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Only Time Will Tell (The Clifton Chronicles #1)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  48,751 Ratings  ·  4,133 Reviews
From the internationally bestselling author of "Kane and Abel" and "A Prisoner of Birth" comes "Only Time Will Tell," the first in an ambitious new series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph.
The epic tale of Harry Clifton's life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war." A
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Hardcover, Large Print, 627 pages
Published October 7th 2011 by Thorndike Press (first published May 12th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Tina
Sep 02, 2011 Tina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read Jeffrey Archer for years, and now I wonder why. This new series featuring Harry Clifton, son of a dockworker (or is he the son of an upper crust owner of a huge shipping line?), and his climb through the British public school system is going to be a delight if this first one of five is any indication. Make no mistake, this is not a Pulitzer, but it is good, solid storytelling, with bold characters, a world wide setting, and a story that has enough twists, turns, and sneaky heart-s ...more
RJ
Oct 09, 2011 RJ rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you read a book everyone else seems to loveLoveLOVE and then wonder if you bought the same book everyone else did because as far as you're concerned, it stank. For me, that would be this book.
The author goes to great lengths to convince us that yes, the Main Character is indeed a brilliant child/man with unseen depths and superb intellect. We must believe this because of the great lengths other characters go to ensure that the Main Character has the means to build on his future, and th
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Shruti
Aug 25, 2016 Shruti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic book. Not just in plot, but in nuance too. This was the first book I read by Jeffrey Archer, but I have every intention of reading many more after this one.

This book is set up so that each section is from one person's perspective. Harry, Maisie, Jack Tar, Hugo, Giles and Emma all get a section. (Harry gets the first and last section. Maisie gets an extra few pages in the prologue.) Sounds like a common set up, but here is where it gets really interesting: each section starts wi
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Dem
Aug 24, 2014 Dem rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only Time Will Tell (The Clifton Chronicles) by Jeffrey Archer was an enjoyable book.

I listened to this book and the narrator was really good and very well suited to the story.

I really enjoy family sagas and this was no exception with its well formed characters, a flowing and twisting tale and a little social history to keep the reader entertained.

This book reminded me a little of Downton Abbey and I think readers who enjoyed that series will really enjoy the clifton Chronicles.

I was a little di
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Jerry
Dec 27, 2011 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This saga is the first in what is to be at least a three-book set (quite possibly more) entitled the Clifton Chronicles, centered around the character Harry Clifton. Relatively plotless, the story was however so engaging it was difficult to put down, with the interesting technique of revealing the tale little by little from different character's points of view. We hear from Harry's mother Maisie, his best friend Giles, Gile's sister Emma, Gile's father Hugo, Harry's friend "Old Jack", and from H ...more
Wanda
May 10, 2012 Wanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is very frustrating to assign stars on GR. Seems to me that "It's ok" should be smack in the middle followed by "I liked it" and "I loved it." This book was OK. Average. Predictable but entertaining beach read or exercise, driving story. I listented to it and it made my 3 miles on the treadmill bearable and that is what I want in an audiobook. It was well written because Archer is incapable of writing poorly. My major beef is that we get to the end AND IT JUST STOPS. I realize that there are ...more
Lori
Jul 06, 2016 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. Archer did such a great job in setting up a solid story while creating memorable characters. So excited to get to the rest in this series... one benefit to waiting so long to start this series is not having to wait for the next book. Happy dance!
☮Karen
3.5 stars The ending was a cliffhanger which ticks me off.

I am always hesitant to start another series, but I've heard such great praise for The Clifton Chronicles, that when "Only Time Will Tell," the first in the series, was offered as a free ebook, I snatched it up. Plus the rest of the series is available from my library on OverDrive, so I definitely plan to continue on. With that cliffhanger, do I have a choice?

It's a wonderful cast of characters, reminiscent (IMO) of Peyton Place, and I ho
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Phrynne
I read this on my husband 's recommendation. He really enjoyed it and went on to read the next in the series. I liked it but not as much. I was not comfortable with the way the wedding was handled and thought the whole thing was melodramatic. I also found the way so many miscellaneous adults were working behind the scenes to make sure the young Harry achieved his destiny was unrealistic and overdone. On the other hand the book was well written, some of the characters we're very well done and I f ...more
Pamela
“Some people stand by you in your darkest hour, while others walk away; only a select few march toward you and become even closer friends.”

