Ken Follett: World Without End



Marching towards Kingsbridge due to some very disturbing rumours about a wayward knight Follett explores how such tumultuous actions affect the lives of the everyday people of the realm of the builders and the nuns who simply wish to live in happiness and peace Central to this story is a real human element of drama Everybody is out for themselves and despite the fact that they have known poverty and hardship when they are placed in a position of power they only help to cause for those less fortunate There s a certain lack of empathy and self involvement that only serves to destroy communities The bridge though and the building of it symbolises something much greater it symbolises strength and human spirit If the people can come together and re build it in the midst of death carnage and misery then they can survive anything Love friendship and society will endure This book is over a thousand pages long but for all that it is completely griping entertaining and thoroughly dramatic This is my favourite historical fiction series I recommend it most highly Put some towels down because I sense a fully formed gush geyser about to spill all over this review This book was fantastic and really did it for me I loved it all 1000 pages and I wouldn t have minded if it was considerably longer TWSS After than loving The Pillars of the Earth that s right I lurved it I had tall hopes for this sorta seuel and let me tell you it was than up to the task I was parched and hungry for a good meaty read Well consider me gorged and my story thirst completely slaked Now before I continue operation lick spittle on Mr Follett for his 2nd delightfully voluptuous epic let me shine some context on this review so it will better help you decide whether this book is right for you1 As I mentioned above I thought The Pillars of the Earth was pure uncut awesome I my satisfaction gauge red lined while I was reading it If you had similar feelings for Pillars than World Without End is going to make you happier than Alternatively if heaven forbid you thought Pillars was a Meh filled bore fest or it ust didn t push your How to Know the Ducks, Geese, and Swans of North America joy buzzer I see no reason why this book will be any different as the books are almost identical in tone and structure Thus you might look want to go elsewhere 2 Assuming you haven t read Pillars which is certainly not a prereuisite for this book if you get through the first 100 pages or so and find yourself anxious for something to happen again this may not be your kind of book In my opinion the book should grab you roughly and carry you away and if that doesn t happen or if you find yourself disconnected from the characters then this could be a real slog for you 3 I listened to the unabridged audiobook all 45 hours of it read by the incomparable John Lee who also narrated Pillars John s narration is masterful and definitely enhanced my happy with the story I don t know if I would have had uite the level of appreciation but for John s involvement If you are a fan of audio books I would highly recommend this one or anything else read by John Lee Okay Iust wanted to get that out there because the rest of the review is pretty much a Ken Follett fanBOYatic extravaganzaso let the man crushing begin This story is prodigious sprawling and addictive than caramel covered crack This is big bad historical soap opera at its full on finest complete with everything that makes a great period piece politics intrigue alliances betrayals fortunes won and lost life long grudges loves ealousies deaths plot twists unspeakable crimes eg rapes murders etc conflict between major powers reformers versus status uo good vs evil and a mysterious letter the contents of which could shake the foundations of the Monarchy itselfBoo YahSet approximately Osperity 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'.

In all practical theory this book should be on my Sucked shelf It s a tale of the Middle Ages the gross injustices of the time and it truly amounts to a Set two centuries after Pillars of the Earth the people of Kingsbridge are at it again The cathedral built in Pillars is in disrepair after part of the roof caved in the bridge collapsed and the prior is dead Also the constant maneuvering continuesSo I fell into a trap with this one After devouring Dinocalypse Now in a morning my g World Without End is written in the third person but isn t choppy like some third person books are I loved that we get to see the characters grow up and mature They all encounter hardships war death disappointed hopes and dreams the black plague but never stop fighting and never give up hope I really enjoyed reading about the advances in medicine and what people believed to be cures bloodletting poultices made wi Here s a book that completely copies the first book in the series Here s a book that follows the same sense of narrative progression character development and resolution as it predecessor It is one who s characters bear a striking resemblance to their ancestors in terms of individual personality and their place within the story yet for all the repetition Follett churns out an eually as engrossing story as that of The Pillars of the EarthWhat have I to complain about This is one of those rare occasions when of the same isn t necessarily a bad thing And the sense of familiarity also helped to solidify that this is actually the same location Kingsbridge ust a few centuries later Instead of focusing on building a new cathedral after the dramatic burning down of the first one the citizens are focusing on re building the town bridge after the other was destroyed by a stampede of angry witch burners And here s one of the things Follett does better this time round he explores social issues regarding femininity with greater depth In Pillars of the Earth he looked at injustices such as women being paid less for the same work and having to stay married to violent husbands In the fourteenth century here he looks at the fear and hysteria that surrounded women with knowledge If a woman had an idea or if she was moderately successful it was a logical assumption that she must be a witch It s unthinkable that she could have done such a thing based upon her own merits And if this wasn t bad enough men were always seen as right even when they were so clearly wrong The response to the Black Death that sweeps across Kingsbridge shows this The monks have some very backwards ideas to medicine such as applying dung poultices to wounds and then wondering why they become infected The sisters of the priory recognise the folly of this and argue for a modern approach to treatment The practicalities of their ideas are ignored simply because they are women they must be wrong or witches The men in the book are either suffocating brutes or paragons of kindness and decency There seems to be no middle ground The women though they have many chances to prove themselves and rise above restrictions of the church and society A strong romance against a backdrop of war and terror It was an odd relationship but then she was an extraordinary woman a prioress who doubted much of what the church taught an acclaimed healer who rejected medicine as practised by physicians and a nun who made enthusiastic love to her man whenever she could get away with it If I wanted a normal relationship Merthin told himself I should have picked a normal girl As well as enduring the Black Death Kingsbridge finds herself at the centre point of a massive court intrigue Decades ago Edward II was deposed by his own wife and her secret lover Now his son Edward III has his armies. The bestselling seuel to Pillars of the Earth 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 pr.

