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World Without End | [Ken Follett]

World Without End

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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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4.4 (163 )
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  •  
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 05-08-11
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 05-08-11 Member Since 2009

    An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.

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    "Astounding!"

    If you are ready for a 40 hour plus epic that runs seemlessly through an ancient age then put this on your list. There are writers and epic writers. Many may achieve the former but to write a book of such length, interest, diversity and spiced with history and keep it flowing and connected takes a master craftsperson. It is not heavy or intellectual or complicated; it is a great yarn and I loved it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 11-27-10
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 11-27-10 Member Since 2013

    When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meet modern characters in 14th centuary Britain"

    If their is one book that makes the words, "Historical fiction says more about the day and age in which the writer lives, than about the time in which it happens" ring true, it is "World without End." Caris and Merthin reminds you of Jack Jackson and Aliena, but the characters is a bit more tarnished and not so ethical in their ways. You meet the same priory, but in a different day and age. While Follett is able to contrast the Kingsbridge of "World without End" quite successfully with the one of "Pillars of the Earth," his characters have in my opinion a too modern feel. Feminist issues, the theodicy question and medical science are addressed with a 21st century ring to it. This makes the book at places unbelievable. Yet the intrigue and changes in the main characters keeps you spellbound enough to listen through it.

    As with "Pillars of the Earth" John Lee does an excellent job in narrating the story. I actually think that his narration has improved much since the previous book.

    The book will not be everyone's cup of tea. For those who want to see a sequel to "Pillars of the Earth," this is it! Listen and enjoy it. However, if you're a bit of a purist of thoughts and practices of the time, this book might be found a bit much to stomach, Those who love good stories will enjoy it.

    The book is strongly recommended to those who have fallen in love with story of "Pillars of the Earth." While not so good, its still a good book to listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janine Singapore, Singapore 01-24-11
    Janine Singapore, Singapore 01-24-11
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    "Engaging, absorbing, difficult to turn off..."

    Ken Follett's epic 'sequel' to Pillars of the Earth is engaging, absorbing, magnificently structured and wonderfully read by John Lee.

    The downside of not being able to stop listening is that the repetition (necessary perhaps in a novel of this length) is more glaring than it might be to a reader not listening for hours and hours at a time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mergra WILLUNGA, Australia 10-13-11
    mergra WILLUNGA, Australia 10-13-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Nearly as good as Pillars"

    After listening to Pillars of the Earth (POE) I was avid to listen to this one. I think John Lee's narration is better in World Without End (WWE), his voice seemed more relaxed. I've read reviews of it elsewhere and these expressed a strong theme of the story being more like a soap opera, and objections to the frequent description of sex scenes, rape, violence etc. I can't say I agree with either of these criticisms, though I do agree that there is more of the latter in this book than in the previous one. There also seems to be more talking/scheming behind closed doors - I've interpreted this as a reflection of the changed times, after all, the book is set 200 years later and I'm sure that the level of fear about 'sinning' may have become more conscious, thus more verbalised than in POE. Further, the motivation toward accumulation of wealth and the justification for this (added to the growing distrust for the church) would mean that the scheming/scamming could be less 'secret' than 200 years beforehand. Anyway, all criticisms aside, I loved this book, just as I loved the previous one and I highly recommend it - particularly to those who have an interest in medieval history - it brings the period alive. Follett has a very candid and realistic approach to human nature; if you like that approach then this is the book for you!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 02-04-13
    Andrew 02-04-13

    I travel 3-5 hours a day in the car and Audible makes it more than bearable.

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    "Epic tale"
    Would you consider the audio edition of World Without End to be better than the print version?

    I have never read the print version so unable to comment on a comparison.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Never a boring moment, fast paced.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, John is a great performer, specially in this and Pillars of the Earth.


    Any additional comments?

    Do yourself a favour and listen to this and Pillars Of The Earth!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Winston Hills, Australia 09-17-12
    Heather Winston Hills, Australia 09-17-12
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    "Loved it!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of World Without End to be better than the print version?

    John Lee is amazing! He does all the accents without fail. I don't normally read or listen to this sort of book but Ken Follet just has such a gift for story telling. I now feel as if I have so much insight into WW1 and the people who lived in that time. He made it come alive.I will read everything else he's written now, especially read by John Lee.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the story about the Russian brothers


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I didn't want it to end.


    Any additional comments?

    Read it if you are interested in History.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blake Williamstown North, Australia 07-16-12
    Blake Williamstown North, Australia 07-16-12
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    "A worthy sequel to Pillars"

    You need to read Pillars of the Earth first. This sequel then starts a few hundred years after the end of Pillars and makes references to the characters and events in Pillars. The story however stands up on its own, and is a thrilling read from start to finish, just like the original.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Metung, Australia 03-17-12
    Steve Metung, Australia 03-17-12
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    "a totally riveting story"

    An audio book you can totally get immersed in, story great, narration great and you really feel as though you you are in the 14th century. This is the second in a series but you don't need to read the first to enjoy this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eleanor Sydney, Australia 02-27-12
    Eleanor Sydney, Australia 02-27-12
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    "Wonderful book"

    The story was breathtaking in its scope. Kept you wanting more...and thankfully it was a lovely long book. But even so I did not want it to end. Makes you want to read more about this period of history, and also more from Ken Follett - highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vincent West Footscray, Australia 12-28-13
    vincent West Footscray, Australia 12-28-13 Member Since 2013

    I like reading but never seem to have the time so audio books are a great solution for me.

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    "Pulled into the vortex of the 13th century..."
    What made the experience of listening to World Without End the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of World Without End?

    The demise of a VERY evil character. Don't worry, I'm spoiling nothing because there are MANY evil characters in this book!!


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the 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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I listen to audio books as I am working and the were numerous times that this book literally made me gasp with surprise. Seriously!


    Any additional comments?

    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!!!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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