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Heads You Win

Narrated by: Richard Armitage
Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (827 ratings)
Regular price: $27.99
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Publisher's Summary

This program is read by acclaimed English actor Richard Armitage. 

Leningrad, Russia, 1968. 

From an early age, it is clear that Alexander Karpenko is destined to lead his countrymen. But when his father is assassinated by the KGB for defying the state, Alexander and his mother will have to escape Russia if they hope to survive. At the docks, they have an irreversible choice: board a container ship bound for America or one bound for Great Britain. Alexander leaves the choice to a toss of a coin....

In a single moment, a double twist decides Alexander’s future. During an epic tale, spanning two continents and 30 years, we follow Alexander through triumph and defeat as he sets out on parallel lives as Alex in New York and Sasha in London. As this unique story unfolds, both come to realize that to find their destiny, they must face the past they left behind as Alexander in Russia. 

With a final twist that will shock even his most ardent fans, this is international number one best seller Jeffrey Archer’s most ambitious and creative work since Kane and Abel.  

©2018 Jeffrey Archer (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

If you’ve read one, you’ve read them all?

I first checked that this was a stand-alone book (it is). Archer is a master at creating characters you care about, and I didn’t want to get stuck in the cliffhanger/incomplete novels as with the Clifton series. Archer didn’t do that here, but he did repeat his plots.

Start out poor, make it big. Evil villains against you, but you outsmart them. Great friends. Super marriage. Suicide. It’s all there.

The one difference with this book is a plot twist that is never really solved. I didn’t like the conclusion, but it has cured me from reading Archer. I feel like reading this book was a complete waste of time and
will not begin to consider ant future novels.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 11-15-18

The twists earn 5 stars

The final 20 minutes of HEADS YOU WIN consists of monster plot twists that I certainly did not see coming. I've read or listened to most of Jeffrey Archer's novels which are usually excellent as well as frustrating. This novel is more like the 3 novel Kane and Abel series than the 7 novel Clifton Chronicles. But in the final analysis it is the massive plot twists that make Heads You Win an exceptional novel. Much has been made in the reviews of the narration by Richard Armitage. It is outstanding, but it is no better than the narration by Alex Jennings of the Clifton Chronicles or Lorelei King of Kane and Abel or John Lee of As the Crow Flies.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Artificial story line; truly weak ending.

The story line never rings true. The characters are stiff and thinly developed. The ending is no surprise and truly unsatisfying. Very unlike Archer’s normally excellent works.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding narration elevates hokey, sudsy story

This is a Sliding Doors type story turning on a particular moment that yields 2 different timelines for a young man and his mother who escape Soviet Russia (thereafter in the book being either the Sasha or Alex timeline). Richard Armitage does his usual outstanding job on this book with both timelines. His narration will probably hold your interest for the entire 16 hours. All of his voices and accents are convincing. The story however is hokey drivel. Entirely reminiscent of TV dramas of the 1980's (think Dynasty, Dallas, Rich Man, Poor Man, etc.), but only if you think that the board meetings are the most interesting part of those stories. Company and share machinations are given FAR, FAR more narrative heft than nearly anything else. AND, JA's understanding of modern business seems to have been cribbed from Blake Carrington or JR Ewing, but with all the juice squeezed out. Characters talk at each other in dull business speak. Here's a direct and representative quote: 'They don't seem to understand the basic tenants of modern accountancy practice.' Hilariously, each timeline's main character is bedeviled by a different beautiful, scheming woman (think Joan Collins or Heather Locklear). The Sasha timeline involving British politics seems more credible, but it's really a slog with an excess of lecturing and pontificating. There are several soliloquies on art, art history and an amusingly outlandish art heist that even Ocean's 11 wouldn't have considered. Several chapters in, after I mentally equated listening to this book with binging a trashy, dated, yet well produced melodrama, I have to say I sort of enjoyed it, though I don't know it was meant to produce as much laughter as it did, I wouldn't have made it through without the delight of Richard Armitage's narration.

And last but not least, the so called 'TWIST' heralded in the book's synopsis, is NOT AT ALL A SURPRISE AND IS LOUDLY TELEGRAPHED FROM FIRST CHAPTER AND NEARLY EVERY CHAPTER AFTER THAT. Cheap, dumb, ham-handed, unsatisfying ending. Laughable!



14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Confusing

I’m a huge Jeffrey Archer fan and was so excited to find he had a new book out, but this book was entirely too confusing. The separate storylines would have been fine if the book hadn’t ended so abruptly. I found myself wondering if there were missing chapters because he never explained why there were two storylines that only hinted at coming together.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Confusing and depressing

I have been fan of Jeffrey Archer, but I should have known better after the depressing ending of the Clifton books. This book is a convoluted mess with both a confusing and depressing ending. Don't bother.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Mixed Bag

Could have been a great book except for the very confusing storyline that made me feel that I had to work too hard trying to follow the characters & story. The end was ridiculous. Thought I had fallen to sleep so I went back twice to listen to the ending, and still have no idea what happened. Felt like a Archer let the listeners down.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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History or Fiction?

Very spellbinding book that compared dual possibilities based on which crate an escaping immigrant was in. Sasha or Alexander both led intriguing lives. Vladimir Putin is evil incarnate looming over their eventual end.

The only disappointment with the recording is that when Sasha's plane crashed the narrator is saying It is Alexander.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another brilliant narration!

I chose this book for Richard Armitage’s performance and it did not disappoint. The story from Mr. Archer grabbed hold of me and didn’t let go until the last word. Mr. Armitage’s talent for giving the characters a distinct voice is unmatched as we have come to expect.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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What an end!!!

This audio book had me glued to my phone for 3 days. I still don’t get how there could be two real Karpenkos at the same time .....but that end had me laughing my head off. I really wasn’t expecting that. Did I want more? Yes! But what else can one expect from Mr. Archer.