous book, but also because they seem to fill the same slots of personality types such as the psychopathic Earl, the plucky landless peasants, the inventive entrepreneur middle-class merchants, the conservatives vs. the inventive, as well as the sexually oppressed women vs. the powerful, obsessed men. Still, a well researched book about life in the Middle Ages with thriller aspects which will tempt you to read past where you intended to stop.
Blends the serf with the Lords in both political and religious situations through one generation. Enlightening socially and historically with a very impelling story line.
Though the story seems ill conceived at first (a woman in charge of a church, really?), Kenneth Follett does an excellent job of explaining how the world was turned upside down by the plague. Beautifully crafted!
This book is very well written and takes you to 14th century England very well.
BUT the same people seem to get a disaster every other page and it just keeps coming, it gets to the point where I went...oh come on..again???
The evil people seem to be invincible and get away with everything and the poor people get shafted at every turn, I know that 14th century England was not very fair, but it's just too much at one point.
In any case, I enjoyed the book but will think twice before listening to another of his books.
John Lee is his usual fantastic self and makes the story flow with his flawless reading.
After reading the reviews I was expecting Fillet Mignon but I thought the story was a bit Spam-like. Soft,fatty, lacking content and over salted. The narrator was the only thing that kept me going. John Lee did an excellent job.
On this plus side, this selection will fill many hours of listening. But I found it disappointing. First, the author is not especially gifted at creating suspense. As he plods along it is easy to see where he is going. Secondly, he give his 14th century characters the attitudes and mores of 21st century Americans. To me it feels as if the author wrote this long book without asking himself tough questions about the credibility of his characters in an effort to reach a deadline.
While it was a great listen, a better follow-up for history buffs would be the classic "A Distant Mirror" by Barbara Tuchman (1978). Ken Follet obviously read that and copied events and practices of the day, from Priory politics and battles in France to head-butting tied up cats. And 'Mirror' is pure history, not fiction. Still, 'World Without End' was a very entertaining yarn in the Ken Follet tradition.
After listening to Pillar of the Earth, I couldn't wait to download this one. Pillar of the Earth kept my attention just allitle bit more, but recommend this book as a good listen, truely enjoyed it.
It's a dark tale and you cannot help but really feel sorry for the plights of the characters. The tale captivated me because its so well written and since I loved Pillars of the Earth I knew I would enjoy it.