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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"Story Without End!"
45+ hours of listening made this book feel like it would never end. I can't imagine reading such a huge tome, although in print form I could at least have skipped over the laborious bits. If you like Ken Follett's writing style though, I'm sure you could enjoy this.
Although I found the prequel (The Pillars of the Earth) hard going at times, I had to listen to this book too, to see if the general story arc could be as interesting. However, I was hoping that some of the author's style of storytelling might have improved. It hadn't.
It's hard to pick out a specific scene, but the building of the bridge and depictions of a peasant agricultural society probably held the most interest throughout this book. I think Gwenda could have been an interesting character but somehow felt she was sidelined and her motivations portrayed too simplisticly. I would be interested in a more punchily written spin off version of Gwenda's life, from childhood to beyond WWE.
There were many moments that made me cringe (like his previous book) but not enough feeling of engagement with the characters to provoke a strong response. The ending was very sudden, as though the author felt he'd written enough and it was time to tie up the loose ends in a couple of pages. I'd have been grateful to come to the end, after such a long book, but it came without warning when I didn't have another audiobook ready to go!
I can't really imagine myself ever re-listening to this or its prequel, as they are so very long (you get your money's worth for an audible credit!), and the author's style (especially his one-dimensional, laboured sex scenes, which showed no understanding of the fairer sex) has not left me wanting to experience any of his other works (especially if they are this long). The narration was fine on the whole, although I wouldn't go out of my way to seek this narrator out.
"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.
"Another brilliant book by Ken Follett"
I found this book absolutely gripping, it drew me into the atmosphere and the story so completely that on occasions I had to leave it and do something else as I was so distressed by a turn of events, and what I knew would happen. Beautifully written, the characters are so believable and the story, continues the struggle between the Peasants, the Church and the Lords from the first book in the series (The Pillars of the Earth), is certainly thought provoking.
Excellent narration by John Lee.
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
I like Ken Follet and this was another great saga from the master. There were times however when I just felt like saying get on with it. Towards the end it was a little drawn out, and the reminders of what had happened previously were a little tedious, almost like the 'previously on....' snapshots that you get on TV, but unnecessary in the book. Overall though I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn't wait to get back in the car every day for the next instalment. As usual it was superbly narrated by John Lee.
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