While I had a lot of other options in mind for A to I, J couldn't be anything else. When I moved from Sidney Sheldon to more "grown up" books, 'Kane And Abel' was one the books that I picked up. When one of the libraries near home was to be shut down, they put out all their books on sale. I got two bag fulls of books from there. Most of them were from John Grisham, Danielle Steel and Jeffery Archer. I had never read Jeffery Archer before, I just picked them up on an impulse. Since I was getting the original copies of the books for 50-70 bucks each, I picked up as many as I could. For some strange reason, I decided to start with the thickest book and that was 'Kane And Abel'. The story went on and on and on and took me with it. I sat for two days at a stretch and finished that book. Once done, I was so exhausted but immensely pleased. It was one of the best books that I've ever read and the story was flawless.
Following the lives of Kane and Abel was very interesting. Every word in the book was placed perfectly and not once did the long story move out of context or get boring. Just imagine reading a long saga of two men who share nothing else apart from the same date of birth, after reading a brisk thriller from Sheldon. It's not easy. There was something so instantly likeable about this book. Maybe it was the impeccable writing or the ease in story telling. There are two different journeys in the book and it intertwines beautifully in a different generation. I've read this book twice, and have loved it both the times. 'The Prodigal Daughter' is the sequel to this and is equally brilliant. After reading these two books back to back, I was a fan of Archer for life.
Just when I thought there couldn't be a better book than these, came 'Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less'. Apparently this was Archer's first novel and was said to have been inspired by his real-life experience of near-bankruptcy. This book was splendid! Almost heist like in nature, the plot was crafted very well. Every character had something to do and they all came together nicely. Since then I have read so many of his books and have loved all of it. 'Sons of Fortune' was almost like 'Kane And Abel' with the story following two men and their lives, but the concept was something else altogether. I can never forget the last line of that novel. So brilliantly twisted that I re-visit the book often just to read this line.
The only book of his that I had a problem with was 'As The Crow Flies'. Charlie and his push cart bored the shit outta me. I read three fourth of this book and there was nothing substantial in it. It hurt me a lot but I did leave the book unfinished. I haven't gone back to it till date. 'To Cut A Long Story Short' was a collection of fifteen short stories and most of them were good. Some of them were too long and predictable, very unlike Archer. His next collection of short stories was 'And Thereby Hangs A Tale' which was way too brilliant. This was a collection of fifteen stories too with one even being based in India and each one of them was better than the other.
Sadly, I haven't read any of his books recently. While 'Paths of Glory' lies untouched on my shelf, I'm yet to buy 'The Clifton Chronicles'. I've heard very good things about this series, but I have a few other pending series at home. Once I'm done with them, I'll pick this up for sure. After having gone back to mystery and contemporary fiction, I miss Archer's books. Maybe after I finish the current book I'm reading, I'll pick the one on my shelf.
Do you like Archer's books? Which one is your favorite?