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A Twist in the Tale

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  11,386 ratings  ·  346 reviews
No one can weave a web of suspense, deliver a jolt of surprise, or teach a lesson in living like bestselling author Jeffrey Archer. From Africa to the Middle East, and from London to Beijing, Archer takes us to places we've never seen and introduces us to people we'll never forget.

Meet the philandering husband who thinks he's committed the perfect murder; the self-assured
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1988)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  11,386 ratings  ·  346 reviews

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Nandakishore Varma
It's called the O'Henry twist - where the whole complexion of the story changes in the last paragraph, maybe in the last sentence. It was invented by O'Henry, and most probably the most well-known example is The Gift of the Magi. I don't think there would many readers here who is not familiar with that iconic story.

Even in the hands of a consummate storyteller such as O'Henry, the device starts to pall after a time - because all said and done, it's a gimmick. So mainstream short-stories are gene
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m a big fan of Archer’s short story collections. They are perfect for when you are very busy and don’t have much reading time. I find it hard to read a book and get a lot out of it if it takes me a month to read 400 pages or such. So, this has been the perfect answer for me this year during my busy times. I can finish one story in a night or 2 (if it’s a long one) and there isn’t too much going on I have to try to remember. But the stories still feel complete and not like an afterthought.
Twelve more short stories by this great storyteller with a wide array of different endings, but all essentially twists. Most centred around mystery, thriller and/or contemporary fiction genres. 6 out of 12.
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
BLAH. There is no twist and no tale for that matter - atleast none worth the mettle... All the while reading it I had a sense of deja-vu and not because I had read this earlier, but because the stories were so predictable. Couldnt wait to finish this book - and I dont mean it in a good way.

For people who are just starting to read books this would suit their liking, but not for seasoned readers or lovers of writing.
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: archer, short-stories
Archer says that ten of the dozen stories in this volume are based on true incidents. The tales are quite ordinary, but each has the promised "twist" in the end. Like everything Archer writes, I give the book 4 stars because I can't stop reading whatever he writes. These are the 12 stort stories contained in this volume:

SPOILERS Ahead. Consider yourself warned!!

1. A Perfect Murder is the story about a man who has committed the perfect murder. Not only does he stand by seeing another man bein
Sep 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller-crime
Review to follow
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dear Booklovers,

I was just 11 years old when this book was published in 1988. That was more than 25 years ago and Jeffrey Archer was 48 years old.

A Twist in the Tale is a collection of 12 short stories with a twist in the end for each story.

Jeffrey Archer stated in the book that ten of the short stories are based on known incidents plus some embellishment and only two of the stories are a result of his own imagination.

While this book is not his best work I still loved reading each story.
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jeffrey Archer is frequently inspired to write short stories based on actual events. He is kind enough to * those titles in the table of contents. Since most of the books I read are E-Books, my curiosity prompts me to easily Google the situations, the tales and the characters in order to learn --as Paul Harvey famously put it -- "The rest of the story".

Archer is a master of 'the twist' ending...without exception, my response after having read each of .his short stories is "I never saw THAT comin
Feb 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Two stories stand out - the last, and most poignant, a detailed letter written by a loving son to his rabbi father, describing how he first met and fell in love with his Gentile wife, which manages to catalogue the important landmarks of his life; and a story about a female picking up a man at a pub that is nothing like it seems. The others seem a little forced, especially the Golf Club one, and even the first in the book, about the 'perfect murder'. By the end I'd lost interest in whether he co ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Refreshingly twisted.
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Aptly named, A Twist in the Tale, keeps you glued to your seat all the while you flutter through the pages, and at the very end it will throw you off the track. The end had some major twists added to each story, I had to re-read some of them just to be sure if what I read was correct.

The perfect murder, The wine taster, Just good friends , The steal and The loophole all of these stories had such twist at the very end, Archer sure knows how to keep the reader interested.

