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
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"Disappointing and predictable"
Although on the whole I enjoyed this audio book, I found the story rather predictable and in some respect a recast of Ken Follett's earlier book. The story was quite enjoyable in spite of being very predictable at times, however, it was greatly spoilt by some of the ridiculous and gratuitous sexual scenarios the author contrived and which at time's seemed to have no real place in the story.
It’s a pity that an author, who seems from some of his earlier work to be an erudite and capable writer, spoils his work by failing to recognise that sometimes less is more. I don't refer to the length of the work because a long book can be a pleasure to read or hear read. War and Peace is a case in point and the unabridged version on Audible was the best book I have ever read (listened to). The point is that the author of this book stretches the readers imagination too far at times so that the reader begins to find, what was up to that point an enjoyable story has become a silly crass and bawdy tail.
To be fair, this book probably does not seek to be recognised as great literature, it is merely popular fiction and many people will probably enjoy it. However, I chose this book because I had enjoyed one of Ken Follett's earlier works, particularly for its historical references and detail on cathedral building. The saving grace of this book was its little historical details thrown in about rural life in those times and it awakened in me an interest to read further on the subjects, particularly about building methods and architectural design.
This epic tale is epic only in length, not in quality and although it just about kept my interest until the end I will not be reading any more of this authors work. If you want a long story which is easy to read or listen too, with simple language and sentence structures and not at all difficult to understand, some light entertainment with a little bit of historical information thrown in, you may enjoy this. However, you have to be ready and able to suspend disbelief at times and to close your eyes (or ears) to some of the uncalled for vulgarity and silliness that is out of keeping with the rest of the book.
"Wonderful story and Narration"
Having listened to Pillars of the Earth, I couldn't wait to listen to this book. It was almost as good, and I enjoyed every minute.
"World without end?...Book without end you mean!"
Nontheless, I can't say I didn't enjoy it. After all that time spent listening to what were really just every day events, I was surprised to find that I'd enjoyed it! The reader really got to know the characters and I liked them. Would recommend this.
An epic tale that spans generations. Historically euthentic, compulsive storyline, wonderfully narrated. I didn't want it to end.
"World Without End"
Certainly value for money with over 44 hours of content. Having read its predecessor Pillars of the Earth, and this being my first Audible purchase, it was interesting to experience the two different mediums. I did enjoy the book but maybe I did not get on with this narrator. I found my attention wandering, which it certainly didn't with the book. Maybe some books are more suited to audible than others and maybe I will enjoy some narrators more than others so I will be picking my next audible book carefully.
So not such a great rating for the audible version, but if you liked the Pillars of the Earth, do not let this put you off, because if you liked the first then you will probably like this also.
"World Without End"
I was not entirerly convinved about audiobooks, especially lengthy ones, until I listened to this. The story follows the lives of four individuals who meet by chance at the outset and follows their stories through the years as they intersect with each other. Set against the colourful backdrop of England during the 100 years war we see the place each of these four people play in the world of their time. Edward III is in the throne and his scheming mother Isabella of France features in the story as does the fighting in France and the arrival of bubonic plague. We follow their stories and see how the small town of Kingsbridge survives through troubles and illness and eventually prosperes despite everything.
This was a long listen but it felt like the opposite. I looked forward to my daily commute just to hear more. A brilliantly read story of life, love and tribulation.
This is a perfect book to listen to while sewing or knitting as it is so long (& well read) that time just flys by. Great characters, story line and the readers voice was perfect. Get it now! You won't be sorry :)
"wonderful tale, very well told"
This is a stunning book and was always going to be a fabulous audiobook. It is well read in engaging style. It is long, but as a real page turner in print it keeps you hanging on to hear what happens next. I was glad to find it in unabridged format...I get really irritated with how much key stuff the abridged versions always leave out. Heartily recommended for making those long journeys pass unnoticed or making the housework bearable.
"Same place, different story"
If you liked Pillars of the Earth you will like WWE. Same place, 200 years later. Different time period but just as interesting to historical readers.
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