I finished World Without End by Ken Follett this week (finally!). Loved it-but I loved Pillars of the Earth, too. I have a good friend who studied architecture and switched to history and now teaches in St. Louis. Anything mainstream--he can't stand it. I read Pillars of the Earth when it was first out in paperback, and suggested he read it. He resisted (he wildly resisted!), but finally broke down and read it. He read it every break he got at school, and he loved it. Thanked me for making him read it. I can't believe that it is now on Oprah's Book Club list! Sorry, Tim!
Anyway, I really did love World Without End--it did get a little soap-operatic at the end, but I still loved it. I wish there were men like Merthin, however, it is a work of fiction!