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Customer Reviews for

World Without End

Average Rating 4.5
( 1210 )
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(49)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

31 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

I Didn't Want it to End

I read The Pillars of the Earth but surely don't remember it (I forget most of the books I read). I bought World Without End because I read everything by Ken Follett. When I saw how big it was 'over 1000 pages' I kept putting off reading it. I finally decided to take...
I read The Pillars of the Earth but surely don't remember it (I forget most of the books I read). I bought World Without End because I read everything by Ken Follett. When I saw how big it was 'over 1000 pages' I kept putting off reading it. I finally decided to take the plunge. This book was fantastic. I couldn't get enough of the characters. I cared about them, and loved some and hated others. I never wanted the book to end.

posted by Anonymous on September 16, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

36 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

High expectations left me a bit disappointed.

First off, Pillars of the Earth is one of my all-time favorite books. I loved the politics and intrigue in that book. Expecting big things from a sequel that took over a decade to complete, I was hoping Follett would have the same types of subject matter. This book f...
First off, Pillars of the Earth is one of my all-time favorite books. I loved the politics and intrigue in that book. Expecting big things from a sequel that took over a decade to complete, I was hoping Follett would have the same types of subject matter. This book follows descendants of the main characters of Pillars, focusing mostly on Merthin the builder and his brother Ralph. The book focuses more on graphic descriptions of sex, rape, and battles rather than the interesting politics and architecture of the times like Pillars. The plot twists are fairly predictable, and Follett really makes this a Job-like story of Merthin and Caris. That would be fine if he stopped after "twist" number 3, but continuously bringing in "challenges" for the main characters gets old after a while. When a character started getting uninteresting, Follett had the foresight to set his novel in the 1300s and would kill them off using the Black Plague.

Considering the book is over 1000 pages, I was really expecting him to go into detail the bridge architecture that his character envisions, or the tower, or the hospitals, or the palaces... He has the characters spend time in France and Italy, and barely even describes any of the architecture or lifestyle in those countries (conveniently one of the characters is bedridden in Italy, and there is plague and war in France). Instead, he focuses more on unrequited love, unimaginatively evil villains, an excessive number of graphic descriptions of sex and rape, and teenager-like descriptions of battles.

Characters are a pretty shallow - the heroes are obnoxiously saintly, and the villains are blatantly manipulative and evil. It's difficult to care much about the characters when they're so polarized. Plot is pretty basic - boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, plot twist 1, plague/war (plot twists 2-5), boy loses and regains girl and loses and regains girl, bad guys do bad things (big surprise - plot twists 6-12), everyone's happy, plot twist 13, plot from beginning of book is explained really quickly at the end.

All in all, I had high expectations for this book and was pretty disappointed when it turned into a pretty basic "good vs. evil" action/sex book. He certainly didn't need to make it 1000 pages long if that's what his aim was...

posted by chakosh on May 12, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2009

    Good if you enjoy soap operas

    I started this book with great anticipation, but wound up disappointed. 1000 pages of soap opera was more than enough for me. Follett does a good job with period details, but the characters are one-dimensional and the plot too much of a soap opera.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointing Sequal

    This is a sequal that didn't need to be done. I did not feel like I was "in" the time setting. Truthfully it felt like a totally different person wrote this book then Pillars. If you want a good historical novel set during plague times - see Plague Tales or Doomsday Book.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    Mirror to Pillars of the Earth

    After the success of Pillars of the Earth, the author wrote this novel without originality. This novel mimicked Pillars. The story is similar with different characters and a different time. The hardships the main characters have are almost the same as Pillars. The story revolves around building a bridge rather than a cathedral. The recipe for this author's success: Write a good novel then make a sequel with a similar story to the first to have the same success. What nonsense. If you've read Pillars of the Earth...dont read this. It's the same story with a different cover.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    Don't Bother

    I anxiously awaited reading Time Without End, having been a devoted fan of Pillars of the Earth for years. Terribly disappointing. Just as I had thought that Redemption, the sequel to another of my all-time favorites, Leon Uris' Trinity, was scraps from the editing room floor, this book seemed like a tired and bored Follett "mailing it in." And that's some feat for a book of this length. As fresh as Pillars seemed lo, these many years ago, Time feels equally stale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    Ugh

    Book without end. Couldn't finish it. Very disappointing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    Could not read pages dont work

    This is bs my nook deosn't work very well

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    ???

    Most of the nuns are portrayed as lesbians, the priests are either homosexual, filled with greed and lust for power or both. The nobility seem to be mostly power hungry sex addicts and child molesters who murder and rape in the most grotesque ways imaginable. The peasants seem to be a mixture of all the above with a few exceptions and are portrayed as extremely stupid.
    Good descriptions of the period and buildings and hardships of the times but poor historical reflection of the people, how they thought and their values and beliefs. I agree, the author took the ideas, beliefs and values of the 21st century and placed them in characters set in the 13th century. Not a well researched portrayal of what people thought, how they behaved or what their values were in the the 13th century. People did not think, act or view things in the same way we do today as this book wouls indicate.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    A rewrite of Pillars of the Earth

    This book is so similar to Pillars of the Earth that I think the author forgot he already wrote a book with the characters included here. A total lack of creativity and you know what the next page contains without even bothering to read it. There are few books that I have had to force myself to finish but this book along with Pillars of the Earth are two books that were actually painful to read.

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  • Posted December 30, 2010

    Cannot recommend since I cannot read on my NOOK

    For some reason when I try to open it says " Cannot open book, unsupported file type." Rather frustrating to say the least.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    disappointing

    For over a thousand pages, I expected more. This story could have been told easily in 200. There was no meat to it. Completely predictable! Very disappointing! Don't waste your time or money.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 23, 2011

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    Posted April 25, 2011

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    Posted August 23, 2010

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    Posted February 22, 2011

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