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00 years after the events of The Pillars of the Earth in the same fictional town of Kingsbridge England this story is set against the backdrop of and incorporates into its narrative the beginning of the Hundred Years War and the outbreak and spread of the Black Plague These events intersect with the lives of the inhabitants of Kingsbridge in significant ways and Follett does an amazing Dwarfism job painting a credible and highly entertaining portrait of life during the period Follett introduces and weaves into his vast tapestry dozens of well drawn intriguing figures who each play a critical role in the outcome of the epic However the narrative flow centers primarily on the lives of four key people The first of these is Caris a strong intelligent enlightened woman who is the primary proponent for change in Kingsbridge and the main enemy of the old guard status uo represented by the Kingsbridge monastery and Prior Godwyn Caris strongly desires to be a healer and treat the sick at a time when only men may be physicians and the remedies supported by the Church are as bad as the illnesses they seek to cure Caris is out to change that Merthin is a smart extremely talented architect whose innovative and radical designs are instrumental throughout the story Merthin and Caris are deeply in love but events and their own personal integrity constantly conspire to keep them apart Next is Gwenda who is a favorite character of mine Gwenda suffers unimaginable heartache and grief than any other character in the story and yet remains unbowed by what life throws at her Sold by her destitute father for a cow yes a cow Gwenda finds herself on her own early in life and ends up thriving through her wits and huge reserves of inner strength She goes through some horrendous events as part of the story Finally we have Ralph Merthin s younger stronger brother and main though by no means only villain of the story A rapist a sadist and a murderer Ralph is as devoid of empathy as it is possible to be He is the Lord of Scumbaggery and the epitome of callousness and abject cruelty Some of the things he does throughout the story are truly shocking and get worse as he gains and influence On a side notehow cool is it to have a main nemesis namedRALPHJoining the above is a stellar cast of supporting characters that all engaging and complex Follett has a real knack for showing us villains through there own eyes and making them seem humanand thus all the evil As for the writing itself Follett really gets the hat tip from me on this point Not for its poetry or majestic beauty though I thought his prose was excellent Rather for its incredibly engaging breezy readability Despite being over 1000 pages long and having almost the whole story take place in a single small town I was hooked from the very beginning and never had a moment in which my attention wanted to stray Follett s prose is like a strong but gentle current thatust picks you up and carries you through the story until you eventually reach the end and realize how very far you ve traveled It was a greatly impressive feat World Without End is sublimely entertaining and I have rarely been this completely snatched and cloistered inside its narrative as I was from the very outset of this I don t know that I liked this uite as much as The Pillars of the Earth but that s trying to discern gnat crap from pepper and is due completely to the fact that I read Pillars first Given how similarly both books are structured it makes sense that this one wouldn t feel as fresh and newThat said Mr FollettPLEASE don t go messing with the formula because it is working like a charm This is uintessential story telling and a masterful piece of historical fiction More please50 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION. S masterful epic The Pillars of the Earth enchanted millions of readers with its compelling drama of war passion and family conflict set around the building of a cathedral Now 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 chan.

Ken Follett is one of the world’s most successful authors Over 165 million copies of the 31 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages Born on June 5th 1949 in Cardiff Wales the son of a tax inspector Ken was educated at state schools and went on to graduate from University College London with an Honours degree in Philosophy – later to be made a Fellow of