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*Group Read: World Without End by Ken Follett* Week One

75 Books Challenge for 2010

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Jan 12, 2010, 6:47am Top

I wanted to have this one up and ready! This first section will be easy, about 166 pages, so if you want to read more, go for it, because Week 2 is a monster!

Jan 18, 2010, 7:00pm Top

I finished Part 2 today! It's been a pretty good read so far! It doesn't grab you, the way "Pillars" did in the beginning but there is a long way to go yet! The characters haven't really fleshed out yet, so I don't have many favorites but I do like the young builder. How is everyone else doing?

Jan 18, 2010, 9:20pm Top

I'm here, Mark. Are we the only ones reading this? I'm not totally pulled in yet either. Lots of characters, lots of action, and a certain amount of...umm...earthiness that I seem to recall from Pillars. Is this a spoiler-free thread?

Not certain how tight you run your ship, Mark, but I won't give anything away until I learn the ropes. Merthin, Caris, and Brother Godwyn have my vote so far.

Jan 19, 2010, 7:45am Top

I read up to part III. When I signed up I didn't know what the book was about and haven't really seen this author before. I was pleasantly suprised and when we're finished I guess I will have to read the first one too. If you guys like books on this subject you might also like books by Edward Rutherfurd, they are quite similar.

Jan 19, 2010, 8:38am Top

I finished part 2 a couple of days ago - liking it so far. Merthin, Caris and Gwenda are some of my favs at the moment. I may start on part 3 in the next day or two.

Jan 19, 2010, 4:27pm Top

I just finished Part 2 and I am really enjoying it so far, especially Caris.

Edited: Jan 27, 2010, 4:08pm Top

Oh my, Godwyn & Philemon have just busted Bishop Richard and Margery doing the "horizontal mombo". Such goings on.
Thus far I am not disappointed in WWE at all. I loved Pillars of the Earth so much that I was concerned about my expectations being too high for World Without End, but so far I think it is great!~!
I am loving the characters of Merthin, Gwenda, Caris and I like Thomas too.
Well, off I go for some more WWE.

Hi --BJ!~! ***waves madly***

Jan 20, 2010, 5:57am Top

Finished part two last night; I'm loving it. So far my favourite characters are Gwenda, Methrin, Caris and Thomas. I also want to know more about Matthew Barber and Mattie Wise. Follett really gives me a feel for life for all levels of society - rich and poor; monks, craftsmen and merchants.

Jan 20, 2010, 6:53am Top

Hey, there is life on this thread! Hooray! I'm beaming like a proud papa! I'm so glad everyone seems to be enjoying it so far. Keep in mind, next week (starting Friday), is a much bigger section, so you might want to get a head start!
BTW, my favorite is also Merthin!

Jan 20, 2010, 8:17am Top

Hi, Belva! ***waves back madly***

I almost forgot about Thomas. I am pretty interested in his character and how he will interact with Merthin.

Edited: Jan 20, 2010, 6:29pm Top


Oh yeah, Thomas and the mystery surrounding him. I'm curious to see how that will unravel.

Am I the only one intrigued by Brother Godwyn? I loved how this woman-fearing man of God became a (somewhat reluctant) peeping-Tom and turned the situation around to his advantage. He may not be the noblest in character, but I admire his quick thinking.

ETA: Spoiler alert.

Edited: Jan 20, 2010, 1:11pm Top


Godwyn is an intriguing character. And the alliance between him and Philemon was a bit surprising. Seems like Joby just did not do right by his kids, either one of them!

Edited: Jan 20, 2010, 2:20pm Top


>12 billiejean:: Duh, BJ, I completely forgot that Philemon was Gwenda's brother. That is why I need this group to help me with the details! Joby was the lowest of the low. Bad enough that he had his young daughter stealing for him, but then to trade her for a cow...despicable.

Edited to add Spoiler alert!

Edited: Jan 20, 2010, 1:11pm Top


And what about the Church and Law both saying that it was ok to trade her? I could not believe that!

Jan 20, 2010, 6:10pm Top

Thanks everyone, for being careful with the "spoilers"! I know it's not easy but I hate ruining anything for our wonderful readers. I also was intrigued by Thomas but Follett hasn't really fleshed him out at this point. Here's the link for Week 2:
which starts this Friday!

Jan 20, 2010, 6:28pm Top

Hmmm...I'm pretty sure anything worthwhile I am going to say about my reading will be a spoiler. I thought that was the purpose of dividing the book up. Read the section, then post about the reading. But, it's your ship, Captain Mark (or do you prefer Papa?) and I will try to abide by the rules. I'll bet you didn't know this little ol' lady was going to be a troublemaker, did you?

