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World Without End
World Without End
by Ken Follett
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars World Without End, 26 May 2013
This review is from: World Without End (Paperback)
'World Without End' really speaks to Ken Follett's writing style. It's a great book, with a big scope and worthy of the title 'epic'. But after 'Pillars' this book felt a bit like a slog. It's main problem is that the point of the book seems to be to document the lives of the characters, rather than to tell a real, structured story. It basically follows the characters through their lives (and not like their lives on a daily basis, I mean following their lives until they die), and while there's nothing wrong with that, without a fixed goal for the story (like the building of the cathedral in 'Pillars') it loses it's structure and seems to ramble on and on about what happens in their lives. Plenty happens in the book, and there are twists and turns throughout, but it just sort of wanders off at the end due to there being no real climax. You feel a bit cheated, because even though you do develop a connection with the characters and start to feel for them, there really isn't any rounding off or sense of conclusion.
On top of that, the characters themselves just aren't quite as engaging as the ones in 'Pillars'. Merthin and Caris aren't as interesting as Jack and Aliena, Godwyn isn't as evil as Waleran, Ralph isn't as messed up as William, and ultimately the things they go through feel a bit watery and inconclusive.
Still, though, I tend to rave about things: it's actually quite a good book on the whole, it's just not as fun to praise as it is to criticize.


Winter of the World (Century of Giants Trilogy)
Winter of the World (Century of Giants Trilogy)
by Ken Follett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to expectations, 26 May 2013
I love Ken Follett. Having raced through 'Pillars of the Earth' which in my opinion is the best historical epic of all time, I proceeded to read it's sequel, 'World Without End', which I loved as well, though the story seemed a bit watery and all over the place compared to 'Pillars'. I then looked for more Ken Follett epics, and immediately found 'the Century trilogy'. I read 'Fall of Giants' very quickly and loved it, though I was a bit disappointed that nobody important died (which struck me as unrealistic due to the danger of the time, but I also just think it substantially adds to the excitement and emotion of a story to have the atmosphere that people will die), and have now gone on to read 'Winter of the World'.
This book failed to live up to my expectations. It feels as though Follett has run out of interesting characters, because not one of the protagonists of this "epic" (who are the children of the characters in 'Fall of Giants' btw.) was remotely interesting or developed. The story now seems to revolve solely around the relationships and love interests of seven or eight hormonal teenagers. This wouldn't even be so bad if the characters weren't all identical! For instance, one of the love interests of one of the various teenagers dies (I won't say which in case you're planning on reading) and we're all supposed to be sad. But the next time the story returned to one of the other teenagers' love interests, I found myself thinking: 'wait, I thought she was dead!' The characters are all the same, and their boring monotonous relationships are barely leaning against a backdrop of history which is poorly told and fails to grasp the readers' interest. It has great reviews though, so maybe I'm completely wrong, but I didn't enjoy it and was sorry I'd downloaded it.


Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall
by Hilary Mantel
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.86

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wolf Hall, 25 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wolf Hall (Paperback)
'Wolf Hall' contains a wonderful story, full of complex historical politics and documenting the life of one Thomas Cromwell. Not much to say about the good, but it is there. It's a great and beautiful story.
However, my complaints are echoes of the already popular reviews; the prose is muddling, the story flits through time without warning, and the reader is often left scrambling to realize where, when, and with whom we are. Ultimately, the narrative style distracted me far too much from the story for me to develop any real connection to the character(s) and I didn't feel the kind of emotional attachment I usually feel with these big historical novels.
Also, it's worth noting: I don't know how many people felt the same, but when I bought this book I was looking for the kind of historical epic tale in the style of Ken Follett (Pillars of the Earth, Century trilogy, etc.). While it's certainly, big, historical, and political, calling it an epic would be a misnomer. It is all told from the confusing and often second hand account of Thomas Cromwell, (who is not Thomas Boleyn or Thomas Wolsey or Thomas More or any of the other 'Thomases' in the book) and ultimately fails to get inside the head of anyone else. The political dealings, while intriguing, simply aren't quite as interesting if we're witnessing them purely through Cromwell's viewpoint, especially as he isn't even prior to most of the action in the first half of the book. Political intrigue is much more interesting when we can witness it from all perspectives, and the fact that we only got it from Cromwell's limited point of view hindered one of the primary attractions of the book for me, which was the Tudor period's complicated politics. It was a major disappointment for me that such important historical figures like Anne Boleyn and King Henry are for the most part names on paper, without any development or elaboration. Again, I don't know how relevant this is, I'm just stating my various reactions.
All in all, it is a great book, and worth reading, but it is very, very confusing, and not in the good way that these types of books sometimes are. Also, the strange prose is one you don't ever really get used to, and it, along with all the other narrative inconsistencies, tends to distract the reader from appreciating the tale.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 15, 2013 11:21 AM BST


Bart Simpson Annual 2011 (Annuals)
Bart Simpson Annual 2011 (Annuals)
by Matt Groening
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bart Simpson has his very own annual!, 20 Nov 2011
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I'm basing the annuals off my simpsons annual 2011, and this one feels more like a bart simpson comic than an annual. For one thing, in my other annual, after every comic story, there's around two pages of fake ads, crosswords, and other fun stuff. In this book, there are exactly two of those things, one about making your own catchphrase, and another one about giving people degrading nicknames. Otherwise, it's just an expensive simpsons comic. That said, it's a very good simpsons comic, i particularly enjoyed the nelson's trial story. I recommend this to anyone who likes the simpsons, but don't expect anything more than a mess of comics.


The Bart Book (The Simpsons Library of Wisdom)
The Bart Book (The Simpsons Library of Wisdom)
by Matt Groening
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars It was OK..., 20 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Bart Book is pretty good, and i would recommend it for anyone who's kind of new to the simpsons, less so to the people who are already hardcore fans (like me), cause when i bought it i already knew half the stuff. Also, i can't help noticing that it has pretty much the exact same kind of things the 'bart simpsons guide to life' has, so it's probably not a good idea to buy both of them. Of the two, i'd buy Bart Simpson's Guide to Life, because on the whole, it has more information. Another point is that it has too many details about stuff that happened in one episode and less details about the regular show. This is most prominent in the Homer book, where they devote around 10 pages to talking about the pin-pals from the season 7 episode.

So yeah, anyway, this is not my favorite simpsons book, i would advise people to buy Bart Simpsons guide to life or the simpsons uncensored family album if they're looking for a good read about our favorite family.


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