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World Without End Audiobook

World Without End: The Kingsbridge Novels, Book 2

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Publisher's Summary

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. World Without End takes readers 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.

World Without End is followed by the third of Ken Follett's Kingsbridge novels, A Column of Fire.

©2007 Ken Follett (P)2007 Penguin US

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (243 )
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4.7 (190 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Keron 10-28-17
    Keron 10-28-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "listener beware"

    I have listened to several Ken Follett books now, & while the stories are captivating & interesting - two things that you need to be aware of - that I haven't read in any other reviews. Firstly - all of his stories are peppered with explicit sex scenes - with graphic detail really not necessary to continue the story.

    Secondly - implausibly & unjustly - in all of Follet's books - the protagonist (usually several of them) wreak havock, rape, rob, murder, cheat, lie, survive the plague, wars, etc with little consequence & it is the good people who are constantly at the mercy of these horrors & rarely have a repreive.

    Clearly bad people do survive & prosper in the real world - however the scales seem terribly tipped in Follet's stories to constantly favour the bad at the expense of the good - then in the 11th hour (actually the 44th hour of 45 hours!) - a few meagerly good things happen & everyone is friends again.

    I am conflicted by these two objections - as someone who loves the ancillary learning that comes from listening to historic novels - sometimes the injustices are too terrible for entertainment or distraction value & I need to look elsewhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Ravi Krishnan New Delhi, India 10-15-16
    N. Ravi Krishnan New Delhi, India 10-15-16 Member Since 2015
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    40
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    Story
    "The towering jewel"

    May not be the best of Ken Follet with too much of lewd text marring an otherwise brilliant epic, but the characters have been well crafted and the plot never losing its grip.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sverre 09-30-16
    Sverre 09-30-16 Member Since 2016
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    "a medieval soap-opera"

    Varied characters and well researched at times, yet written as if with a modernist's eye.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dave 02-12-15
    dave 02-12-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Pillars of the Earth Part 2"

    A great job of delivery from John Lee, brings the depth of characters to life. This is set 200 years after Pillars, but it is not necessary to have read Pillars as it is not much of a tie in. I love longer stories, but only if they can keep you engrossed, and this did. I preferred Pillars,but would still recommend this to anyone who enjoys period dramas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gwen Barber 02-01-15
    Gwen Barber 02-01-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    22
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    "great, loved the book, can't wait to read more"
    Where does World Without End rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top of the list


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    started slow but through the middle and end could not stop listening


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    mervyn


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vincent West Footscray, Australia 12-28-13
    vincent West Footscray, Australia 12-28-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Marco Italy 04-24-13
    Marco Italy 04-24-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "John Lee does a great job"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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,


    What other book might you compare World Without End to and why?

    Its predecessor, "Pillars of the Earth". Same pacing, same kind of characters with motivations and psychological background.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    "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).


    Any additional comments?

    Great performance by John Lee. A must if into Ken Follett or historical novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sophie Brisbane, Australia 11-26-12
    Sophie Brisbane, Australia 11-26-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Good Sequel To Pillars"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renate 06-05-12
    Renate 06-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listening, I love historical fiction"
    Where does World Without End rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I haven't listened to too many audio books at this stage but I found it very enjoyable.
    Well narrated and fast paced.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Redan Croxton East, Australia 09-27-12
    Redan Croxton East, Australia 09-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
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    "Over the top"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • Mark
    London UK
    3/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story but anti-Christian"
    What did you like best about World Without End? What did you like least?

    Good story with obviously 'good' and 'bad' characters and plenty to keep your interest - but was it really necessary for it to be so anti Christian? I'm in between agnostic and a believer in a creator myself, but appreciate the good things that the church has tried to do for the world but you wouldn't think it from this book. Every Christian character is either rotten or doesn't even really believe in what they are saying - so in part the book is propaganda with a purpose. I look forward to Follet demolishing the Islamic church in another book.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Less obviously anti-Christian


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    He does a very good job with it.


    Did World Without End inspire you to do anything?

    Appreciate the church more and how Christianity has at least tried to help people lead good lives.
    You can see that without hope (when the plague comes) people descend into anarchy and decadence - does the church help to keep that in check? Will we (and Follet) miss it when it's gone?


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    2/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a great book"

    This is a very good listen with strong characters and story lines. Very highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Graham
    11/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not as good as the first"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book was not as good at the first one but carried on with an interesting and fresh look at this period of history.


    Would you recommend World Without End to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes I would recommend this book but recommend this first book is read before reading this one


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    Great to hear the same reader in both books and adds to being able to follow the story


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I suppose the period of the plague and how it wiped out whole families and communities, the fear of being a victim is very well conveyed.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    Worcester, United Kingdom
    1/19/11
    Overall
    "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.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Jennifer
    Salford, United Kingdom
    3/16/12
    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amanda
    Near Abingdon, United Kingdom
    10/20/11
    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • elmina121
    11/18/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent listen."

    I have really enjoyed this book. The story of all the main characters was engrossing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Dunbar, United Kingdom
    11/17/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Total Immersion"

    Can’t remember a tale which has engrossed me to such an extent, as with Pillars, found myself (listening whilst driving) disappointed when traffic jams opened up and sub consciously taking long cuts to get home,. I’m sure my wife thinks I’m having a mid life crisis, sitting on the drive for 20 minutes after I return home. All in all, an awesome listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Percy Q
    England UK
    11/14/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good"

    Enjoyed the listen for the most part though sometimes the story caused great sadness for me. "Life is a bitc* and then you die" theme for 40+ hours is hard to take. The third book, Column of Fire will have to wait.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • HHR
    11/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent storytelling"

    Another great book from Ken Follett - and again with brilliant, engaging narration by John Lee.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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