I have truly, truly, truly enjoyed this book. The story was so well narrated, and well told until I couldnt put it down. Each and every person involved in the story had their own voice and I could see them in my mind's eye. When the "deep secret" finally came out I could barely contain myself. I loved the twists, and turns and the story told from everyones point of view. I'm only sorry that I will have to wait for the next book to see what happens to Harry. Loved it, loved it!
The characters in "Only Time Will Tell" are one-dimensional and trite: The poor, struggling virtuous (or at least mostly virtuous) single mother sacrificing all for her son. The evil, rich ship-yard scion. The hard-working, nice-guy hero. Good grief. At any moment I expected the evil, rich guy to tie the poor, struggling, single mother to the railroad tracks. But that would have been too original for Archer. I fell asleep a few times while listening, only to awake to another absurd plot twist. I won't give any away, but Archer uses every silly soap opera trick. Occasionally, he injects historical facts to set the story in a real timeframe; these references are so obtrusive I'm guessing he employed a researcher and plugged in the researcher's notes whenever he got writer's block. (Note to Archer: fire your researcher. the Miranda case which resulted in the reading of Miranda rights was in 1966.) As one other reviewer stated, "...this is not literature." Nope. Not even close.
The readers' performances, however, are very good.
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(As you may already know) I’m LOUSY at keeping track of who’s who in a story with over 4 or 5 main characters. Perhaps I don’t try hard enough or maybe I don’t stay focused long enough… whatever the reason it’s hard for me but I did not have ANY trouble with this book because of the clever way the story was written.
Essentially it’s the same story told 7 times from the point of view of the 7 major characters but since each segment was long enough to really delve into, and because there was no flipping around, I was able to follow along effortlessly.
I’d be hard pressed to tell you in a few sentences what the story was all about; it’s like trying to explain what’s going on in a Soap Opera. It’s about everything and nothing, it’s about the interesting happenings and secrets and lives of different people - a generational saga. My only complaint is that it ended with a cliffhanger – annoying!
I can easily compare this book to A Dangerous Fortune and Fall of Giants by Ken Follett if it helps.
This is the first in a series of 5 books, and I am in for the next instalment – in fact, I will download it and read it right away before I forget who everyone is!!!
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
Mr. Archer is just a great teller of tales. His heroes and heroines, in this case autobiographical, are so engaging and charismatic I became hopelessly addicted to the series.
The same can be said of the villain. he a tragically bad seed from a family of outstanding good character, nobility and wealth. He reminds me of several of Follet's villains in Pillars of the Earth and Dangerous Fortune.
The intricate British cast system is brilliantly exposed as it provides much of the series' theme.
The performance is, in a word, brilliant.
Be aware that the final book in this trilogy ends as if the last chapter was left out!
Definite cliffhanger and insists you buy book 2. Unfortunately, book 3 has no ending...most ridiculous fraud on a reader I've ever encountered.
The story was great...the performing of the narration made it awesome!! So glad I listened rather than read this book!
Enjoyed this book and all the characters. Archer winds his usual web. can't wait until the next book.
when he finally is told how his father died
well worth the time. Can't wait for the second book to come out.
Mediocre in all respects. The character development is unconvincing, the plot is predictable, and the story line is boring. I feel ripped off for the time I spent with it.
I will not be awaiting the sequel.
Love to read. Mysteries, history, romance, biography, current events, science, classic fiction. No vampires. No zombies. No self-help. Find me on GoodReads and BookLikes.
Jeffrey Archer has been one of my favorite storytellers for a very long time now. While I might not have always liked the story, I have always like the way it was told. As for JA's latest project, I can only say that I am hooked and I can't wait for the next one--I'm just sorry that it is going to take five years to get to the end of the story. I can deal with the shifting points of view and the multiple narrators; they make the story interesting.
I have just one criticism of the book: historical inaccuracies and anachronisms drive me crazy. Fortunately, I don't know enough about English social history between the wars to be able to catch errors but I do know that Miranda rights did not exist in 1939 and that glaring error just drove me nuts. Killed the end of the book for me.