• A Prisoner of Birth

  • By: Jeffrey Archer
  • Narrated by: Roger Allam
  • Length: 16 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (3,609 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Danny Cartwright and Spencer Craig never should have met.  

One evening, Danny, an East End cockney who works as a garage mechanic, takes his girlfriend up to the West End to celebrate their engagement. He crosses the path of Spencer Craig, a West End barrister tipped to be the youngest Queen's Counsel of his generation. A few hours later, Danny is arrested for murder and later is sentenced to 22 years in prison, thanks to irrefutable testimony from Spencer, the prosecution's main witness.

Danny spends the next few years in a high-security prison while Spencer Craig's career as a lawyer goes from strength to strength. But all the while, Danny plans to escape and wreak his revenge.

Thus begins Jeffrey Archer's poignant and unputdownable novel of deception, hatred, and revenge, in which only one of them can finally triumph, while the other will spend the rest of his days in jail. But which one? 

This suspenseful novel takes the listener through so many twists and turns that no one will guess the ending, even the most ardent of Archer's many, many fans.

©2008 Jeffrey Archer (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Bestseller Archer...pays homage to Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo in this delicious updating of the adventure classic." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about A Prisoner of Birth

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible

I don't get it. So many reviewers like this unimaginative book.It's just a bad rework of a good book, "The Count of Monte Cristo" This is the ONLY book that I could not bring myself to finish. I even started it over from the beginning to try and like this junk.

107 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

His best since before he went to prison

I have enjoyed reading Jeffrey Archer for many years, even as a teenager before he was an MP and then sent to prison. His previous book (the Art one involving the 9/11 crashes) was merely so-so, and for a while his books have been merely enjoyable - but this one is FANTASTIC! a total return to form. If you have never read him, this really is a great place to start. Great characters, A long awaited justice served, high court drama, intrigue, villainy, and machinations. The characterization of Prisoners and their environemt is particularly vivid.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

5 Stars - Wonderful!

This is a great story that keeps you hooked from the beginning all the way to an exciting conclusion. I've been an Audible member for over a couple of years and normally don't take the time to write a review. However, this book was one of my favorites I have listened to over the past couple of years. I felt compelled to let anyone know that is searching for a great story -- I believe you will be very happy with this choice.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Read Dumas instead

At least the author freely admits lifting from Dumas. If you've read The Count of Monte Cristo, you've read the far superior version of this story. Don't bother.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Entertaining

I really enjoyed this book. It was a solid story throughout and kept you interested in the main protagonist, Danny Cartwright. I really enjoyed the narrator as well. His different accents and his fine characterizations kept the story interesting for this listener. It has also made me want to read/listen to the Count of Monte Cristo again, as this is what Sir Archer says he based his plot on.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun, Predictable Fluff

First of all, complaining that the book is too close to The Count of Monte Cristo is unfair. The book is meant to be a modern retelling of the same story. For those who missed it, he references that book and its author, Dumas, multiple times. He talks about the book in the interview at the end of the book. If you do not want to retread the Count of Monte Cristo, stay away. It probably should be mentioned in the publisher's description, but saying that the author is ripping off or stealing the plot is unfair. He is trying to say how that story might work today.

I enjoyed the book, but I was never surprised. I predicted all but half of one twist. However, that did not bother me. It's like a good summer movie. You know where it is going, so you just kick back and enjoy the ride.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

You people can't be serious.

What a bore. Unless you want to spend 10 chapters in a make believe English jail don't waste your time. I just feel that this would be a good short story. Revenge... who cares ... more importantly how to get revenge for this book.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Can't believe this book was so highly rated!!!


It was highly predictable, too good to be true nonsense. I'm sorry but it's typical of Archer's recent works.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Where's the editor?!?!?!?!?

This is a really good story, and it's pretty well written. But it's 4 times as long as it should be. A tightening up by an editor would have made this move like a thriller. Quelle dommage!

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

embarassing

It is difficult to believe Archer would gave the gall to compare this to Monte Cristo. This is a bad book.

15 people found this helpful