“Only Time Will Tell” – to say I enjoyed reading this first book in the Clifton Chronicles would be an understatement. Jeffrey Archer is a master storyteller: Clean, captivating writing; clever interwoven plot(s); and well-developed characters of great distinction. Whether loved or despised, I was fully entranced by, and invested in each character’s history,
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Anupriya
Jan 09, 2013 Anupriya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First, the good things about this book: It makes for a good read as it keeps you hooked throughout, with a cliff hanging suspense at the end of every chapter. I think I finished it in record time, considering I am a slow reader.

But seriously? It felt like I was reading a soap opera.

It was outright pushy and juvenile in its style of writing as the author tries so hard, rather too hard, to prove how the main character is exceptionally brilliant, a child prodigy and how the entire town of Bristol
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Wayne
Feb 22, 2016 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having retired two years ago, I took up reading, and have averaged one novel a week. The authors I enjoy include Vince Flynn, Lee Child, John Grisham, David Baldacci, Brad Thor, Daniel Silva, Nelson DeMille, Alex Berenson,Steve Martini, Joel Rosenberg, and Robert Ludlum. In December 2012, I read my first Jeffrey Archer novel and am now hooked. He is the best story teller I have read in the past two years. I loved Honor Among Thieves, Sons of Fortune, and Prisoner of Birth. However, his new trilo ...more
Dana

This book now has a spot in my top 100 reads of all time. Going into this I didn't think that I would like it. It was so different from what I usually read. However I am very glad that I went ahead and read this! I loved this book so much. It is so dear to my heart. I honestly have no complaints about this book. That may seem hard to believe but it's true.

Every character was well thought out and interesting. They each held their own in their chapters and I actually liked them all equally(apart f
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Bruno

Decidi ler este livro precisamente por não ter encontrado opiniões (infelizmente e injustamente pouco falado!) e além disto fui atraído pela luz da sinopse! E, qual o meu espanto,fui completamente engolido logo nas primeiras vagas do livro e fui ficando cada vez mais extasiado com os capítulos seguintes, querendo mais e mais, e ao mesmo tempo não querendo avançar depressa, só para estar por mais tempo com os personagens excepcionais.
Não quero resumir a história, caberá aos leitores de escavar a
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Dave
Jan 17, 2017 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jeffrey-archer
Reading this for the second time!... It is a very interesting tale of life with many reasonable twists and turns beginning with the main characters starting out around age 4 and moving through their lives. By the end of this book things can go many ways depending on what happens next. This book takes you across the entire gambit of hopes and dreams, excitements and disappointments , A bit of mystery and a lot of honor! I highly highly recommend this book and this series as it follows the lives o ...more
Matt
Mar 02, 2015 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Jeffrey Archer at his finest, beginning a heptalogy sure to entertain throughout. Harry Clifton comes from a poor family, where every benefit is earned and each hardship a hurdle. When he meets Giles Barrington he soon forges a life-long friendship, even if they come from different social circles. Clifton forges ahead to make a name for himself, while living under the shadow of never having met his father. While Clifton presumes Arthur Clifton died on the battlefields, the truth is known to a se ...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Typical masterful Archer and what's more-it's book one of a seven-book series! Clifton is our hero, a charming choir boy born on the wrong side of the tracks who wins a scholarship and attends a swanky British public school. Surprise: point-of-view change about, oh, 5 times, so one hears the same portions of the story but blanks are filled in as the story progresses (I really enjoyed this approach). He goes to oxford, the Grand Tour, joins the Navy, and then he's faced with a grave decision. BOO ...more
Weston Kincade
Jul 22, 2014 Weston Kincade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must say that much of this story reminded me of Great Expectations by Dickens; however, this was not because Archer writes in any way as lengthy and detailed as Dickens. Archer's story was quite detailed, painting the story in your mind so as to bring Harry and his friends to life. Even the villains are so human that their known lies are reasonable and make you second guess whether they might be such horrible people. But, the honorable Old Jack and other participants in Harry's life leave no d ...more
Maya Khan
I thought it was one of those books which you'd want to look in the eyes and say "seriously?" until I learned that it was a part of a trilogy, Archer is a great writer, I love his effortless flow, diction and that unique style. But I found none of those in this book. It was gripping nevertheless yet it lacked a smooth flow through the plot.

There were some instances which i felt were outright silly eg the one where old jack waits until harry's wedding day to reveal the truth and call off the wed
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Dale Harcombe
Apr 09, 2014 Dale Harcombe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This was my first Jeffrey Archer novel and I won it as a First Reads Giveaway. I enjoyed the story of Harry Clifton, his mother Maisie and the Barrington family. The story is told from several viewpoints from Harry Clifton, Maisie Clifton, Hugo Barrington (who is an utter mongrel), Harry’s friend Old Jack Tar, Giles and Emma Barrington (children of Hugo) before reverting back to Harry at the end. Telling the story from several points of view like this, means that at times the details overlap. Us ...more
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
11/2/15: Currently free on Audible when you purchase the kindle book which is still free!

Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Onl...

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Only-Time-Will-...

If you go to the Amazon page, you should be able to purchase the book and add audible narration at the same time.


10/31/15: Currently free on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005...
Lewis Weinstein
Archer has the great gift of being able to write very complex stories - with many characters, changing points of view, important historical background, and repeated surprises - and keep the whole thing under his total control. I felt complete confidence that Archer had command of the story at every stage, right up until the last of many shocking events, which of course sets the stage for the next book in this family saga. This is a fairly long book which I nevertheless read straight through on a ...more
Lawrence
Feb 09, 2015 Lawrence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-cd, library
This was a very good book and I'm excited about the next book of this series. If you like Jeffrey Archer, then you will like this book and series.
Venkatesh
Mar 18, 2016 Venkatesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the way author has narrated the story. It's different and interesting. I yet to other part of this series but I'm quite interested to know further.
Leanne Hunt
Contrary to expectation, I found this book disappointing. I was hoping for a fast-paced story with an intricate plot, and instead had to plough through the same events repeated several times over for three-quarters of the novel. Admittedly, the author's style is easy to read and his characters well-developed. Yet the overall impression was of going over the same ground again and again, like a detective searching for clues. Evidently it mattered hugely whether Harry was Hugo Barrington's son or n ...more
Brenda
Harry Clifton thought the world of his mother, Maisie – he knew she struggled as a single mother. His father had been killed in the Great War he had been told, and he and his mother lived together in a small house in Bristol with his Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Stan. His Uncle Stan worked down at the docks and Harry would wag school on a daily basis to go to the shipyard and watch the shipping and all the activities that went on there. He wanted to work there too when he was old enough.

But Maisi
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Chrissie
First of all, let me state clearly that two stars means I think this book is OK! Whether you should read it or not ought to depend upon your mood and what you are looking for. It is not poorly written and will satisfy those readers who love series, love adventure stories, love plot-oriented books and love solving a puzzle. What kind of a puzzle? You know in fact very early on who the central character's father is, but what keeps you reading is to discover how the author is going to weave togethe ...more
Laura
Sep 13, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
I'm a big fan of sweeping, multi-generational, decade-spanning novels. I love learning about the life and loves of a particular character and those people that mean the most to him. Jeffery Archer is one of the authors that made me love this genre. And he has certainly done it again with Only Time Will Tell.

Only Time Will Tell is the story of Harry Clifton. Clifton comes from a very modest home and humble beginnings. All along, people around him can tell that there's something special about
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Célia
Jeffrey Archer é um nome que ouço há muitos anos, tendo vários dos seus livros sido publicados ao longo dos anos pela Europa-América. Nunca calhou ter lido o que quer que fosse da sua autoria, mas agora que surgiu, pela Bertrand, uma série de novos livros, sobre os quais tenho visto opiniões interessantes, decidi experimentar.

So o Tempo Dirá é o primeiro da série Clifton, que de momento se prevê ficar com um total de sete. Conta-nos sobre a vida do inglês Harry Clifton, que nasceu nos anos 1920
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Debbie
Oct 18, 2014 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good. A new author to add to my list of favorites.

This book was really good. It wasn't at all what I expected, which is good. If I'd known it would be so good I surely would have read it sooner. Solid writing. Great storytelling. I am most definitely now a Jeffrey Archer fan.

The Clifton's and the Barrington's are two families from Bristol, England that couldn't be more different. Yet the families are connected eternally by two events, one tragic, one fleeting that forever shape a
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Jeffrey Howard Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare (born 15 April 1940) is an English author and former politician.

He was a Member of Parliament and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, and became a life peer in 1992. His political career, having suffered several controversies, ended after a conviction for perverting the course of justice and his subsequent imprisonment. He is married
...more
More about Jeffrey Archer...

Other Books in the Series

The Clifton Chronicles (7 books)
  • The Sins of the Father (The Clifton Chronicles, #2)
  • Best Kept Secret (The Clifton Chronicles, #3)
  • Be Careful What You Wish For (The Clifton Chronicles, #4)
  • Mightier Than the Sword (The Clifton Chronicles, #5)
  • Cometh the Hour (The Clifton Chronicles, #6)
  • This Was a Man (The Clifton Chronicles, #7)

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“Some people standby you in your darkest hour while others walk away; only a select few march towards you and become even closer friends.” 224 likes
“If you make a deal with a fool, don't be surprised when they act foolishly.” 60 likes
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