At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End takes place in the same town of Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building the exquisite Gothic cathedral that was at the heart of The Pillars of the Earth. The cathedral and the priory are again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.
Three years in the writing, World Without End once again shows that Ken Follett is a masterful author writing at the top of his craft.
Listen to The Pillars of the Earth.
©2007 Ken Follett; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
"Fans of Follett's previous medieval epic will be well rewarded." (Publishers Weekly)
If I could, I'd give this book ten stars. I felt similarly about Pillars of Earth. Initially, I thought the story line was a bit too much like a soap opera, with the personal relationships filled with sex and rage. But, the characters take form and are incredibly well-developed as this book relates the lives two and three generations following the main characters in Pillars of the Earth. The politics between church and town are well-woven into the story creating tension and intrigue. The impact of the bubonic plague and the war between England and France bring the history of the times to life in a way that no history book could ever do. There were times that I stayed up way later than I should have because I just couldn't stop listening. The narrator does more than read . . . he acts out the scenes and creates the characters extremely well. My only regret is that I finished this book today. And now what do I do! I'm afraid that anything I choose will pale in comparison.
ken follet is a master story teller, and develops characters like no other!
this is absolutely a literary masterpiece.
this and "pillars of the earth" should be considered among mankinds all time epic classic novels!!
it's entertaining, brilliant, educating, intriguing and absolutely "can't put down"
don't miss this and pillars of the earth!! my two favorite listens by far!
I have listened or read so many different books that I feel shocked that I have found a book that I wish it could slow down so that I could enjoy the sorrel reality that the author has created. Ken Follett gives you a book that allows you to grow with the characters through the hard and good times. This book has raised the bar and has put in motion a new type of epic story telling. Buy this book and let yourself become enchanted by the drama, fear, love and hate that Ken Follett has created in a story like no other author of this time has.
I loved Pillars of the Earth. I figured that if this was half as good as the first, then it would be worth it. Well, it was half as good. The characters were the strength of the first book. These weren't as developed and were one-dimensional to a point. Still a good read that had me engaged at parts, but overall it felt kind of long.
True to the Follet form. But as enjoyable as it was, it got tedious and predictable. The last two hours dragged on and the ending quite anticlimatic.
Riveting tale of how life was lived in the 14th century. How Follett dealt with the plague was fascinating. Also compelling was how he showed the Catholic church as so corrupt. The book seems long compared with others, but you'll fly through it, and wish there were more!!!
it's the best way to spend a working day, and i'm thankful my job is one where i can listen to books all day long.
World was excellent in its own way but if you were expecting World to be like Pillars, you might be upset with what you get. I wasn't terribly let down but I certainly did not think that it was as gripping as Pillars, but honestly, is ANY sequel as good as its first? No. Not really. As much as I enjoyed World, I cannot give it five stars like Pillars but there are few books that take you body and soul like Pillars. Don't be dismayed by World, definitely take a listen. You'll enjoy it.
Bad cold; time off from work; trouble sleeping. My medicine was 94 hours in the 12th and 14th centuries. It was a wonderful cure. Now what gets me over medieval withdrawals? If you are looking for a grand escape from your current reality (and also want to feel some gratitude for your 21st century life and times) go for both Pillars of the Earth and this sequel.
Audible Member Since 2003
If you loved PILLARS OF THE EARTH, then it is likely you will enjoy WORLD WITHOUT END. It seems as if Ken Follet took the same recipe of his first success and snapped it together for this follow-up. All of the same ingredients are there; a beleaguered female protagonist with a not-so-loveable brother, her love interest, covetous power-lust for the earldom of Shiring, an ambitious building project, duplicitous clerics and plenty of despotic nobility. Sprinkle in some gore with equal measures of sex, add a few scenes of rape and stew in some omnipresent ale. At the end, reveal a long-hidden secret, and VOILA - a sequel emerges.
Really it does not matter which book you listen to first. Basically, they are one in the same.
I did enjoy listening to this 45-hour book. But added to the 40-hour prequel, really - enough is enough.
John Lee is a very talented reader and he does, in my opinion, make the listening pleasurable. If you are a fan of this reader, I recommend listening to A FINE BALANCE - an incredible piece of writing. WORLD WITHOUT END certainly is not great literature, but an engaging story that seems to, as the title suggests, never end.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Ken Follet wrote some really long epic novels; World Without End is among the longest. Set in 14th century England this historical novel tells a wonderful tale. It is, nevertheless slow moving and sometimes redundant. I recommend the abridged version of the audio book which at 14 hours is almost 70% shorter. I generally stay away from abridged versions of novels, but Follett is a clear exception.
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