The Clifton Chronicles is Jeffrey Archer’s most ambitious work in four decades as an international best-selling author. The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the chilling words, ‘I was told that my father was killed in the war.’ But it will be another 20 years before Harry discovers how his father really died, which will only lead him to question: who was his father? Is he the son of Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who worked in Bristol docks, or the first born son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line?
Only Time Will Tell covers the years from 1920 to 1940, and includes a cast of memorable characters that The Times has compared to The Forsyte Saga. Volume One 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.
©2011 Jeffrey Archer (P)2011 Macmillan Publishers
Archer carries a narrative strongly and this ripping yarn is no exception. However he presents his characters descriptively -- we see their actions and hear their words rather than clearly picture them or understand their (repressed) emotions. This is underscored by allowing different protagonists to take up various threads of the story. His women are somewhat cliched nineteenth / early twentieth heroines as they play their roles as martyr, lover, upholder of what is Strong and True. But that works ok -- and, after all, it is is set in the first half of last century. Archer does make us care what happens to his characters and of course he creates compelling twists and turns in the plot. The sequel will be eagerly awaited. The readers were first rate.
I have read everything Lord Archer has written. I bought this book assuming a good read and was very much disappointed. I would go so far as to say I do not believe this book would have been published if not for the author's fame.It was so boring I started to listen to it on fast play on my ipod (x2). Even then, the story progressed about as quickly as grass grows. I've read a review comparing it to The Forsyte Saga - I loved the Forsyte Saga - this is in no way in the same class. It is a long, long, long story with characters not totally likable, slightly unbelievable situations and no hook to capture your attention and make you want to keep reading. I would have returned this book, but for some reason my audible account says it accepts returns, but doesn't let me return them. All I can say is that if you like watching plants grow for hours on end, then this is the book for you.
I'd suggest that the telling of the same events several times from different viewpoints is the most frustrating part of this book.
After Kain and Abel always - these books are drawn out incomplete sequals, not complete books and as such boring and VERY pricey for a very average drawn out story. NO I have no interest in hearing the rest of it.
Am already listening to Ken Wilber and reading Jojo Moyos
The performance was OK, the storyline is the problem
The whole book needs a 20-40% or more condensation, too drawn out and painful.
My last Jeffrey Archer! - life is too short to read this.
The story is about an old theme of his in a new coat.
Not his follow up from this series.
So, so. Little bit dull.
No. It will be much of the same.
I love family stories and sagas, this once was a great one! Comparable to Ken Follett...
Old Jack Tar - it's nice to have an old misunderstood-by-most type of character
Sometimes I had the feeling that some parts of the book where missing - like a sentence stopping in the middle (but didn't impede the understanding of the book, and only happened once or twice at the beginning), but this problem would be due to technical issues, and not the story in itself.
Captivated me from the very beginning and couldn't wait to hear more and more. Excellent.
Matthew Flinders Cat. Both great stories and told in a way that keeps not only me but my husband enthralled.
Knowing that the main character may still be in the mix
One to watch
Hadn't read a Jeffrey Archer in years so thrilled to hear a great story. Reviews certainly count.
Not only is the story line thin, the same thin story is told from each main characters perspective. The characters are also one dimensional and not believable.
What a waste of listners time!
Found the story uninteresting and boring. Characters are unbelievable.
No but this author has.
Most boring narrator. He sounded bored with the story as well.
"Long wait for the next volume"
A typical Jeffrey Archer tale of intrigue, likeable charaters and plenty of twists. Reminded me a little of "As the Crow Flies". Not his very best but still an enjoyable read and the cliff hanger at the end will encourage all readers/listeners to come back for the secong saga in a year's time.
"Good storyline leaving you wanting more."
Thoroughly enjoyed the story which kept me 'plugged' in all day.
When will part 2 be available?.
Wonderful twists and turns and cannot wait to see where the next book takes us.
"A good yarn"
Couldn't stop listening. Looking forward to Part 2 and will be downloading other titles.
This is a cracking book well written and extremely well narrated; at times I could hardly bear to listen for fear of impending sorrow and at others could not wait for the end. I suspect if I had been reading the print version of this I would have peeked at the end to see what happened - one advantage (or disadvantage) of audio books is that this is not possible! Now I wait impatiently for Book 2.
Throughly enjoyed this Jeffery Artcher book. Not exactly taxing to listen to but a very aceptable usual Archer tale. Would have been Four stars but for the ending.
Book goes into detail about several of the characters and is told from the point of view of several of those characters. Then gives us an ending which would be fine for a short story or the first book of a series....
Maybe the that's the clue. Will there be a follow up?
"Only time will tell."
This is, as we have come to expect from Lord Archer, Is a fantastic tale.
I sincerely hope that he will write another book to bring the stgory up to date.
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