World Without End

I think I can be quite proud of myself – I finished a 1111 pages book in a total of less than 24 hours (summing up the hours spent on it from Friday to Sunday). Well, for one – the story was interesting and second, I wanted to finish it so that I could do something else.
              The book is Ken Follet’s “World Without End” and is a sequel to his other famous novel “Pillars of Earth” which I haven’t read. That said, I didn’t have any problem while reading this story set in 14th century England despite not having read the first book. There were only some references to some characters from the first book and that didn’t affect the story.
                   Reading the book, my belief was reinforced that we live in a much much better world as compared to those times, but also that the basic human fibre is still the same. The politics, the passions, the fears, the weaknesses, the intelligence, the creativity, the craftiness – every possible goodness and badness of human mind, which has existed since probably when man first started roaming the earth, existed then as well as now. But that doesn’t matter for this book review :-).
                     So the story is of four children whose lives get intertwined with each other’s due to circumstances. And that intertwining also then connects the lives of their relatives, friends, neighbors and acquaintances in a variety of positive and negative ways. It’s quite interesting to read their stories – which I didn’t think for one moment to be imaginary – after all stories are inspired from real life only – isn’t it?  The plot also brings in the horror of the black plague which was at it’s peak in Europe from 1348 to 1351. It was interesting to read about the the effect that event had on the common people. Made me feel that there are only two type of people in the end – those who fear death and those who don’t. The ones who are afraid of death, are also afraid of more or less everything else in life while those who aren’t, have a strength of character which is quite a rarity.
                      I feel reading such books is a good way to get acquainted with history – there is no tediousness of learning the events and dates of those events – they are part of the narrative. And what’s best is – you also get to know the daily life of people and how the cities looked in those times – simply through the cleverly described situations in the story! I stumbled upon the reviews of the book while adding it to my Shelfari list on Saturday, and many readers compared it with the prequel and thought that it was repetitive – but for me, that wasn’t a concern because I had no reference to compare it with :-).
                             So I’d recommend it but only if you have an interest in history and anthropology (and also probably the human psyche). Let’s see when do I next get such a good book.

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