Anyone who has read Pillars of the Earth and enjoyed its description of medieval life in Europe, and the building of the massive Cathedrals we still enjoy today was probably excited at the thought of another such book by Ken Follit. World Without End takes place a couple of hundred years later. Europe hasn't changed much. The feudal system is still firmly in place at the beginning of the book, the church is still corrupt, as is the local government. The rich get richer, and the poor stay poor!
Unfortunately, this book like its title suggests didn't know when to end. I was ready for the story to be over by about page 800. Knowing that I had just over 2oo more pages to go, made me weary. I love a long book. When a book is really good, I don't care how long it is. I want to continue my relationship with the characters for as long as possible. I take the journey with the characters of a book that really captures my attention. The problem with this book is that there are too many characters that lack any redeeming qualities. I found myself hoping for the worst outcome possible for about half of the people in this book. I was not disappointed. However, it became a chore to read after awhile. I am not one to just stop reading after 800 pages, and so I pushed on. Besides, my husband and mother had read the book, and I wanted to be able to talk to them about it! The conversations have been mostly about how awful most of the characters were! Even the "good" characters were sometimes frustrating!
The final disappointment was finally finding out about a secret that could destroy all of England if uncovered. This devastating secret was revealed somewhere between page 900 and 1000. As I read it all I could think was..."this is what all of the fuss was about?" Perhaps I was weary from the rest of the book, but talk about anti-climatic!!!!!!
I will end with saying that you should definitely read Pillars of the Earth. It is an engaging and incredibly well written novel! If you LOVE it read World Without End with the caveat that it is not of the same caliber, but I am glad I read it.
I am now about 159 pages into a sweet novel about a yarn store, The Shop on Blossom street. I needed something light, and this book is on my 2009 to read list.
I love reading....