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World Without End by Ken Follett
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World Without End (2007)

by Ken Follett

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9,385268315 (4.03)1 / 421
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English (230)  Spanish (8)  German (7)  French (7)  Catalan (4)  Dutch (2)  Hungarian (2)  Italian (2)  Finnish (2)  Danish (1)  All (1)  Swedish (1)  All (267)
Showing 1-5 of 230 (next | show all)
When I began reading this, I was a little worried it wouldn't live up to the wonderful memories I have of Pillars of the Earth but it did! Follett has a way of taking the most mundane activities which go into running a town (albeit in a 14th century setting) and twisting them into riveting storylines. Very well researched historically and really shows impact, both short term and long term, of the Black Death. I was so invested in the characters and their fates that I couldn't wait to finish it, yet I wanted more when it was over. All I can say is, it's a worthy sequel to Pillars and very highly recommended! ( )
  Jawin | Jun 7, 2018 |
I loved the first book in this series 'The Pillars Of The Earth' and was so excited to start this book. Pillars was so enthralling and I bonded with each character and couldn't wait to find out what their fate would be. World Without End started slow for me, I just had trouble keeping all the characters straight. It felt rushed and the story just lacked true meat to sink your teeth into. In the end it redeemed itself somewhat. I finally was able to relate to the characters I grew to know through the writing, but still thought there was an overuse of villains. I only read these genres so maybe there are more sociopaths than I'm accustomed to? If you can make it to the back third of the book you are home free and will be glad you stuck with it. These books are not quick reads and there is the struggle. For these reasons I give Mr. Follett three stars and am still anxious to start the next book in this series. ( )
  Nemorn | Jun 4, 2018 |
Though this book was not The Pillars of the Earth, it was still a well done story that follows the descendants of many characters in Pillars. The reader gets to follow along as a few key characters try to find their place in their community as they deal with different hardships (very much from that time) and work to overcome them. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Jun 2, 2018 |
Che dire del caro vecchio Ken? Nonostante abbia come sempre descritto magnificamente ogni dettaglio rendendo vivido l’ambiente e i personaggi, devo ammettere che non mi ha colpito come “I pilastri della terra”. Probabilmente sono ancora troppo affezionata ai vecchi personaggi, ma ho trovato questo libro una specie di rivisitazione del primo. Anche perché sebbene la struttura da costruire sia un ponte, alla fin fine ciò che conta davvero è sempre la chiesa.

Un’altra cosuccia a suo discapito è che praticamente non ho trovato un singolo personaggio che mi piacesse davvero. Merthin non mi dispiace e Mair mi ha fatto tenerezza, ma nessuno mi ha colpito realmente. Anzi, la maggior parte non li sopporto proprio! E’ un peccato, perché essendo presenti in tutto il libro mi hanno reso più faticosa la lettura.

Ammetto di aver persino saltato un paio di pagine, perché la scena era così cruenta da farmi scombussolare le budella!

Aggiungendovi poi alcune scene piuttosto esplicite non è un libro per lettori molto giovani. Comunque gli di 3 stelle perché è scritto ottimamente come il primo, e credo che verrebbe apprezzato molto da chi non ha già letto “I pilastri della terra”. ( )
  Shay17 | Mar 30, 2018 |
Not nearly as good (if I remember correctly) as Pillars. Firstly, Caris and Merthin's tumultuous relationship is more teenage angst than love affair. Her constant indecisiveness and rejection of his advances combined with his declarations that "this is the last time" - after which he runs off to (unsuccessfully) bury his feelings in another relationship and then come crawling back to her are just pathetic and exhausting.

Secondly, Gwenda and Wulfric are equally pathetic and exhausting. Complaining throughout the book about "the man" keeping them down, but it's kind of their own fault - they continually sabotage themselves. Gwenda married Wulfric clearly for his looks not his brains. He's an idiot. And each time she or her offspring try to get away from their overlords they have no plan, and invariably are found out because they knee-jerk and can't keep their mouths shut or make sure no one follows them. Every time they make another stupid decision and then bitch about it, you want to pull your hair out.

