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)
This book has it all. Villains and heroes, nobility and serfs, dreamers and pragmatists, violence and love, hope and despair. Every reading interruption was almost painful and I could not wait to get back to hear more. Mr. Follett uses his knowledge of history and architecture as an engaging backdrop to aid in our understanding of the way of life and the difficult decisions that were necessary to basic survival. I highly recommend this to any and all that enjoy reading a terrific story while learning something of the culture of that time.
I loved this book. The detail made me feel like I was there (and thankful for the modern advances in medicine and technology we enjoy!). This detail, together with great character development and shifting protagonists as the story unfolded make this book one of the most engaging I've ever listened to. It followed extremely well on Pillars. I'd love to see another one set in the same town 100 or 200 years later.
I read Pillars of the Earth in high school and absolutely loved it. The horror that was my experience of listening to the first half of this sequel has made it necessary for me to re-evaluate that opinion. Maybe Follett's writing appealed to a 15-year old girl, because it could have come from the pen (MacBook, whatever) of a 15-year old girl. To be fair, I stopped listening halfway through--about the time that one of the principal female character's rape turned into consensual sex mid-act FOR THE SECOND TIME (with different assailants, mind you)--so it is just barely possible that what comes later somehow salvages what I suffered through. But I doubt it.
I love good historical fiction, but what Follett has produced here is neither good history nor good fiction. He has given modern-day characters with modern-day beliefs and speech medieval names and dropped them into a medieval setting (or perhaps it's a parallel universe. That might begin to explain things). I shouldn't say modern, really, however. Follett's tendency to insert nymphomaniacs into his work (I made the mistake of reading one of his novels set in the modern-day and came across the same character) smacks of 1940's and 50's pulp fiction.
For all lovers of truly good historical fiction, steer clear of this disaster. I'm still angry about the 20 hours I lost to this dressed-up bodice ripper, and it's been three years since I was first exposed.
I usually hate to read a book that the rest of the world is reading but I started this on a paperback and actually switched back and forth between the book and the audio depending on my mood. It's a great book - but not my favorite.
Great follow up for "Pillars of the Earth."
Good narrator (I was extremely happy to find it's the same one they used for Pillars) engrossing story...maybe a little too much violence involving animals for me in both books, but these stories were both good enough that I could get past it. (I just chose to fast forward the mp3 player in a few places...)
This is by far one of my favorite books of all time. The story is made great by it's characters and the narrator does an excellent job bringing them all to life. I love this book and highly recommend it.
This is a wonderful book. I read it first and enjoyed it so much that I purchased it from audible to share with my husband. We listened to it together and as I expected he also enjoyed it. I suggest you read Pillars of the Earth by the same author first.
I can't think of a book that I've ever enjoyed more than this one. The world and characters became so real. The only disappointment was that the book eventually had to end.
This is my second listening to Pillars, and then World Without End. Oh, how I hope for the third of this trilogy! Get busy. Pillars, then World Without End.
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!
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