Just realized these replies were here!
I have not read Pillars of the Earth but plan to. Before reading WWE I did see that piece from the internet about how it didn't matter which you read first. But now I want to go back and read Pillars, since WWE was so darn great. My husband also recommended Eye of the Needle, which is I guess the one that made Follett famous. I'll get to it, I'm sure!
So for those who read World Without End, did you feel like it was almost a series of short stories about a group of characters, that progressed along a time line? Maybe it was me, but it felt like each chapter could have been its own stand-alone short story in some ways. I don't know if I'm making sense or not. I've never read a novel that was quite like that before.