Tag Archives: religion

World Without End – Ken Follett

Much like In the Woods, World Without End also starts with some children of the British Isles having an intense experience in a forest. The similarities end there. World Without End is a much more externally based bit of story telling.

Ken Follett is a writer of historical fiction based in the middle ages. He’s most well known for The Pillars of the Earth, which tells of the building of a cathedral, from the  structural details to the social consequences.

World Without End is a sequel to Pillars, taking place two centuries after the building was completed and following the lives of the people in the town as they plot, scheme, build and romance against a backdrop of plague and warfare. The dialogue is awkward and the characters are cartoonish. One can easily see a casting agent perusing weaselly mustached cowards and meat faced bullies  to play the villains in the movie version. The heroine is so good as to be almost irritating and everyone in-between is a bit of a sheep.

There is a love story, (several in fact) and lots of medieval sex, with Follett taking the time to work a bath in to the story each time. Apparently he’s concerned that all his detail of moist clefts and engorged shafts might not be as appealing if they weren’t both freshly washed.

The building and fighting facts are good even if the sex scenes are not. I feel much more prepared should I find myself facing the challenge of rebuilding a stone bridge in a fast moving river so that the fleece fair can take place as planned. I also have a much more coherent plan to fight the French. Now what’s this painful swelling in my armpit?

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Filed under Fiction, Review

Infidel – Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I’m concerned that I might not be smart enough to review this book. Whether you agree with Ali’s ideas regarding Islam and Dutch politics or not, she’s clearly an extremely intelligent and dedicated woman.

I on the other hand, am dedicated to few things that don’t have frosting and spend most of my time giggling about words that might be euphemisms for feces.

Still, I will drag myself away from camping aisle in Target (where they have a display of “Fire Logs”) and instead encourage you to read this book.

It’s thrilling. There’s pretty much non-stop action, so it won’t even occur to you that there are controversial opinions regarding cultural freedom and political correctness being presented. Ali is an astute observer of behavior. From the villages of Somalia to the Dutch Parliment, each character is carefully attended and expressed. You will find yourself with lots of interesting facts to bring up at parties, at least, you will if you go to the kind of party where people discuss the ethical ramifications of banning female circumcision. (for the record, I say ban that shit and never, ever google it).

This book was recommended to me by my Pa, who thinks Ali is brilliant and an excellent role model for politicians. In a family discussion, my Mom said that she felt Ali used the people around her, and was insensitive to them. If you read Infidel, you can let me know which of my parents you agree with.

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Filed under biography, non fiction, recommended to me by someone