Jeffrey Archer is at his captivating best in this, his first novel, an intricate tale of deceit, dishonor, and sweet revenge. What can an Oxford don, a respected society physician, a chic French art dealer, and a charming English lord have in common? Very little, except they've all been swindled out of every cent they had by Harvey Metcalfe, the man who wrote the book on international stock fraud. They haven't a prayer of ever seeing their money again. Or have they?
©1976 Jeffrey Archer (P)2014 Macmillan Audio
Writing reviews is work. Therefore, I need to be really happy or really unhappy with a book to write one.
I like revenge stories and had particularly enjoyed Archer's A Prisoner of Birth, but this was very disappointing. So much of it was just name brand dropping in a way that had little or nothing to do with the plot. Some of the Amazon reviews said that the plot was "unbelievable" or "too coincidental" but I expected that, since typically a revenge novel is meant to be a bit over the top. However, nobody hit on the right description: "unnecessarily convoluted;" full of complicated schemes that would make sense in a caper movie but not when you are listening to them, particularly because of the great deal of padding. Not completely awful, some fun parts, but you might want a hard copy for a skim- through beach read instead of an audible version.
I've enjoyed so many of J.A. Books. One might say I've nearly overdosed on them. This particular read has a slightly different twist. I enjoyed the read thoroughly. It was great fun!!
John Lee also narrated Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and has been one of my favorite narrators since. The story is an interesting, fun heist with a satisfying ending and all sorts of shenanigans along the way. Think "Oceans Eleven". Highly recommend!
John Lee turns an average story into an enjoyable listen.
With touches of a Count of Monte Christo type revenge plot, the story is enjoyable but just not as gripping as some of Archer's other efforts. The let down comes with the way the story winds down and concludes.
Overall it's a decent story with a great narrator so I'd recommend it.
For the second time, after over 35 years it held me to the very last syllable and left me wishing I were only halfway through. This story encircles you with it's masterful use of language, perfect plot and brilliant cast of characters.
It's no wonder Jeffrey Archer is commonly referred to as one of if not the finest fictional novelists.
Edge of your seat at every turn.
Follow me on Goodreads too!
This was quite an entertaining caper.
Archer’s writing style is very distinctive:
• Very little dialogue.
• A lot of “showing” - No need to exercise your imagination.
• A propensity to explain plans in minute detail. Sometimes I swear he was reading off a spread sheet! I am paraphrasing here, but not exaggerating : “He owes fifty eight thousand four hundred and nine dollars and fifty two cents, and paid twenty seven thousand six hundred and seventy eight dollars and ninety seven cents, so his remaining balance is thirty thousand seven hundred and thirty dollars and fifty five cents”
• Books that feel like a collection of short stories.
• Any excuse to show off his research.
If you like his style then you’ll enjoy this adventure; it felt nostalgic to me somehow, like an 80s miniseries.
Not a terrible book. It's main problem is that it is dated. The revenge plots could have only worked in the 1970s and in today's information age, it is no wonder that readers not familiar with the 70s find them convoluted and improbable. Poor narration doesn't help the story either. Finally, there is a great plot twist at the end of the book but the author chooses to do absolutely nothing with it. On the plus side, the book did fill some time but that is about as enthusiastic as I can get.
Report Inappropriate Content