will's Reviews > Kane and Abel

Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer
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Dec 06, 2009

did not like it
Read in November, 2009

I read this book because my book club had picked it. Can that sound any more insulting? I think I'd read it before, when I was a lot younger. I know that it is on my mother's bookshelf, she was very excited when she heard that the book club had chosen it. Anyhoo, it is bad. And not in a way that "it is so bad it is good", it is just bad in a way that "pulling nostril hairs with a pair of pliers" is no fun at all.

You get the feeling that Mr. Archer came up with the title during an evening's drinking, came up with the plot after a couple more drinks, dictated the story when the bottle was finished. What makes it worse is that you get the feeling that his editor was there at the same drinking session, thus failing to correct the countless mistakes.

Forget the childish writing that an editor should pick up (really, soldiers take their clothes off and fold them neatly before raping a women?), nor the arrival of deus ex machina characters who have no life outside moving the story on (can anyone really explain what that woman was doing on the train outside a gulag?). No, it is the basic errors in the plot that tend to make you think the editor didn't really bother to read the thing.

Actually, this book annoyed me so much that I am typing this and getting angrier and angrier, remembering how bad it was. So I'll stop.
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06/09/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Donna (last edited Jan 06, 2011 06:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Donna I got this from a charity shop in my teens and must have read it about ten times. Have you read the sequel, "The Prodigal Daughter"? It's okay, but not quite so good I thought. Shame Jeffers is such a dick though.


message 2: by will (new) - rated it 1 star

will It's okay, but not quite so good

Hahahahahahahaha. Damned with (very) faint praise. Nope, I haven't read it.


Donna Well, I can't bear the guy which is why I made sure charity shops benefited from my purchase of those two books, not that @r$e**** ;-)


message 4: by Tag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tag Riggs How is it possible for one, you, to give a critique on a master word smith when it is obvious that you struggle putting even two sentences together?


message 5: by will (new) - rated it 1 star

will Tag wrote: "How is it possible for one, you, to give a critique on a master word smith when it is obvious that you struggle putting even two sentences together?"

Well, it's obviously "possible" because I managed to put two sentences together. Which, I might struggle to add, is more than you did. However, thank you for your input and your defense* of the "master word smith [sic]".

*please complain about the spelling, it makes this such fun.


message 6: by Tag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tag Riggs I'm sure I had the spell-check on. I will confess to having constructed a sentence. Let me assure you that it is within my ability to put two, even three sentences together. However, I cannot promise much beyond that.


David I couldn't agrre with you more. I aa amazed by all of the glowing reviews. As a writer, they tell you to show, not tell. Archer pretty much tells all of the time. Never really feel like you get to know any of the characters and the dialogue is unrealistic.


message 8: by Tag (last edited Aug 20, 2013 09:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tag Riggs Ok, the story line is perhaps a little implausible yet Archer was able to masterfully juxtaposed the biblical insinuations threaded throughout literature in the basest of instincts between brothers and the same continuity in a more modern setting. The character development of each man is genius in their environment and the sense of 'aloofness' they portray in order to maintain the present mores of their day is quite believable. The story itself is quite entertaining if you have a understanding of the banking industry and wall street.


Janice I agree with you will. This story is so predictable, and rife with cliché. Tag the "word smith," is it possible gor you to express an opinion without being rude and launching person attacks? Very few people will give credence to the utterances of a rude person.


Thomas dear janice , care to note that the review itself expect for two sentences,(where the author of this review explain mistakes in plot which I must confess I didn't notice.) Is a more or less personal attack at the author. All i can understand is this reviewer had a temper management issue and its none of his business to enquire wether the author was drunk. And I can only asssume you madam was oblivious to one attack and overreactive to another.
SHAME ON YOU


Harsh Rohan All the people with bad grammatical skills hate it. End of story


message 12: by Umasub (new)

Umasub Thank you; thank you and thank you!! Agree with you absolutely regarding the immature plot. thought I was the only one who did not like this book, since everyone I know absolutely loved it and gave it to me as an absolutely must read.


Pragya Gupta I loved this book so much that it hurts reading these comments. with some I do agree a bit, but most disagreements have no grounds.


Nikhil Damn it, bro.. Although I don't share the extreme detestation you have against the book/author, I completely agree with your review...

I picked up this book once again after leaving it incomplete once, before. And now I almost struck to a point (the valiance of Mr. Abel to join WWII) which makes me think of leaving it again... I have always wondered why this book is so highly rated. I can understand the bestselling status but simply not the raving reviews part. I was scrolling through reviews to find a like mind and came across this gem review of yours. Kudos to you… :)


Narendra I beg to differ. Instead I rate it one of the best novel I have ever read. Your one sided trashing seems to be inspired by the prejudices against the writer and certainly not on the merit of the book.


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