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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » History

World Without End

By Ken Follett

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Format: Paperback, 1043 pages
Published In: United States, 02 October 2012
#1 New York Times Bestseller 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.

About the Author

Ken Follett is one of the world's best-loved authors, selling more than 160 million copies of his thirty books. Follett's first bestseller was Eye of the Needle, a spy story set in the Second World War. In 1989 The Pillars of the Earth was published, and has since become the author's most successful novel. It reached number one on bestseller lists around the world and was an Oprah's Book Club pick. Its sequels, World Without End and A Column of Fire, proved equally popular, and the Kingsbridge series has sold 38 million copies worldwide. Follett lives in Hertfordshire, England, with his wife Barbara. Between them they have five children, six grandchildren, and three Labradors.

Reviews

"A lively entertainment for fans of "The Once and Future King," "The Lord of the Rings" and other multilayered epics." --"Kirkus Reviews," Starred Review "Fans of Follett's previous medieval epic will be well rewarded" -- "Publishers Weekly" Praise for World Without End: "[A] well-researched, beautifully detailed portrait of the late Middle Ages . . . Follett's no-frills prose does its job, getting smoothly through more than a thousand pages of outlaws, war, death, sex, and politics to end with an edifice that is as well constructed and solid as Merthin's bridge." --The Washington Post "Follett tells a story that runs the gamut of life in the Middle Ages, and he does so in such a way that we are not only captivated but also educated. What else could you ask for?" --The Denver Post "So if historical fiction is your meat, here's a rare treat. A feast of conflicts and struggles among religious authority, royal governance, the powerful unions (or guilds) of the day, and the peasantry . . . With World Without End, Follett proves his Pillars may be a rarity, but it wasn't a fluke." --New York Post "A work that stands as something of a triumph of industry and professionalism."--The Guardian (UK) "The four well-drawn central characters will captivate readers as they prove to be heroic, depraved, resourceful, or mean. Fans of Follett's previous medieval epic will be well rewarded." --The Union (CA) "Populated with an immense cast of truly remarkable characters . . . this is not a book to be devoured in one sitting, tempting though that might be, but one to savor for its drama, depth, and richness." --Library Journal "Readers will be captivated." --Publishers Weekly Praise for World Without End: "[A] well-researched, beautifully detailed portrait of the late Middle Ages . . . Follett's no-frills prose does its job, getting smoothly through more than a thousand pages of outlaws, war, death, sex, and politics to end with an edifice that is as well constructed and solid as Merthin's bridge." --The Washington Post "Follett tells a story that runs the gamut of life in the Middle Ages, and he does so in such a way that we are not only captivated but also educated. What else could you ask for?" --The Denver Post "So if historical fiction is your meat, here's a rare treat. A feast of conflicts and struggles among religious authority, royal governance, the powerful unions (or guilds) of the day, and the peasantry . . . With World Without End, Follett proves his Pillars may be a rarity, but it wasn't a fluke." --New York Post "A work that stands as something of a triumph of industry and professionalism."--The Guardian (UK) "The four well-drawn central characters will captivate readers as they prove to be heroic, depraved, resourceful, or mean. Fans of Follett's previous medieval epic will be well rewarded." --The Union (CA) "Populated with an immense cast of truly remarkable characters . . . this is not a book to be devoured in one sitting, tempting though that might be, but one to savor for its drama, depth, and richness." --Library Journal "Readers will be captivated." --Publishers Weekly Praise forWorld Without End: [A] well-researched, beautifully detailed portrait of the late Middle Ages . . . Follett s no-frills prose does its job, getting smoothly through more than a thousand pages of outlaws, war, death, sex, and politics to end with an edifice that is as well constructed and solid as Merthin s bridge. The Washington Post Follett tells a story that runs the gamut of life in the Middle Ages, and he does so in such a way that we are not only captivated but also educated. What else could you ask for? The Denver Post So if historical fiction is your meat, here s a rare treat. A feast of conflicts and struggles among religious authority, royal governance, the powerful unions (or guilds) of the day, and the peasantry . . . WithWorld Without End, Follett proves hisPillarsmay be a rarity, but it wasn t a fluke. New York Post A work that stands as something of a triumph of industry and professionalism. The Guardian(UK) The four well-drawn central characters will captivate readers as they prove to be heroic, depraved, resourceful, or mean. Fans of Follett s previous medieval epic will be well rewarded. The Union(CA) Populated with an immense cast of truly remarkable characters . . . this is not a book to be devoured in one sitting, tempting though that might be, but