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
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.
"a great book"
This is a very good listen with strong characters and story lines. Very highly recommended.
"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.
"Brilliant story, brilliantly read"
Thoroughly recommended, the story is brilliant, the reading is clear and expressive and the sound quality excellent
An epic sequel to pillars of the earth. Plague, rape, murder, heresy trials... It's all there and more. Feel like I've lost some good friends and to me that's a sign of a truly great book. Recommended.
The alchemy of wonderful writing along with a pitch perfect narration made this one of my favourite books to listen to. The story is involving and moves around the central characters with ease, it never felt disjointed. The story also moves along quickly, which is rare in a large epic tome like this one.
The weaving of real historical events (plague, war etc) with fictional characters works brilliantly - it makes the story feel more authentic. I really enjoyed the weaving of all the plots and sub-plots, and how they all come together in the end - it was very satisfying.
There are numerous small victory scenes in the book - I do love it when the good or little guy triumphs over the bad guy, however small a victory this may be.The book is a great exploration of power - church, state, men, women - in a time of great change.
I did find myself getting very carried away, and I did want to listen to more - at this length it was sadly impossible. I was very sad it ended, I could have listened to more!
A special mention has to go to the narrator, John Lee, who makes this an effortless listen. I never lost the thread of the story, and always knew who was speaking. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to another book narrated by him. Ken Follett has written a great book, and it has only been enhanced by the excellent production. A triumph!
I read Pillars of the Earth. Listening to World without End was a natural progression, but my first experience of Audible book.
Sadness that so many lives were lost to the plague
World Without End would make a good film!
"One of my favourite books"
This is my second time listening to this book and it's even better second time. I love following the lives of the villagers. The narration is my favourite... It's long book but it kept my interest from start to finish. I've been listening to it every spare minute I get. The only people glad the book is finished are me family cause 'they've got me back now'. I would recommend this book (although not one for youngsters).
"Not one of his best"
I've read or listened to quite a few Ken Follett novels. Even though they are all enormous, this is the first one which really seemed too long.
He spells out things very slowly and often repeats what's happened earlier as if the reader is too stupid to have understood it. He signals plot developments so blatantly that you'd also have to be stupid not to know what's going to happen next. More surprises please Ken!
Having said that, the way he brings history to light is still enjoyable and the reading is good.
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