Murder, intrigue, plague, and pestilence all play a part in this stunning sequel to the international best seller The Pillars of the Earth.
On the day after Halloween, in the year 1327, four children slip away from the cathedral city of Kingsbridge. They are a thief, a bully, a boy genius, and a girl who wants to be a doctor. In the forest they see two men killed.
As adults, their lives will be braided together by ambition, love, greed, and revenge. They will see prosperity and famine, plague and war. One boy will travel the world but come home in the end; the other will be a powerful, corrupt nobleman. One girl will defy the might of the medieval church; the other will pursue an impossible love. And always they will live under the long shadow of the unexplained killing they witnessed on that fateful childhood day.
Ken Follett’s masterful epic The Pillars of the Earth enchanted millions with its compelling drama of war, passion, and family conflict set around the building of a cathedral. Now World Without End takes listeners back to medieval Kingsbridge two centuries later, as the men, women, and children of the city once again grapple with the devastating sweep of historical change.
©2007 Ken Follett (P)2007 Penguin US
A great job of delivery from John Lee, brings the depth of characters to life. This is set 200 years after Pillars, but it is not necessary to have read Pillars as it is not much of a tie in. I love longer stories, but only if they can keep you engrossed, and this did. I preferred Pillars,but would still recommend this to anyone who enjoys period dramas.
top of the list
started slow but through the middle and end could not stop listening
I like reading but never seem to have the time so audio books are a great solution for me.
The integrity of the characters was faultless. That's a big deal because you never say to yourself "that character wouldn't do that" - has a result the story keeps pulling you in.
The demise of a VERY evil character. Don't worry, I'm spoiling nothing because there are MANY evil characters in this book!!
If I could have one wish in the "I'd love to meet" fantasy it would be to meet John Lee. What an AMAZING man. I can 'hear' every character in this book AND I can hear every emotion that those characters are conveying.
I listen to audio books as I am working and the were numerous times that this book literally made me gasp with surprise. Seriously!
This book certainly has it's 'sprinkle' of soap opera but it's only a sprinkle. As this book started out I actually thought I had chosen badly, it just wasn't 'my thing' - WRONG. I'm so glad I went one or two chapters more!!!!!!
Fantasy geek, literature lover!
Absolutely. The performance is excellent and the plot is engaging. Maybe this novel doesn't shine like Pillars of the Earth, but it's worthwhile to read it,
Its predecessor, "Pillars of the Earth". Same pacing, same kind of characters with motivations and psychological background.
The women in general. Gwenda, Caris, Lady Philippa, the abbess... he has a certain skill to make them alive and real while his voice is definitely male.
"What Real Aristocracy Is", or something of the kind. One of the themes is the downfall of aristocrats and peasants, the ascendancy of some and the despair of others. Ralph has his own notion of what being an aristocrat is, his brother Merthin another. It's interesting to see the "new" mentality develop (and we are still struggling today with this idea that there's a "divine" right to something... people would not acknowledge this, but they behave like Ralph most of the time).
Great performance by John Lee. A must if into Ken Follett or historical novels.
While this book isn't quite as good as Pillars of the Earth I would still recommend it. It follows a similar format to Pillars, in that in chronicles the lives of well developed characters over a long span of time. Very well narrated and worth the long listen. For those who haven't read Pillars of the Earth, do that before reading World Without End.
I haven't listened to too many audio books at this stage but I found it very enjoyable.
Well narrated and fast paced.
This story is a very cynical view of the life of faith. It makes a mockery of all that is good and pure and decent and promotes all the basest aspects of human nature. Its" anything goes if you can get what you want" attitude really put me off. Apparently there is no right or wrong and no where to draw the line. I cannot recommend it to anyone. It started as an interesting story and just got boring.
"Good story but anti-Christian"
Good story with obviously 'good' and 'bad' characters and plenty to keep your interest - but was it really necessary for it to be so anti Christian? I'm in between agnostic and a believer in a creator myself, but appreciate the good things that the church has tried to do for the world but you wouldn't think it from this book. Every Christian character is either rotten or doesn't even really believe in what they are saying - so in part the book is propaganda with a purpose. I look forward to Follet demolishing the Islamic church in another book.
Less obviously anti-Christian
He does a very good job with it.
Appreciate the church more and how Christianity has at least tried to help people lead good lives.
You can see that without hope (when the plague comes) people descend into anarchy and decadence - does the church help to keep that in check? Will we (and Follet) miss it when it's gone?
"a great book"
This is a very good listen with strong characters and story lines. Very highly recommended.
"Not as good as the first"
This book was not as good at the first one but carried on with an interesting and fresh look at this period of history.
Yes I would recommend this book but recommend this first book is read before reading this one
Great to hear the same reader in both books and adds to being able to follow the story
I suppose the period of the plague and how it wiped out whole families and communities, the fear of being a victim is very well conveyed.
"Long....but worth it!!"
Although this is a very long book at 45 hours, it is worth it in the end. I really enjoyed it and thought it was well written and well narrated. Some content is definately unsuitable for youngers ears though some be warned.
"First audiobook I've given up on"
I bought this after seeing the television adaption of "Pillars of the Earth." I got to the second part of the download and gave in. I could not buy in to these characters existing in the 14th century. The main characters' outlook and dialogue at times felt anachronistic. The main dislike for myself was the high frequency of the explicit sex scenes - a bit more moving forward with the plot would have been preferable.
"The 14th century brought to life!"
This is a beautifully read and fascinating story of life in the 14th century. Following on from the previous story Pillars of the Earth it follows the story of the fictional town of Kingsbridge and the lives of its inhabitants. I was spellbound by the descriptions of life during the plague and also how the lords ruled their villeins and serfs. Recommended highly.
Easy book to listen to because it was do well by John lee. A long book, but we enjoyed it all.
"Why not a TV blockbuster"
I loved Pillar which Mr Follett says is his best. I beg to differ this book is even better and although long it has enthralled me all the way through it deserves more than five stars. I can only say thank you to Ken Follett and the narrator John Lee for an exceptional experience
"The second best book I have ever "read""
The first being Pillars of the Earth. I never thought I would like a book about a bloke who wanted to build a cathedral in the middle ages - how wrong I was. I'm still not sure what brought the book to my attention or why I chose to buy it, it's not my usual genre at all. But I am so glad I did. Such a compelling story, beautifully written and narrated, I could not stop listening. Straight after this 41 hour epic, I went onto World without End for another 45 hours of this superb writing (200 years later). Honestly, two stunningly well written books (and superbly narrated). If Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones can be made for the screen, this is a must - it's that good. Thanks Ken and John.
After reading 'The Pillars of the Earth' a few years ago, I was in mourning at the end as such a brilliant book was over. I had no idea that there was a sequel! 'World Without End' is just as good and this audio version is really well read - John Lee does the narrative justice.
A 45-hour narrative is no small undertaking, and I was resigned to spending a few months listening to it. Just two weeks later, I've finished it. I feel another book hangover coming on!
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