From the internationally best-selling author of Kane and Abel and A Prisoner of Birth comes Only Time Will Tell, the first in an ambitious new series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph.
The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war." A dock worker in Bristol, Harry never knew his father, but he learns about life on the docks from his uncle, who expects Harry to join him at the shipyard once he's left school. But then an unexpected gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys' school, and his life is never the same.
As he enters into adulthood, Harry finally learns how his father really died, but the awful truth only leads him to a question: was he even his father? Is he the son of Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who spent his whole life on the docks, or the firstborn son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line?
This introductory novel in Archer’s ambitious series The Clifton Chronicles includes a cast of colorful characters and takes us from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World War, when Harry must decide whether to take up a place at Oxford or join the navy and go to war with Hitler’s Germany.
From the docks of working-class England to the bustling streets of 1940 New York City, Only Time Will Tell takes listeners on a journey through to future volumes, which will bring to life 100 years of recent history to reveal a family story that neither the listener nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.
©2011 Jeffrey Archer (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
If you're looking for real literature, this is not it. If you're looking for a guiltily entertaining book, go for it. This is typical Archer. In fact, some people might find it too typical -- a repeat of Kane and Abel, for example. While that might indeed be true, I read Kane and Abel a million years ago so getting to read a variation of it now was a ton of fun. Sometimes, it's just nice to read something light where the good guys are the good guys and the bad guys are the bad guys.I look forward to the next installment.
I have listened to all of Jeffrey Archer's work. This is standard class-clash Archer plotline with superb character development. I already feel like I grew up with these characters, and can't wait for the next "installment". By the way, the story is told from 1st and 3rd-person viewpoints, and from 7 separate "angles". I bow to Mr. Archer who can weave a complex story like no other (read A Prisoner of Birth and you'll agree). Incomparable two-person narration lends further authenticity to the characters. Since Mr. Archer plans 5 parts, covering 100 years, each part taking 1 year to produce, this series isn't for the faint of heart; however, die-hard Archer fans will settle in and eagerly anticipate the inevitable come-uppance that awaits the already much-hated Mr. Hugo. In the next book, I would expect a few more Archer "soap opera twists" to get us to thoroughly despise him...
Cane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer. Class-clash plotline, intricate character development, detailed research, and soap opera-style twists that build utter contempt for the villainous antagonist.
Evocative narration. Mastery of British / Irish (UK) dialects. Male / female narration lends further credibility to the various characters.
Too difficult to select only one. Each character has already been fully formed by Mr. Archer, evoking myriad emotions from the reader, including empathy, sympathy, pity, incredulity, and seething anger.
I eagerly anticipate the next book!
Some days all I really want is for someone to tell me a wicked-good story, and when that mood strikes me, there is no better author to turn to than Jeffrey Archer. His books are simple, fast-moving, thoughtless, and well-constructed, while his characters are either very good or very bad, and almost believable. Archer’s major ability is to grab the reader quickly and never let go, and to somehow make the reader care about what happens in the lives of the characters, in short, to make the reader want to know how it turns out. After quickly finishing Only Time Will tell, the first book in Archer’s projected series, The Clifton Chronicles, I immediately picked up and finished the second book, The Sins of the Father. No doubt about it: I’ll buy each succeeding book as it is published.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
After giving Jeffery Archer's "A Prisoner of Birth" ten stars I wanted more Archer. So I stupidly bought "Mightier Than The Sword:. MISTAKE! Stupidly? Uh-huh, it was the fifth book in the "The Clinton Chronicles" and while it was intriguing from chapter one, it was quickly obvious that I'd come in the middle of this saga. So... I've stopped that book and downloaded "Only Time Will Tell" the first i this Epic. Whew... great relief.
YOU MUST START WITH THIS BOOK! Which is an intriguing story that sets the character foundation for the entire series. Archer's cast is well defined and Roger Allam together with Emilia Fox make them live.
Do I recommend "Only Time Will Tell"? Well facing an eleven hour drive tomorrow, I've j just downloaded "The Sins Of The Fathers"... Number 2 in "The Clifton Chronicles". That's as good a recommendation that's in me.
This book starts off painfully slow. There seems to be nothing eventful or entertaining for the first 4 to 6 hours; BUT, hang in there.
This book reminds me of a Ken Follett novel in a lot of ways - which is a good thing as I am a big fan of Follet. There is good character development and if you keep in mind that Archer intends to make this a five book series, I think you'll find it acceptable he takes so long to develop the characters - of course if long and involved is not your style, you'll probably want to skip this one.
Overall, I am getting the feeling this may end up being one of my favorite series of novels. I have listened to Archer novels before and have liked them all so far.
With respect to narration, I'm not a big fan of multiple readers, and if I judge the end product, I don't think Emelia Fox added any value to the production by reading the lead female character; however, she was not a distraction. They both delivered a fine performance - Roger Allam is especially good.
I highly recommended this one, it has the potential to be a great series of books!!
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
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.
Okay... I have been waiting for a new Jeffrey Archer book for a long time. This one doesn't disappoint... great story... great characters... fantastic narration. Can't wait for the sequels.
What a great book! I was totally engrossed in it and loved the way Jeffrey Archer told the story from the perspective of each of the main characters. Narration was spot on. I put it up there with Pillars of the Earth and World Without End as one of those special epic stories. Only disappointment was that I will have to wait so long for the next one!
Narrative makes the world go round.
I love novels spun from "lives lived across the 20th century" and told from multiple angles. This has both those narrative strengths BUT is very derivative of other, similar novels (including early Ken Follett, who himself is derivative of other, better novels). Also like Follett, this features total goodies who constantly have dastardly deeds done undo them by total meanies. Frustrating, because it COULD have been a very good novel!
This story took a longer time to incubate than the five-star Prisoner of Birth. Once the story of Maisy and Harry took more form, the story became more engrossing. Moving in and out of different points of view, Archer uses the brilliant device of narrating the same story from the vantage of each of the seven main characters in the story. Spoiler coming>
As a mini-spoiler, the main evil character does not see justice done, for the most part, in this story, though perhaps time will tell, as the title suggests. And the ending, another Count of Monte Cristo/take someone else's identity similar to the one in Prisoner of Birth, is less satisfying, plausible, and wrapped up as Prisoner of Birth. But worth of credit.
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