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World Without End by Ken Follett
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World Without End (original 2007; edition 2010)

by Ken Follett

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8,505249362 (4.03)1 / 398
Member:Nuno_Monteiro
Title:World Without End
Authors:Ken Follett
Info:Signet (2010), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 1024 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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World Without End by Ken Follett (2007)

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English (214)  Spanish (8)  German (7)  French (7)  Catalan (3)  Italian (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (248)
Showing 1-5 of 214 (next | show all)
good yarn
  Brumby18 | Jun 15, 2016 |
Wonderful historical fiction. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
Review: World Without End by Ken Follett.

I read Pillars of The Earth and thought it was great so I decided to try the sequel to it and I also found this book amazing. It starts out two hundred years later and the enjoyment of taking another path down memory lane with the future generation towns-people of Shiring and Kingsbridge with plenty of adventure. The writing of this book was well organized, and with precision to the era. The characters were well developed and made the story come brilliantly alive. Follett knew what he was doing when he wrote this sequel to his first book of scenes building the great Cathedral by following up with the building of the bridge in this book. There was more moderation to the events in this book considering it was years later. Because of Follett’s style of writing it made the story flow flawlessly to the end. The book stands completely independently from “Pillars” and both can be read in either order. It’s amazing how such rich detail and exhibiting dense research enhances the drama within the story. The background is elaborately populated with the exhibition of late medieval England in all its down to earth, viciousness, and ignorance of the era. The town of Kingsbridge and the county of Shiring are splendidly crafted that they come off the pages and exhibits fascinating characters and how they live and breathe the environment. Follett’s voice is strong throughout and that is what unifies the two books.

The book has many layers and it succeeds on every level. All the subplots are resolved but still there are a lot of surprises along the way with love, death, politics, war, the plague, sex, marriage and with some complex and structured episodes to keep the reader wanting to read more. I like the fact that Follett is also not afraid to create strong women in his book especially in that era.

I could go on with the characters and events all day long but telling about the life in a medieval town is more interesting. It’s a town where the serfs struggle for survival and independence, how the monks and nuns behavior was a tremendous influence of the church with some conflict over genders collaborating, the nobility, knights, witch trails, the roles of women, social unfair treatment between peasants and nobles, corruption, and the cruelties that seem shocking to the reader. The characters had setbacks and triumphs that kept the story flowing and if the readers follow the main characters, the experience of a great story will amaze and fulfill you with a great adventure you’ll never forget. With all the medieval history within the story there is also a great love story between two main characters, Caris, who is a strong woman and Merthin, the brilliant architect builder. Plus, there is a mystery that’s needs to be solved that was introduced and buried at the beginning of the story, more going on with another character named Brother Thomas, an ex-knight whose last battle and injuries compel him to enter the monastery at Kingsbridge, for reason unknown. Vibrant characters both good and evil come and go throughout these pages like old friends or mortal enemies….
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |

World Without End – Ken Follett
4 stars
Kingsbridge Cathedral is at the center of another Ken Follett saga. This story takes place two hundred years after the completion of the cathedral in Pillars of the Earth. England is again at war. Life in the monastery, the town and its surrounding countryside is full of challenge, intrigue, politics and danger. The book begins with a cadre of children who witness an act of violence. From that point Follett creates a large cast of characters who move from crises to cliff-hanger to resolution time and again. As the years pass the lives of the original group become intertwined, looping and circling around the central mystery of that early event.
Although the setting of this tome feels historically accurate, the characters are suspiciously modern. (For example, I had trouble believing that two nuns dressed as men could or would travel through the battlefields of France to place a petition before the king.) This book uses many of the same plot devices of Pillars of the Earth and the story progresses in much the same way.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
I listened to the book on CD read by John Lee. What an excellent reader! My only complaint about the book was that occasionally Ken Follett "reviews" events from the character's perspective a bit too often. Occasionally the events were too graphic and violent and I had to fast forward a bit - but that was my choice. I do believe it portrayed the violence of the era. I was expecting to be entertained by this story, and I was. I wasn't expecting to be inspired to think more about women's rights, development of commerce, history of medicine, corruption in the church (a political vs spiritual institution), how institutions in power affect community health, etc. A great read for any social studies class (of appropriate age/maturity.) ( )
  KylaS | Feb 18, 2016 |
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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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