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World Without End [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Ken Follett
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (494 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.37 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Oct 2008

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 prosperity 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’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 change.

‘Follett’s storytelling skills keep you compulsively turning the pages to the satisfactory ending of good triumphant over evil’

Daily Mail

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1248 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (2 Oct 2008)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0330490702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330490702
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 5.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (494 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning EYE OF THE NEEDLE, which became an international bestseller. His celebrated PILLARS OF THE EARTH was voted into the top 100 of Britain's best-loved books in the BBC's the Big Read and the sequel, WORLD WITHOUT END, was published to critical acclaim. He lives with his family in London and Hertfordshire.

Product Description


'Fans of Follett's no-frills style and pacy way with narrative will devour this.' -- Christina Koning, The Times

'an ungainly doorstopper of a book, but gives a real sense of life in a medieval cathedral city'
-- Sunday Telegraph Magazine


'Fans of Follett's no-frills style and pacy way with narrative will devour this.'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
296 of 302 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical novel that reads like a thriller 14 Nov 2007
By BookWorm TOP 500 REVIEWER
In the same vein as, and equal in excellence to, its prequel 'The Pillars of the Earth' (which was voted into the top 100 of Britain's favourite books), 'World Without End' is a historical epic centred around the lives of a varied group of characters living in a mediaeval town.

Weighing in at 1111 modestly printed pages (the hardback edition), 'epic' is a well earned description. Yet the novel is gripping and engrossing from the first chapter and remains so thoughout. It is a testimony to Ken Follett's writing that despite its size, it doesn't feel like a long book. It's the correct length, the length it needs to be to tell the story, and there is no waffle, padding or wasted words.

The story is set in the same town as 'Pillars of the Earth' but takes place 200 years later, so could be enjoyed without having read the former (there are couple of very mild spoilers, but nothing too revealing). Of course, all of the original characters are long dead, although some of the principal characters are descended from them and their acheivements are occasionally referred to.

Beginning in 1327, the four major characters are children who witness a mysterious murder in the forest. It follows them through their lives, ending in 1361. A diverse group, through these characters Follett is able to cover many aspects of 14th century life. One becomes a knight, another is a builder (picking up on the principal theme of the prequel), the third enters the church and the fourth is a peasant. They are supported by a varied and vividly drawn cast of secondary characters; scheming monks, corrupt noblemen, merchants and peasants struggling to make their way in the world.
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132 of 136 people found the following review helpful
Having read and loved the author's epic saga, "Pillars of the Earth", a novel about the building of a cathedral in the town of Kingsbridge in twelfth century England, I very much looked forward to reading this book. I was not disappointed. This is a masterful saga of life in fourteenth century England, and the author weaves a rich and colorful tapestry of people, places, and events in the medieval town of Kingsbridge, where a magnificent cathedral now stands.

There are a number of rich and colorful characters that drive the story, and the age old battle between good and evil plays itself out through them. Spanning a period of thirty-four turbulent years, this is a spellbinding story of love, hate, betrayal, revenge, and triumph. Moreover, the Black Plague has reared its ugly head, and England will never be the same. New ideas are germinating on the horizon, coming into conflict with the settled way of doing things, and the town and people of Kingsbridge are in a state of flux.

Although the novel is a lengthy one, the reader will be unable to put the book down, so engaging and absorbing is the story. Those who are partial to the historical fiction genre will very much enjoy this book.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Sequel 7 Dec 2007
This book makes a good sequel to the marvellous 'Pillars of the Earth', without the nessecity of reading 'Pillars' first. As a small warning, I would add that if you don't like Ken Follett, or found Pillars over long, this book is more of the same, but for me, that was part of the pleasure, and I wish the book were longer. Interesting weave of tales around the historical events of the period, and a read that keeps you turning pages, too fast in my case.
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159 of 167 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating medieval intrigue 18 Dec 2007
Many novels are slow to start as they lay the foundations for what is to come later, but right from the opening pages this novel is likely to suck you in and make you not want to put it down. The novel is set in a 14th Century town and the surrounding villages. Though it is a sequel to a previous novel, the setting is quite a bit later in time and it is not at all necessary to have read the earlier book in order to be able to enjoy this one. The novel is brimming with fascinating intrigue and torrid love affairs. Novels of this kind set in the present can often descend to the level of a mere soap opera and become uninteresting. Here the power relationships inherent in the medieval setting make the Machiavellian conniving of the characters engaging and at times thought-provoking. We see the power of nobles over their serfs, the power of the King over his nobles, the power of the Church over the people and the power of men over women, all explored through a truly captivating plot. The novel is peopled with characters some of whom we despise and others whom we feel total empathy with. Some of the characters accept the status quo of medieval life and others buck the system from start to finish. Unavoidably, in a story powered by this kind of intrigue, the complications in the plot are occasionally solved in a way that is somewhat contrived. The strength of this novel is that the solutions are always remarkably creative and the author never cheats by introducing unrealistic or previously unknown elements into the story. More than this, however, the solutions are always totally believable given the natures of the compelling characters Follett has created. A great read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars World Without End
Excellent really good long read research must have taken a long time as detailed descriptions made it feel as though you're in this time
Published 1 day ago by suzy
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books I ever read
If you like the Middle Ages and English history, this book is for you. I was reading it day and night, though I was dreading that it would finish one day (luckily it's nice and... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Aliz Legg
5.0 out of 5 stars World without end - recommended!
Fantastic book. Not the type I would normally read. It was brilliant read with such real characters and a story that keeps you turning the pages.
Published 9 days ago by joanne morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars first class read
Held my attention from start to finish which takes some going for an 1100 page book. Would recommend it to anyone.
Published 10 days ago by Lewis Wood
4.0 out of 5 stars Richard Olley
The book is a novel wrapped up in a history book. A truly readable epic. A jolly good read. Brilliant.
Published 19 days ago by MR R Olley
5.0 out of 5 stars Brill read
Loving this book can not put it down , also brill read is pillars of the earth ,will be buying more books by ken follet
Published 22 days ago by Mr S M S Barber
5.0 out of 5 stars World Without End
This is one of the best Novels you will ever read, I am a great fan of Ken Follett and recommend him to all and sundry
Published 22 days ago by Mr. R. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Sequel......
........ to Pillars of the Earth. This book, similar to its predecessor had just about everything except a dwarf being hanged for sheep stealing!! Read more
Published 24 days ago by Andrew Fletcher
5.0 out of 5 stars engrossing
Thoroughly enjoyed the read. History of the plague spellbinding and the poverty saddening. Enthralling read to the end. Recommend all.
Published 1 month ago by leigh
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
Having watched the TV series first I just had to read the book. As usual Ken Follett does not disappoint, another excellent book from him. This is a book you must read.
Published 1 month ago by M. Bayliss
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