Thirdly, there is so much debauchery it's distracting. Someone is having sex or masterbating every other page. Weird and completely unnecessary. Also, strange offhand comments about monks and nuns being homosexual "because that's how most of them were" makes me think Follett has some personal issues about the clergy he needs to work out. ( )
  knp4597 | Mar 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 230 (next | show all)
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Gwenda was eight years old, but she was not afraid of the dark.
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Please distinguish Ken Follett's original 2007 novel, World Without End from any abridged audio edition of the complete work. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0525950079, Hardcover)

Ken Follett has 90 million readers worldwide. The Pillars of the Earth is his bestselling book of all time. Now, eighteen years after the publication of The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett has written the most-anticipated sequel of the year, World Without End.

In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, a sweeping epic novel set in twelfth-century England centered on the building of a cathedral and many of the hundreds of lives it affected. Critics were overwhelmed--"it will hold you, fascinate you, surround you" (Chicago Tribune)--and readers everywhere hoped for a sequel.

World Without End takes place in the same town of Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building the exquisite Gothic cathedral that was at the heart of The Pillars of the Earth. The cathedral and the priory are again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge, but this sequel stands on its own. This time the men and women of an extraordinary cast of characters find themselves at a crossroad of new ideas--about medicine, commerce, architecture, and justice. In a world where proponents of the old ways fiercely battle those with progressive minds, the intrigue and tension quickly reach a boiling point against the devastating backdrop of the greatest natural disaster ever to strike the human race--the Black Death.

Three years in the writing, and nearly eighteen years since its predecessor, World Without End breathes new life into the epic historical novel and once again shows that Ken Follett is a masterful author writing at the top of his craft.

Questions for Ken Follett

Amazon.com: What a phenomenon The Pillars of the Earth has become. It was a bestseller when it was published in 1989, but it's only gained in popularity since then--it's the kind of book that people are incredibly passionate about. What has it been like to see it grow an audience like that?

Follett: At first I was a little disappointed that Pillars sold not much better than my previous book. Now I think that was because it was a little different and people were not sure how to take it. As the years went by and it became more and more popular, I felt kind of vindicated. And I was very grateful to readers who spread the news by word of mouth.

Amazon.com: Pillars was a departure for you from your very successful modern thrillers, and after writing it you returned to thrillers. Did you think you'd ever come back to the medieval period? What brought you to do so after 18 years?

Follett: The main reason was the way people talk to me about Pillars. Some readers say, "It’s the best book I’ve ever read." Others tell me they have read it two or three times. I got to the point where I really had to find out whether I could do that again.

Amazon.com: In World Without End you return to Kingsbridge, the same town as the previous book, but two centuries later. What has changed in two hundred years?

Follett: In the time of Prior Philip, the monastery was a powerful force for good in medieval society, fostering education and technological advance. Two hundred years later it has become a wealthy and conservative institution that tries to hold back change. This leads to some of the major conflicts in the story.

Amazon.com: World Without End features two strong-willed female characters, Caris and Gwenda. What room to maneuver did a medieval English town provide for a woman of ambition?

Follett: Medieval people paid lip-service to the idea that women were inferior, but in practice women could be merchants, craftspeople, abbesses, and queens. There were restrictions, but strong women often found ways around them.

Amazon.com: When you sit down to imagine yourself into the 14th century, what is the greatest leap of imagination you have to make from our time to theirs? Is there something we can learn from that age that has been lost in our own time?

Follett: It’s hard to imagine being so dirty. People bathed very rarely, and they must have smelled pretty bad. And what was kissing like in the time before toothpaste was invented?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:57 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Two centuries after the building of the elaborate Gothic cathedral in Kingsbridge, its prior finds himself at the center of a web of ambition and revenge that places the city at a crossroad of commerce, medicine, and architecture.

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