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World Without End: A Novel (Kingsbridge) by…

World Without End: A Novel (Kingsbridge) (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Ken Follett (Author)

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9,596273454 (4.03)1 / 428
Title:World Without End: A Novel (Kingsbridge)
Authors:Ken Follett (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (2008), Edition: 1st, 1014 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, eb

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World Without End by Ken Follett (2007)


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English (233)  Spanish (8)  German (7)  French (7)  Catalan (4)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (2)  Hungarian (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (271)
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
I understand a writer's urge when writing a novel about the Medieval era to modernize his characters. When a writer makes one of his female characters a 21st century radical feminist who believes children are enslaving, he is ahistorical to the point of absurdity. Follett allows his 21st century proclivities to overcome his need to be true to the time period about which he writes. Unless he wants to have a myriad of anachronisms characteristic of some postmodern television, he should stick to his period. Umberto Eco does a much better job of bringing the Middle Ages to life in The Name of the Rose. ( )
  mpotts | Sep 20, 2018 |
I see there have been numerous negative comments about this book. I almost allowed them to influence my opinion. I read Pillars when it first came out many years ago. I don't remember much of the book, but I know I liked it. When I visit Europe, I thought of the early builders and the story I read long ago. Tis book has the same feel. I got lost in the story and characters. Some of it was unbelievalble and far fetched. The story was still engrossing and I cared. I think a story of the struggles people experienced in those times makes us realize how blessed we are to live in this time. Living through the plague is unimaginable. I would recommend this book who enjoys becoming involved in the world of the book they are reading. ( )
  melanieklo | Jul 25, 2018 |
“Whether I’ve been good or bad, I don’t think God will be fooled by a last-minute change of heart.”

‘’World Without End’’ is the second installment in Follett’s Kingsbridge series and what a world it is….Set during one of the most turbulent times in European History, amidst the beginning of the Hundred Years’ War and the nightmare of the Black Death that swept over the continent causing the deaths of an unthinkable percentage of the population, it is one more example of why Historical Fiction is the Genre of the Genres when done right. And who can write better than Ken Follett who owns the crown in this field…

In my opinion, what differentiates his writing is the focus he places on the characters. He doesn’t perform a History lecture, but builds his protagonists around the depicted era with compassion, respect and immense skill. His descriptive passages and the way he composes the dialogues throughout the novel should be the example for any writer who’d like to make a foray to the tormented Historical Fiction genre. So, ‘’World Without End’’ is no exception to the rule. He paints with words and even the readers who have little knowledge of the era and the events that shaped it will find themselves captivated and immediately drawn to the action. However, in my humble opinion, there is a difference that places it in a significant distance behind ‘’The Pillars of The Earth’’ and this is the characters. Hence the 4 stars.

The main couple, Caris and Merthin, are nowhere near Aliena and Jack. Especially Caris seems like an average copy of Aliena and her character failed to attract my sympathy. Same thing happened with Merthin and don’t even get me started on Gwenda, Ralph and Godwyn. The way I saw it, they came across like badly drawn versions of ‘’The Pillars of the Earth’’ protagonists and they were the only reason that prevented me from fully enjoying the novel. Caris is not Aliena, Merthin is not Jack, Thomas in not Philip, Godwyn is not Waleran, Ralph is not William, no matter how much they ''tried'' to be. The only characters that attracted my attention were Mattie Wise and Mother Cecilia. The book was made into a TV series in 2012 but was nowhere near as successful as ‘’The Pillars of the Earth’’. Tom Weston-Jones portrayed Merthin and Charlotte Riley portrayed Caris. I’ve seen a number of their roles and they both seem to have the same expression in every role they’ve played. Namely, the ‘’I-only have -one expression with my googly eyes-because I can’t act -for the life of me’’ style and they managed to make the tormented lovers even more boring than their novel counterparts so kudos to them….I think….

‘’A Column of Fire’’, the third novel in the Kingsbridge series, has been sitting quietly in its place in my TBR fortress since October, waiting for its turn. It’ll have to wait until Easter but I am sure that it won’t disappoint me….

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Jul 15, 2018 |
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 |
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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