Christine's Reviews > World Without End

World Without End by Ken Follett
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's review
Jan 24, 2008

it was ok
Recommended for: ONLY extremely bored people with no capacity for long term memory

The Pillars of the Earth was pretty good, but WWE is supposed to be a sequel... However, WWE seems to be a 1000 page snorefest after the first book. Perhaps if I had read them 18 years apart... then I would not have minded that WWE is a plagiarized (by the same author) copy of TPOTE. They have the same plot, same polar characters (no one is reasonable, they are all so totally overboard in every description), same activities, same cads, same villians, same love story... Same everything... But the characters all have new names. So, if you decide to read them... Skip 18 years before reading the sequel, which takes place in the same town as TPOTE 200 years later. If you wait 18 years, the book might seem fresh instead of boring, annoying, unoriginal and tedious. I kept wanting people to die just so I would not have to read another word about them. If I did not have this incessant need to complete books, I would have just thrown it on the floor and never picked it up again.
It makes me annoyed every time I pick it up.. sad but true.

my hint:
Read Pillars of the Earth, take a LONG break and then, if you feel a desperate need... think about it, and if you can find the book for cheap, maybe... perhaps... read it if you have absolutely nothing better to do.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2008 – Finished Reading
January 24, 2008 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Leigh I have to agree - I wouldn't give it just one star; it's still enjoyable - but, essentially, this is the SAME BOOK! Names have been changed, destinations changed, but it's the same story and feels like a cheat.

JoAnn I too, have to agree. I read both books back to back and was stunned by the rubber-stamp mentality of the second book. And yet even with the duplication of characters and plot from the first book to the second, there were differences, just not improvements.

In the second book the villains were completely dark and predictable. Even though I longed for them to be put out their (and my) misery, I knew that they would be kept on until the bitter end. I never held any hope that they would improve in character and found that they only served to make me feel dark and depressed every time they entered the story. The author held fast to the credo that "bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people" and it never wavered ... until the last few pages ... when he wrapped everything up in a pretty box and slapped a shiny bow on it.

The other HUGE difference between the first and second books was the sex. Why is it that the authors and publishers of today believe the only way to sell a book is to load it up with every variety of sex they can imagine? Good historical fiction shouldn't have to depend on nuns having sex with nuns, monks and priests having sex with each other, and repeated brutal rape descriptions. These aren't plot devices to further the story; they are cheap, transparent tricks to sex up the story to sell more books. I felt dirtier and dirtier as I read through Mr. Follett's sex fantasies and was continuously offended by his gutter language for the female and male anatomies. I'll never understand why he felt that this could possibly be an improvement on the first book.

I feel cheated and even angry that I wasted time and effort on such a cheap and tawdry mess of a book.

Natascha Keil You took the words right out of my mouth. I regretted every cent of the money I spent on it.

Emma Jones Sounds as though my great fortune has been to have more than a decade between the two books. I remember loving pillars of the earth & so far am not in the least disappointed with world without end.

message 5: by Damir (new)

Damir V Well said: it's all the same themes, characters and plot twists. I can't believe the publisher didn't point this out to Follett when he submitted the manuscript. Very strange.

Gary Mundhenke Well, I read Pillars of the Earth when it first came out in 1989, and just read World without end. So as you suggest, waiting almost 30 years worked for me.

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