World Without End

By Ken Follett

Well, Pillars of the Earth is one of my favorite books and I was looking forward to completely enjoying this without reservation. But way back when it first came out, I stumbled onto an online discussion that cited a passage with anachronistic vocabulary, which bothered me. It was very anachronistic. So it was a single passage, but it added some reservation to my anticipated complete enjoyment. And then I got to page 15, and there’s this conversation that no two people would ever have under any circumstances that served only for the author to show off some detail about the time period. That doesn’t bode well, at least not on top of sloppy word choice. Finally, there’s a character in this book that might as well be a character from Pillars, which makes me worry that other character types will be recycled. PLUS there’s a major plot point hinged on the kind of intrigue that drove the motivations of some characters in Pillars–derivative! derivative! So I have four things in my conscience mind to have to suppress as I am reading. Fortunately, I have been able to do so, at least through the first part of the book.

I am sad that people who are sort of shabby and bumbling are the descendants of people who were just fantastic in Pillars, but I accept that family fortunes rise and fall. I think it will color my feelings about those Pillars characters next time I read the book, but not necessarily my feelings about the book.

UPDATE APRIL 5:
Uh-oh. I had really hoped the Great Mumbo Jumbo Kerfuffle of Aught-Seven was an anomaly, but I just encountered the word “sexy” in a character’s thoughts and I’m not even at page 100 yet. Is two a pattern?

UPDATE April 12:
The book tanks. It becomes extraordinarily boring around the plague and then it just doesn’t pick up again. The second half of the book is like a checklist of all the social changes that the plague triggers. The characters turn into mirror images of the characters in Pillars, and some of them in that book were a little silly. The final scene between Gwenda and Annet is just goofy; there is a rebellious teenage girl running around with a bad crowd; I skimmed the last 200 pages while fooling around in a chat room.

I will forget I have read this book. I was sad for a while to see what became of Jack and Aliena’s descendants, but it doesn’t matter. The book is inconsequential.

Also lesbian nun sex.

And for you skeevy pervs who found this entry via a lascivious search term:

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  • By The World Without Us « Iconoclast or Malcontent? on April 19, 2011 at 11:18 am

    […] that said, World Without Us was much better than World Without End, even though there was no lesbian nun sex in Weisman’s book. Perhaps if there were more […]

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