Customer Reviews for

World Without End

Average Rating 4.5
( 1217 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(690)

4 Star

(299)

3 Star

(118)

2 Star

(61)

1 Star

(49)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

33 out of 35 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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

37 out of 42 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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 690 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 35
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2008

    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 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.

    33 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    EPIC ENTERTAINMENT!

    There is nothing I like more then finding a book I can really sink my teeth into. I love it when a book is so good I find myself thinking about it when I'm not reading it. I love when a book is an easy read not because the content is frivalous, but the writing is fluid and well paced. I love books that have epic story lines and diverse characters. I love historical fiction that is well researched but not "preachy". As a relatively slow reader, I love being able to read 100+ pages in one go without batting an eye. I love this book because it provides all these things. <BR/>If you're looking for a book with emotional depth and contemplative prose, move along. <BR/>If you're looking to invest yourself in a long and thrilling tale, look no further. <BR/>Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars <BR/>Suggested With: An oversized chair and a tankard of ale. ;)

    21 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2008

    Magical!

    Wicked and heavenly. This novel is frosted with every element of powerful story telling. All one thousand pages. But don't be intimidated by the length. The book is chalk full of everything entertainingly medieval. In the small village of Kingsbridge you'll find the ultimate bad boys, Ralph and Godwyn, whom you'll love to hate, down to the ultra sweet Caris, falsely accused of witchcraft and forced to join a nunnery and leave her beloved Merthin behind. There is also the spunky and wise Gwenda to admire. She a peasant and friend of Caris, sold by her own father into prostitution for nothing more than a milk cow. Her only desire is to have some land and marry, Wulfric,the man she loves who just happens to love someone else. Follett slips you inside the mysterious world of nunneries and priory's where you'll find more sinners than saints. Outside to the colorful yet sad world of peasants, knights, lords and ladies. You'll discover how the plague wrenches the town inside out. Strange times, even stranger behavior. The Godly turn into saints, the wicked into complete devils. Do Caris and Gwenda get their dreams? Will the disturbing behavior of Ralph and Godwyn go unpunished? Can the town survive the plague? You'll have to buy the book to find out. Be ready for a mystical ride you won't soon forget! Dorraine Darden, Author of novel, Jack Rabbit Moon

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Outstanding Read!

    I ordered this book after completing Pillars of the Earth. I put off starting it because of the let down feeling I knew would come upon finishing. What could I possibly read to compare with this work of art? I finished it a couple of days ago and immediatly checked the Internet to see if there was another book in the works. No such luck. Come on Mr. Follett, it's been two years since this was written. You owe it to your fans not to stop there. I realize this takes a tremendous amount of research to write about this era, but you make it so mesmerizing and easy to follow. I have never lost so much sleep by reading far into the night, but would do it again as soon as your next book comes out. Thank you, thank you!
    Barbara Briggs
    Nampa ID

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 16, 2009

    How could you not give this five stars?

    I couldn't put this book down, and it was so heavy I could hardly hold it up, but it was worth the pain. Yes there were many similarities to "The Pillars of the Earth," but you become so invested in the lives of the people in both books you really do not want them to end. The research and imagination that went into both books is phenominal. I'm sorry you cannot write about just one. They are a pair. I wish they were quadruplets.

    I feel like a moron even trying to review this book. Who am I to review this? All I know is that I enjoyed every minute of the time it took to read this book. It was finished much too soon and I thank Mr. Follett for writing such a wonderful story, for so many wonderful stories. I highly recommend this book, I have recommended it to many people. They have all thanked me for the recommendation. It has provoked many discussions. I don't understand how anyone could give this less than five stars. Thank you for the opportunity to put in my two cents.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Super historical fiction!

    Ken Follett has wriiten another super historicqal fiction in WORLD WITHOUT END. The main characters are brought to live vivitly in the first few paragraphs and you are taken back in time. To old England, the live and time are done very well, in graphic detail weaving a wonderful story of a Builder, a Knight, a Peasent and a woman merchant. I love the way Follett intersects all there lives with the main Church and the Priests and Nuns, the daily life of the time and the horrors that have shown as a people we have grown. I have read his past book, PILLARS OF THE EARTH and was hoping for the same caliber in this book. My hope fulfilled, WORLD is just a delicious as PILLARS. I like Follets writting so much that I have put him on my list of Authors aother books to read.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2009

    world without end

    this was a very wouderful book to read.though longer than pillers of the earth this has made me a bigger ken follett fan

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    AMAZING!

    One of the best books I have ever read. Absolutely thrilling. This is what you would call a page turner

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2008

    One of the Best Novels Ever!

    Like the first book, Pillars of the Earth, this has a narrative packed with nonstop excitement and suspense. Set two hundred years after the first novel, it continues the story of the English town of Kingsbridge, in the late Middle Ages. Ken Follett delights us with vivid characterizations and has the reader rooting for the good guys. Some readers may be disconcerted by the contemporary dialogue - there isn't a 'mayhap' or a 'with child' to be found. Instead a character will say, 'Maybe she's pregnant.' Occasionally it goes a bit over the top. I doubt we would really hear any medieval individual accuse another with, 'She has constructed a fragile defense around her self-esteem, and you just tear it down.' But the author can be forgiven a small lapse here and there! Don't be put off by the 1,000+ pages, as the story flies by. Now, Mr. Follett, how about fast-forwarding another 200 years in your next novel, so we can find out what's going on in Kingsbridge during the Tudor era?

