Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Sins of the Father by Jeffrey Archer

Whew ..................... Finished a full book at one go after many,many,many days. Thanks to the long weekend and undisturbed bliss at home without any chores or appointments, shopping etc.

Jeffrey Archer is as always a consummate story teller. The suspense of his stories are well guarded till the climax and builds up all along the story progresses . Before one realises what has happened, the twists and turns of the narrative takes the reader deep into the story and keeps him/her hooked to the thrill till the climax unfolds itself .

His new novel ,The Sins of the Father also follows the same style of a gripping tale taken along through the separate stories of the main characters, all interwoven into a plausible tale of courage, valour, and above all love in the backdrop of the second world war. True to his forte and knowledge of the inner secrets of prison life, English aristrocracy as well as the legal points, mainly constitutional law this, story is very well woven around the British and US society around the tumultous years between 1939-45. The hallmark of Archer, the integration of historical facts and the references to historical figures are there in the most clever manner . What he creates will neverbe a classic or will have great literary value but as a thrilling popular literature with the use of impeccable and very effective english words to enthrall the readers. They reflect the British life of the last century and the rapid change in it as much as Arthur Conan Doyle or Charles Dickens captured the previous one.

But , I have always been a Jeffrey Archer fan. I have read all his books published till date and will remain an ardent devotee of his style. Because of the simple fact that I myself aspire to write a book some day, i can't help wondering at the ease with which he creates the plots and integrate them in simple day to day situations, with the historical context always in mind.

So is it all a eulogy for my fav author? No. To put the review of the novel in the proper context, let me point out to some of the negatives of the book as I noticed

  1. The last 50 to 60 pages of the novel was not necessary though it is connected to the most important point of the main story .
  2. It looks like the last chapter is an after thought to give Archer vent to his knowledge of Constitution and Parliament. Remember, he was a member of the Parliament himself. By itself it throws a pertinent question and is eminently readable. But as a stand alone story.
  3. The tempo of the first few chapters seem to flag as the climax builds up and there is a tendency to take the reader for granted at some places of the penultimate chapter.
  4. The narrative is in spurts in the last chapter as it tries to encompass a lot of activities by different characters and happenings all around. This does not gel with the elaborate story telling and build up of the characters and situations earlier.
  5. The last sentence of the book really pissed me off. I did not expect such betrayl from my favourite author. Agreed, he has this knack of surprising everybody at the end with the twist in the tail . But why this neo realism at the end as the whole story itself is a yarn.


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