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
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.
"Pillars of the Earth the re-mix but thats not bad"
I read and loved Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and so thought I would give World Without End a go as well. I also loved World Without End but it is very similar to Pillars. What Ken Follett has done is to take the characters, themes and locations of Pillars of the Earth and mixed them about a bit to create World Without End. That is not necessarily a bad thing as Pillars was a brilliant book and therefore World Without End is also excellent and it does have some differences such as the plague which are interesting. Another nice difference to Pillars is there is a lot fewer sex and rape scenes which meant strangers on the tube weren't throwing me worried glances over my facial expression. I would definitely recommend reading it, it does reference the characters and events of Pillars in it but you don't have to have read Pillars to understand it. A very comforting book and you feel you really get to know the characters.
"Great Book - Beautifully narrated"
A really enjoyable book, made even more superb by John Lee's fabulous engaging and faultless reading - brilliant!
"Book Without End"
I was really looking forward to this book, but I was disappointed. The storyline is sound, but not well structured; it is told in parts that are either too long or too short. The characters are well developed, but this is no surprise as they are directly borrowed from 'Pillars', but disappointing nonetheless. This may be no surprise as they are all descended from the protagonists of Kingsbridge & Shiring two centuries earlier. The balancing of the plot was out of kilter, which is particularly evident at the end; all the plots and subplots are all taken to their end in far fewer pages than they deserved. The main story is based around a letter buried in the forest at the beginning of the book, but it is forgotten about until near the end, and the denoument, when we readers found out the contents of the letter and thus the main thrust of the book, was almost at the end and thus rendered almost meaningless and a huge let-down. All this said, it is a wothwhile read for those with patience and a stomach for the brutality of 14th century England.
"A safe and feel good story"
Although this is a very long book, the writer, as always, does manage to keep you wanting to listen/read throughout. There are very few parts of the book (if any) that are tedious and boring and for me that is the sign of a good author. The story in itself is mild and a mixture of torment, hideousies and horrors that come with this period in history and the amalgamation of real historic events keep everything flowing evenly and guiding you to the next part of the character’s lives, interventions, entanglements and fatalities. The feel good factor comes from those wronged getting their vengeance and the evil doers getting their come-uppances!!! It is a nice flowing book, but there is nothing thrilling in the story just a steady momentum and this does sometimes suit a particular story, in this event it works well and for a steady read/listen, I would recommend this book. Ken Follett, as we already know from his previous successes writes nicely and John Lee takes it on a steady flow.
This is a brilliant book, the narrative, the characters and the performance will have you enveloped while listening and returning to it once finished.
The Trial, I won't say more for fear of spoiling it, but what a Conniving evil person
I have listened to John Lee before as he read "pillars of the earth" and he is obviously outstandingly talented. Each character is as distinctive as if they had been voiced by separate actors.
I wept, the sorrow and the bittersweet ending
Cannot single any one character as they were all so skilfully crafted they were all important.
I was looking for more of the same by Ken Follett! That should say it all really.
"Pillars of the earth with new characters, still no"
The narrator of this book is one of my favorites, and I like the writing style as well as the setting. THe characters are pretty well done, even though it's pretty much the same characeters that you know from Pillars of the earth.
As always, it was a pleasure listening to this narator.
If it was possible.
Even though this is pretty much a repeat of pillars of the earth, I still enjoyed the book a lot.
"An epic story, beautifully read"
Gripping, fascinating, compelling
I have three books narrated by him. I love his performances and the different accents and voices he gives the characters.
An epic medieval thriller
I absolutely loved this book. The characters are believable and sympathetic, and John Lee's performance is absolutely brilliant. I was sorry to reach the end!
"Simply a Masterpiece of Story and Narration"
I've listen to many and this has been the best
The suspense was never overdone, the pace was perfect
As good as ever
Only watch this film if you can't listen to John Lee's Narration
Exciting, powerful, gripping
Clarisa being tried as a witch
no, but will now
Yes, stayed up late listening until I could find a bit to switch off, but never happened. Kept thinking about it when not listening to it
Have recommended this book to all my friends. This is one of the best books I've read
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