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We all know that Archer is a master story teller. However, in this - the fourth in the Clifton Chronicle Series - one has the feeling that he is writing to a pre-ordained master plan and is manipulating plot development to create the outcome that he wants.And so, while there are pleasant twists and turns, this is not a novel that will be talked about in the future as a noteworthy example of the "saga" genre. It is not in the same class as, say, Ken Follett's Century Trilogy.But don't mistake my assessment as intending to dissuade you from listening to the book. It's a great tale, written by an author whose skill is top tier, and will entertain you. It won't - nor is it intended to I think - tax you though. You'll be able to listen to it, and stop listening when it's time to go to bed. In other words, it won't keep you up all night as a compelling must read!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Wonderful production values throughout. Gripping plot ... impossible not to be drawn in. Alex Jennings narration is brilliant with an astonishing range of voices and accents.
This is the third part of the the author's Clifton Chronicles. I advise listening to the two earlier parts first as you'll get more from this book knowing the backs-stories of the characters. There are a few allusions to events in the previous books but I don't think I would have understood the significance if I hadn't listened to them, though it did take me a few chapters to get into the swing of things as it's been a while since the last book was published.
Jeffrey Archer certainly knows how to write a gripping story as I couldn't stop listening to this good old-fashioned tale of bad versus good people. Set in the late 50s and early 60s it evokes the era as real people are intermingled with the fictional characters. The upper classes and working-class men who have made good are portrayed as the heroes and the baddies are criminals from Argentina or ex-Nazis. Bankers are portrayed as exemplars of probity: ah, those were the days! It reminded me of John Buchan's style of daring-do with fine up-right British men pitted against wicked foreigners.
The author's experience gives realism to how government was run and the political figures of the day. There are lots of factual details about life in those times that add pleasure, especially for those of us who remember those days. However, the main thing is that this is a great story with many cliff-hanger moments as the two sides battle for supremacy. I guess that it will have a sequel: I can't wait.
Alex Jennings is one of my favourite actors and he's a terrific narrator with a vocal range that includes foreign and regional accents, different genders and ages so that I felt I was listening to the characters as the story unfolded.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
I have been really drawn into this series, but I find that I have to take constant breaks from listening - not because I am bored - but because Jeffrey Archer has so many cliff hangers, and one can see the disasters unfolding. I tend to start feeling uncomfortable as there is so much hatred and spite shown in the stories.
Once again - he has left us hanging on a thread - waiting for the next instalment which will no doubt be in another years time.
To sum up, I have found this to be riveting listening, and the story is gripping with its twists and turns, BUT I find myself getting quite stressed as the story unfolds. Thank god there will only be one more!! (unless there is something I don't know about!)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Another fantastic book in this series. It is amazing how each book draws you into the next and propels you through. Such a captivating narrative. Unlike the earlier books however, this is lacking the female narrator, which is somewhat disappointing, if only because it provides variation in tone.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What a good storyteller Mr Archer is. All the elements which make him a great writer are here in this gripping yarn and so well read by Alex Jennings who does a Stirling job with the many and varied accent. I can't wait for the next instalment