Book-In-Progress Review: “World Without End”

Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is one of my favorite books (even before Oprah featured it), so when the quasi-sequel World Without End came out, I immediately wish-listed it over on BookMooch. A few weeks later it arrived in an enormous package — this is one massive book, just like its predecessor. I’m not that far into it yet so I can’t do a full review, but I can say that it doesn’t hook the reader immediately the way that Pillars did. However, it does seem to be better than the last Follett book I read, Night Over Water.

One thing that is obvious already, though, is that the author’s breast fetish is operating at full tilt — pretty much every single female character who wanders across the page has her breasts stared at, felt up, fantasized over, or otherwise put front and center (so to speak) of her character’s description. Some would suggest, accurately, that all this indicates is that Ken Follett is a dude. But come on, Ken! We’re supposed to at least pretend to occasionally raise our gaze above chest level! You’re going to make the ladies paranoid, and that’ll just make it tougher on all of us …

Having said that, I have of course written my share of such descriptions, especially in my vampire book, Long Before Dawn (available now!). But you know how vampires are; being dead and all, they don’t have many amusements besides stalking humans and drinking blood (Spike’s addiction to the soap opera Passions notwithstanding; most vampires don’t have television in their crypts), so they spend a lot of time being horny.  Which, I guess, makes them not so different from Ken Follett and the rest of us guys … 😉

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3 Comments

  1. Good luck with all your literary endeavors, James. Horror is a genre in desperate need of revitalization. I wrote a short piece on my Redroom.com page about the sorry state of the field, the splatter and snuff fiction that proliferates. Horror is CEREBRAL, that’s what I keep emphasizing and the hacks, who like to disguise their horrible writing with buckets of blood and offal, howl their dismay (got into a dust-up with the brain sucking zombie crowd on the Leucrota Press site). Hope your writing is part of the solution.

    Hang in there…

    Jim says: Thanks Cliff! I have unfortunate timing … I missed the horror boom of the 70s and 80s, and the current vogue in horror is “torture porn”, which I despise. I’m not sure I would characterize my stuff as cerebral, exactly, but I hope the writing isn’t horrible. Check out my posts tagged as Short Stories for some examples of my publications from the late 90s though the early 2000s. Keep up the good fight against the hacks!

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  2. I think the horror boom IS back–it’s just that publishers haven’t realized it yet. In uncertain, scary times, people love a good scare. That’s why there’s so many flippin’ movies being released. Hollywood cashing in while New York/Toronto/London publishers look for the latest fucking fake memoir or piece of shit “chick lit” offering.

    I no longer submit work to anyone–my blog is my exclusive publishing venue and I’m quite happy with that. No moron editor, indifferent agent…just me and my readers. And that’s the way I like it.

    Write on…

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