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 you like history or like good storytelling, you won't like this. Nothing against the narrator - he's fine. But if this book hadn't been written by a famous author it would never have been published. Cardboard characters with 21st century mentalities, walking through a world that sounds lifted from a middle school world history textbook. These characters somehow miraculously are responsible for all the big innovations of their time. If you read Pillars of the Earth, you will find basically the exact same characters here, thinly disguised. A waste of time and audio credits!
Absolutely amazing book! Very few authors can draw me into their stories as well as Ken Follett can; in particular, his works, World Without End and Pillars of the Earth. If he produced a few more of these marvels I wouldn't be able to get anything done. After all, all I would want to do is either read or better yet listen to his books. Thank you for your incredible books Mr. Follett as well as the excellent narration provided by John Lee.
One of my book club mates chose World Without End because she loved the prior volume by Mr. Follett(Pillars of the Earth) as one of her all-time favorite books. I did not read Pillars, but was game to try this volume to see if it lived up to expectations. I have to say, if not for the convenience of the Audible version (unabridged at 40+ hours!), I would never have finished the book. I kept it plugged into my car stereo for my commute. The recording quality and narration was fine. The book itself failed to capture and hold my attention. I found the plot predictable and the characters 2-dimentional. There are far better books about this time period and following residents of English villages during the plague. Sorry book club mate, but this was a disappointment. Next time, I pick.
I will keep Audible versions of my book club reading in mind when I'm pressed for time to complete my reading before we meet or when someone picks a dog (hopefully not too often).
If you liked the Pillars of the Earth, then you will like this as well. The story is very similar and the narration is just as good as the first. My only advice would be to take a break in between the two if you plan on listening to them both. After finishing this one, I had to jump to something not so medieval.
I liked The Pillars... so I was interested in reading the sequel, it's tooooo long, the story is good but innecessarily long, maybe the abridged version it's a better option.
Still after reading Ken Follet's works, definitely Umberto Eco is the king.
A lot of people, so I've read, do not care for the work of this author. I, on the other hand, admire his work, and truly enjoyed this piece of fiction. I did not have any issues with the reading, the plot, the character development, nor the sub-plots. In fact, I found the story facinating, and actually bought the audio version AFTER having read the hard copy book....twice.
I really enjoyed this book most of the time, although it could be unrelenting. If I could have given 4.5 stars, I would have. John Lee mostly does an excellent job reading. My only complaint is that he redoes the voice=character_type assignments from Pillars. His Godwyn sounds just like Wallerin (sic). But Godwyn is supposed to be very charismatic, excellent at persuading people. Mr. Lee always reads him as snide and arrogant - that's the easy way, since Godwyn is a bit of a snake, but I think if he'd been read as he had been written, it would have been more interesting. Otherwise, I liked the characterizations.
I enjoyed this new book as much as I did Pillars of the Earth. Follet's characters come to life and are easily imagined. You won't be disappointed.
I wished this series would go on and on. I loved the story of the cathedral, but also loved watching the character traits get passed down along the generations of the families involved in its history.
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