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March 26 2010 6 26 /03 /March /2010 22:05

I just finished World Without End, the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, and I was disappointed.

Maybe I shouldn't have read it right after the thousand pages that make The Pillars of the Earth. Maybe I liked the first novel too much not to be dismayed by the sequel. In any case, I found the story less interesting.

Another thing that I disliked was that every single event that happens in the book has repercussions in the future. This was not the case of the first novel, but in the second you begin to realise, after the first 400 pages or so, that everything you have read so far will be echoed somewhere, sometime, afterwards. So I felt manipulated from the beginning to the middle, then I concluded that the plotline was cheap. The book is either too short (no room for details and anecdotes that are useless to story but gives depth to the characters and make the whole novel richer) or too long (some parts in the childhoods if the characters need be removed).

I didn't buy the main love story between Merthin, the architect/carpenter, and Caris, the rich daughter of the alderman
. In short: Jack the lovely Architect and Aliena the strong-willed noble, born again in this novel. I felt cheated. The clergy character were more vicious and manipulative than in the first book, which focused on the good Philip, but that didn't make them more interesting, on the contrary.

Still, it is well written, although, I think, badly edited, for there were some repetitions from one praragraph or page to the next but I guess it is not easy to edit or write a 1200 pages novel. Maybe he tried too hard, or not enough, I cannot tell. All I can say for sure is that World Without End doesn't equal The Pillars of the Earth, and should have aimed to surpass it and innovate, instead of just wanting to equal it.

It is still a good read, but I don't reckon it is worth the 1st novel.

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