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful! Everything you could want in a novel.

    At over one thousand pages, this sequel to Pillars of The Earth can seem quite daunting. Don't let the length put you off, I guarantee you'll hardly notice. The author keeps the book moving. Some reviews said that it was slow in parts, and I for one wondered where these parts were. It's an elaborate and interesting story revolving around the lives of four main characters, two female, two male. They live in hard times (fourteenth century) and life is constantly throwing them curveballs. Few books upset me the way this one did. Their lives are just so brutal! I would sit and stare at the book on the couch, knowing that their lives continued even as I avoided reading it, only because it moved me so much. I loved it and highly recommend it. I recommend it to family and friends all the time, and it is a permanent fixture on my bookshelf.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2010

    World Without End - an awesome read

    Ken Follet is one of my favorite writers. I read almost all of his book. World without end is a sequel for the The Pillars of The Earth. I absolutely recommend this book to any one who likes a really great story with characters that we won't want to forget.

    Sometimes I was wondering how Ken can think of so many twists and turns to write in his story. But he did. He manages to surprise me every time.

    Don't spoil your story by reading this book before you get a chance to read the first book. Make sure you finish all of your homework or house chores as you will not want to put it down. I must finish all of Ken's novel at one sitting. I read it all through the night.

    Highly recommended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The characters

    Everyday you find yourself waiting to get to and wondering what is going on in Kingsbridge! I would find myself thinking, "I wonder what ___ doing today." or "I wonder if ___ and ___ are going to get married.". It is just a fascinating book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    AS GOOD AS PILLARS OF THE EARTH!

    Just finished reading this today. It is quite lengthy (1014 pages), but worth the effort. If you loved "Pillars", you will love this one. The basic premise is the same as "Pillars", but the characters (200 years later) are different and of course, there are different circumstances at play. Ken Follett creates strong,believable characters, people you really want to root for and people you hate. He lets us know why they act as they do and the story line(s) are genuine. This story, is, I believe just the way things were in 14th century England where people did not live long, where life was hard for the serfs and peasants, and where the nobility enjoyed the good life. There is a lot to be learned from reading this book, and it is chocked full of historical and cultural material relative to the time (what they wore, what they ate, how their houses were built, how they worshipped, the role of the clergy, etc.). This is probably one more reason I loved the book, I tend to pick books based on historical material.

    All in all, if you like a really good story, easy to read yet detailed with characters that could be real, you will love this book. If you loved "Pillars", you will love this book. I could not wait to read it, and I was not disappointed.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My FAVORITE BOOK

    I am an avid reader, and just fell in love with this book....I hated having to go to sleep, and often found myself waking up to read just one more chapter....My husband and I bought 2 copies and read it together as we often do....World Without End is still a favorite topic of discussion....I highly reccomend this book...Just get over the fact that you don't think you want to read about a church being built...It is soo much more than that! Trust me you will LOVE it & will be Sad when you are done!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2008

    One of the best books ever!!

    Whether you read PILLARS OF THE EARTH or not, this book stands on its own. If you like to read about the harshness of the middle ages and about love, hate, greed, smart people, and stupid people, then you'll enjoy this book very much. Ken Follett is a master story teller. I can only hope that he will grace this world with another novel such as this and POTE.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    better than Pillars!

    wow. I have to admit I was skeptical. How can you sequel such a perfect original. My sister urged me on. From page one through the next three weeks I was a total hermit and would not put it down. Outstanding. You do not need to remember any details from the original for those that read Pillars so many years ago.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Definitely recommend

    For those that love historical fiction, this book is a must read. The plot and characters provide for an addictive read the entire way through. I could not put this book down. You do not need to read Pillars of the Earth and World Without End in order.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2009

    World Without End takes you into another world.

    Follett's World Without End is so full of detailed descriptive writing, that the reader can almost hear the sounds in the villages, see the actions going on in the English villages, feel the gooey mud and the icy waters as a bridge caves in, and smell the fresh bread as it bakes in the local kitchens. This book was exciting to read, and having read Pillars of the Earth,I was ready for the detail and sudden turns of events that kept the reader's interest up to the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The World Without End

    Wow! although the story does take place some 200 years later from Pillars, I must say that World Without End is a slow read in comparasin w/ Pillars but it will, non-the-less get you REALLY interested in picking up some books on the Mideval times. And just the general life during the Middle Ages. I found myself really intrigued in how the people of that world and time were no different from us and how we live today the only difference they didn't have all the technology that we do today in the medical proffesion and beyond, and yet if you really think about it, they were only one step behind w/ dealing w/ things like the the Bubonic Plague and other illnesses. They had a lot of things right, separating the sick from the healthy and wearing facial masks to putting a whole town in quarentine to keep plague victims away from the healthy but it never relly occured that they really needed to get rid of the rats and strong sanitation. If you really think about it they really were not that too far behind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    Absolutely captivating

    I came across 'World Without End' while browsing the 'New Books' section at my local library. I had no idea about Ken Folliet's history, and didn't know 'Pillars' existed until I read the inside jacket of 'World'. Within the first 30 pages, I was immersed. I felt like I was a part of the story, and I felt at one with the characters. I shared the same feelings as they did when they experience tragedies and joy. By the end of the book, I was afraid to finish because it meant ripping myself out of a fictional world I had come to love. Don't miss this amazing work!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 690 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 35