There were a few short sto
Abubakar Mehdi
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book about 4 years ago, and I wasn't very impressed by a story or two that i read then. Now, luckily I decided to give it another chance. It is an example of good story telling ability of Archer. He is a master. I loved some stories, the plot and especially the awesome endings. These are just the kind of stuff I look for in a short story book. I loved the stories and they kept me amused during the long hours of boredom that I normally experience while traveling to and from my univers ...more
Lanre Ogundimu
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jeffery Archer is a master story teller. The book, A Twist in the Tale, indeed confirms this. Of the twelve stories in the collection, my favorite is "Clean Sweep Ignatius", which tells the tale of the Nigerian finance minister who wanted to test the avowed code of privacy of a Swiss bank before stashing nearly $5 million in cash he embezzled from his country in the bank. ...more
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, stories, beloved
2005 Jan 01

Archer is apparently somewhat gullible, and when told a story that happened to a friend of a friend (FOAF) he believes that it is in fact true. But, he does a good job of making urban legends into real stories, so I won't dog him to bad for that.
Asha Seth
Sep 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: shortstories, 2013
A fine collection of short stories.
Review to follow.
Akemi G.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this collection and some other short stories (I think it was A Quiver Full of Arrows) by this author many years ago, and I remember I enjoyed them. Then he got unpopular because of the scandal. I'd love to reread them to see how I feel now. ...more
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Most of the plots were cliched and predictable. Though this book is suggested under mystery genre, I did not find any suspense or mystery in any of the stories. Most of them I felt like the narration of plain incidents.
Linda Rowland
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My first Jeffrey Archer. Will read more.
Dimithri Jayasuriya
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Was not expecting short stories, but it was good, didn't like the "steal" but the rest had a good twist. ...more
Greta Halliday
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Downloaded in error as thought it was a stand alone book and not a series of short stories. However i really enjoyed these, all brilliantly written as usual by this amazing author.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's an amazing collection of stories. Each one of them, as the title describes, has a twist in it. Overall, it's so much fun to read! ...more
Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2016-read
Archer writes wonderful short stories and this book is no exception. Each of these stories has a little twist that makes the story a little more (or less) than it first appeared. I will admit that there were a couple of stories where the twist eluded me.

The standout story, which is worth reading the book for, was called The Steal about a British school master and mistress who save up for a vacation every year and make a point to come away with some piece of treasure. They decide to go to Turkey
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was bored and I needed something interesting with twisted plots to read, so I pick this one up. I first read 'Kane and Abel' by Jeffrey Archer when I was 13 or so. And at that time, I thought 'Kane and Abel' was the coolest book I had ever read. But now looking back, I don't think so anymore. If I had read this book back then, I would have thought the same 'Wow this book is cool', but no, this book is below average. It should also be noted that this book was written in 1988, and so much has ch ...more
Ismaa Khan
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
This book is a collection of short stories and is a light read. Archer does manage to keep the reader’s attention and while all the tales are engrossing and interesting some of them are a bit predictable. This remark should not be taken as a deterrent as the book is a very good collection of stories.

Archer is a master story teller as is evident from his many novels and he does spin a good tale. This book is handy to have around when if you are not in the mood for a long drawn novel yet want to
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
A really good collection of short stories. Not every story has a twist in the tale, but every story is gripping and moving. I liked them all in general, and Clean Sweep Ignatius, The Steal, and The Wine Taster, in particular. I enjoyed his style of writing. It is my first Jeffrey Archer, and I'm looking forward to reading more books by him. ...more
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
hard to put a value on something so intricately unusual.

this was my first contact with archer's work and i am sold on it. jeffrey archer is a master story teller.

a collection of short stories, each one with a twist at the very end, that turns the whole plot around.

such a fun and sharp read. one of my all-time favorite short story books.
Taffey Champion
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I actually loved this book. The twists in the tales were mostly surprising, and I only figured out a couple of twists before I finished the tales. I think it was witty and intriguing, with gripping suspense at times.
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just got this out and realized that I'd read it before, so I decided to add it to my list. Archer has a knack for short stories with just that twist......not unlike DuMaupassant. A great book to keep in a bag and make waiting time go fast.
Ben Lovegrove
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this when I was about 10 after getting it free in a packet of cornflakes. It begins with the intriguing premise that all of the stories are true except one or two, and the reader has to guess which ones.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As usual. One of the best story writers out there.

My personal favorites - Colonel Bullfrog and Christina Rosenthal

My other favorites, in the order of the index -
The Perfect Murder
A La Carte
Just Good Friends
A Chapter of Accidents
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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

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