World Without End: Book summary and reviews of World Without End by Ken Follett

World Without End

By Ken Follett

World Without End

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"While the novel lacks the thematic unity of Pillars, readers will be captivated by the four well-drawn central characters as they prove heroic, depraved, resourceful or mean." - PW.

"Starred Review. A lively entertainment for fans of The Once and Future King, The Lord of the Rings and other multilayered epics." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Follett's no-frills prose does its job, getting smoothly through more than 1,000 pages of outlaws, war, death, sex and politics to end with an edifice that is as well constructed and solid as Merthin's bridge." - Washington Post.

"Preferring Follett's spy thrillers, I would never have read this genre for pleasure. But, to my surprise, I came away from the book with admiration for a work that stands as something of a triumph of industry and professionalism. Trees and readers would require considerable notice before Follett extended this sequence into a trilogy, but in a culture which is time-poor and media-rich, there is a certain comfort in the fact that a book as long and dense as this is still regarded as a populist, commercial project." - The Guardian (UK)

"Perhaps the build 'n' bash theme of the previous novel was deemed by the suits at Macmillan to have been a bit masculine, for in this tale Follett has discovered a commercially advantageous feminine side ... Sadly, what we have as a result is an 'accessible' novel full of characters with 21st-century sensibilities and speech but plonked in a medieval setting. Tirant lo Blanc it ain't. The contrast jars from beginning to end." - The Telegraph (UK).

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Author Information

Ken Follett Author Biography

Photo by Barbara Follett

Ken Follett was born on 5 June 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector. He was educated at state schools and graduated from University College, London, with an Honours degree in philosophy (he was made a Fellow of the college in 1995).

He became a reporter, first with his home-town newspaper the South Wales Echo and later with the London Evening News. While working on the Evening News he wrote his first novel, which was published but did not become a bestseller. He then went to work for a small London publishing house, Everest Books, eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director. He continued to write novels in his spare time. Eye of the Needle was his eleventh book, and his first success. Around 100 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide.

He ...

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Name Pronunciation
Ken Follett: fohl-ette

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