Darcy Lewis's Reviews > World Without End

World Without End by Ken Follett
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's review
Jan 02, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: 2008-reads
Recommended for: readers with lots of patience

This, unfortunately, as I can vaguely recall from 1990, wasn't nearly as good as "The Pillars of the Earth". Then again, maybe my then-just-barely-teen mind has made the earlier book into something it wasn't. "World Without End", or, as I believe my Mother called it, "Book Without End" does indeed go on forever, to the point where I wondered how in the world Follett could possibly end it (haha, without end, oh how droll). And then it just stopped. After 1000+ pages, I should have guessed as much. The characters, surprisingly, weren't all that complex, and one would think that after that many pages one would know pretty much all there is to know about a character, down to the color of their undergarments (or, in this book's case, whether they wore any). The novel essentially went through a specific pattern over and over again. Protagonist comes up with an idea for themselves or others to prosper; gets thwarted by some malicious and self-serving antagonist who is prone to random bouts of violence and rape; protagonist comes up with way to get back at antagonist; antogonist usually but not always prevails. It happens at least 40 times in the novel, and it's more than wearisome. I enjoyed probably the first 300 pages or so, when the pattern was still new to me. And I stuck with the novel to the close because a)I did end up liking the two main characters, Caris and Merthin, so I needed to see where and how they ended up, and b)I was on two cross-continental flights and it was the only book I had.

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