Jan 20, 2010, 7:23pm Top

Donna- You are right, my friend! I am probably being a bit protective! We'll just have everyone try to keep their comments confined to that week's thread! BTW, I like trouble-makers, they keep me on my toes! How about calling me Captain Bonny Prince? That's got a nice ring to it...ok, Mark will be just fine!

Jan 20, 2010, 7:32pm Top

Whew! Looks like I don't have to walk the plank -- at least not this time. Of course, now I have nothing to say about the book. :-)

Jan 20, 2010, 10:11pm Top

I'm enjoying WWE as well. Fortunately, its a "page-turner" kind of story or I'd have a terrible time trying to finish it:)

Thus far I like Merthin and Caris. Brother Godwyn I thought would be interesting but then with the dealings with Philemon and condescension toward Theodoric I lost interest. At least so far he isn't a hero or a villain just a wimp. The cathedral as character isn't quite as strong as it is in Pillars for obvious reasons but I like the references to the architectural details. BIG GROAN with the Griselda plot. no no no say it ain't so - will Merthin really believe it?

Edited: Jan 20, 2010, 10:21pm Top

>#4 tjblue I like Edward Rutherfurd 's books also. I've missed a couple of his but am really looking forward to reading his latest, New York since I live in NY. One of my favorite genres is medieval mysteries - I'm reading about 10 different series, for example, Sister Fidelma series by Peter Tremayne, a couple series by Margaret Fraser, Michael Jecks....hmm probably more than 10 different series actually but I'm behind on all of them...something to look forward to.

Pillars and WWE are the only two Follet books I know of that covers the Middle Ages. I've not researched this and I hope someone will tell me to save me time lol.
Happy reading all.

p.s. I guess Touchstones is very glitchy it won't take Edward or Peter

Jan 20, 2010, 10:45pm Top

I think with a bit of imagination we can talk about the books without giving main plot parts away or using the *spoiler* warning.

Jan 21, 2010, 5:03pm Top

Having a spoiler warning should be sufficient for most of us. It is almost impossible to discuss a book without a certain amount of spoilers. If you choose to look at this page before you have read the section that goes along with it, then spoilers should be expected. I would rather be able to discuss the book openly than try to figure out ways to say things so that it doesn't spoil the effect of the book. If a writer has done his job well spoilers shouldn't be feared as the writing will keep the reader hooked.

To the person who is looking for other books on the medieval period try Cathedral of the sea. I have this one on my TBR list. Also the books by Arianna Franklin - Mistress of the Art of Death, Serpents Tale, and Grave Goods. This group did a discussion of Grave Goods that was great fun.

Jan 23, 2010, 3:24pm Top

So I am about 150 into World Without End and I am liking it, but not loving it yet. I am having flashbacks. Some of the main characters feel like the same archetypes: the undervalued smart kid; the intelligent woman who has no place in a man's world; the scheming, evil mother; the dumb, big warrior brother, etc. I am hoping as the story progresses that the characters become more individualized and I will stop comparing them to people from Pillars of the Earth.

Jan 24, 2010, 3:05pm Top

Just finished Section Two and desperately want to know what Anthony whispered to Mother Cecilia!

Jan 25, 2010, 5:49pm Top

#23 Berly

I agree with you. This seems like a rerun.

I am also having problems with the violence. Maybe it is just the mood I am in, but I feel like I am being clobbered with the realities of life in the mean lean late Middle Ages. For that I could read Pope Joan. I understand that it was a more violent time than our own because I have done lots of reading, but sometimes it gets so tiresome that I long for a nice sweet romance novel.

Jan 27, 2010, 11:11am Top

#13 & #14

yes it is despicable to trade a girl. In the middle ages it would have been considered something that only very poor and desperate people would have done. However, with the cow the family as a whole stood a chance of surviving. The cow would provide milk that could be consumed or sold. The excess could be made into cheese or butter - both very valuable products. The income from the cow would help to keep four people alive. What did it cost? Only one extra mouth to feed that the family couldn't afford. As is often said "desperate people do desperate things."

Not to get preachy here but selling children still goes on today. Even in our country. A few months ago there was the mother in North Carolina who sold her daughter and the daughter was murdered. The whole child bride thing in many third world countries is about selling children. And then there is the selling of children to work in factories. Remember the Pakistani boy who was sold to work in the carpet factory? He went on to become a fair labor practices advocate before he was murdered.

Jan 30, 2010, 10:38pm Top

where is Week 2?

Jan 30, 2010, 10:59pm Top

Check message #15

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2010

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