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World Without End

These comments appeared on the Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction bestseller list when “World Without End” entered the list at #1 in the week of 22 October 2007, and “The Pillars of the Earth” returned to #10 on the paperback list.

Back in mid-March, Dutton hosted a pre-pub luncheon, at which publisher Brian Tart said, “Ken Follett’s World Without End is by far the biggest book of the year for Dutton – and I mean that literally.”

The epic novel runs more than 1,000 pages with a hefty price tag of $35. None of this stopped FolIett’s many fans. Dutton’s last announced printing was 550,000 copies and two additional printings make for 650,000 copies.

The book is also an international hit, landing among the top five on charts in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the U.K., among others. World Without End is the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, published in 1989, about the construction of a 12th-century cathedral in Kingsbridge, England; it has proven to be Follett’s most successful title both in term of sales (total in print) and reviews.

The new book is also set in Kingsbridge, in the 14th century, PW's review noted that “fans of Follett’s previous medieval epic will be well rewarded”.

Daisy Maryles, Publishers Weekly, 22 October 2007

What a week for Ken Follett. His new book, World Without End, lands in the #1 spot on hardcover fiction; The Pillars of the Earth, published 18 years ago, takes #10 on our mass market list and #16 on the trade paper list.

PW's review back in 1989 was exuberant: “Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner, escaping the narrow genre of suspense thrillers to take credit for a historical novel of gripping readability, authentic atmosphere and detail, and memorable characterization.”

It’s first hardcover printing was 400,000; the paperback total in print after 67 trips to press: 2,4 million copies.

Daisy Maryles, Publishers Weekly, 22 October 2007