one to savor for its drama, depth, and richness. Library Journal Readers will be captivated. Publishers Weekly" "An epic tale in which you will willingly lose yourself for quite a spell." The Denver Post "Follett's no-frills prose does its job, getting smoothly through more than a thousand pages of outlaws, war, death, sex, and politics to end with an edifice that is as well constructed and solid as Merthin's bridge. A." The Washington Post "This wonderful sequel should leave you . . . with a 'deep contentment . . . like twilight on a summer evening.'" Entertainment Weekly "A lively entertainment for fans ofThe Once and Future King, The Lord of the Rings, and other multilayered epics." Kirkus Reviews(starred review) "Readers will be captivated." Publisher's Weekly" A ROUSING EPIC of 14th-century England terrifically compelling. Diana Gabaldon, "The Washington Post" JUICY HISTORICAL FICTION. "USA Today" AN IMMENSE CAST OF TRULY REMARKABLE CHARACTERS this is not a book to be devoured in one sitting, tempting though that might be, but one to savor for its drama, depth, and richness. "Library Journal" A well-researched, beautifully detailed portrait of the late Middle Ages. "The Washington Post " Juicy historical fiction. "USA Today " Follett tells a story that runs the gamut of life in the Middle Ages, and he does so in such a way that we are not only captivated but also educated. What else could you ask for? "The Denver Post" So if historical fiction is your meat, here s a rare treat. A feast of conflicts and struggles among religious authority, royal governance, the powerful unions (or guilds) of the day and the peasantry With "World Without End," Follett proves his "Pillars "may be a rarity, but it wasn t a fluke. "New York Post"" "A ROUSING EPIC of 14th-century England...terrifically compelling."--Diana Gabaldon, "The Washington Post" "JUICY HISTORICAL FICTION."--"USA Today" "AN IMMENSE CAST OF TRULY REMARKABLE CHARACTERS...this is not a book to be devoured in one sitting, tempting though that might be, but one to savor for its drama, depth, and richness."--"Library Journal" "A well-researched, beautifully detailed portrait of the late Middle Ages."--"The Washington Post " "Juicy historical fiction."--"USA Today " "Follett tells a story that runs the gamut of life in the Middle Ages, and he does so in such a way that we are not only captivated but also educated. What else could you ask for?"--"The Denver Post" "So if historical fiction is your meat, here's a rare treat. A feast of conflicts and struggles among religious authority, royal governance, the powerful unions (or guilds) of the day and the peasantry...With "World Without End," Follett proves his "Pillars "may be a rarity, but it wasn't a fluke."--"New York Post" "A well-researched, beautifully detailed portrait of the late Middle Ages."--"The Washington Post " "Juicy historical fiction."--"USA Today " "Follett tells a story that runs the gamut of life in the Middle Ages, and he does so in such a way that we are not only captivated but also educated. What else could you ask for?"--"The Denver Post" "So if historical fiction is your meat, here's a rare treat. A feast of conflicts and struggles among religious authority, royal governance, the powerful unions (or guilds) of the day and the peasantry...With "World Without End," Follett proves his "Pillars "may be a rarity, but it wasn't a fluke."--"New York Post" The peasants are revolting. Some, anyway. Othersthe good-hearted varlets, churls and nickpurses of Folletts latestare just fine. In a departure from his usual taut, economical procedurals ("Whiteout," 2004, etc.), Follett revisits the Middle Ages in what amounts to a sort of sequel to "The Pillars of the Earth" (1989). The story is leisurely but never slow, turning in the shadow of the great provincial cathedral in the backwater of Kingsbridge, the fraught construction of which was the ostensible subject of the first novel. Now, in the 1330s, the cathedral is a going concern, populated by the same folks who figured in its making: intriguing clerics, sometimes clueless nobles and salt-of-the-earth types. One of the last is a resourceful young girland Folletts women are always resourceful, more so than the menfolkwho liberates the overflowing purse of one of those nobles. Her father has already lost a hand for thievery, but thats an insufficient deterrent in a time of hunger, and a time when the lords were frequently away: at war, in Parliament, fighting lawsuits, or just attending on their earl or king. Thus the need for watchful if greedy bailiffs and tough sheriffs, who make Gwendas grown-up life challenging. Follett has a nice eye for the sometimes silly clash of the classes and the aspirations of the small to become large, as with one aspiring prior who had only a vague idea of what he would do with such power, but he felt strongly that he belonged in some elevated position in life. Alas, woe meets some of those who strive, a fact that touches off a neat little mystery at the beginning of the book, one that plays its way out across the years and implicates dozens of characters. A lively entertainment for fans of "The Once and Future King, The Lord of the Rings" and other multilayered epics. "Kirkus Reviews," Starred Review

EAN: 9780451418449
ISBN: 0451418441
Publisher: Signet Book
Dimensions: 17.78 x 11.43 x 5.08 centimetres (0.50 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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