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A Prisoner of Birth Paperback – Unabridged, 17 Oct 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprints edition (17 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033046406X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330464062
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (717 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 200,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeffrey Archer's writing career has spanned over 30 years. His first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, was an immediate bestseller in 1975. He went on to publish a string of international market-leading bestsellers including Kane & Abel, A Matter of Honour, First Among Equals and most recently A Prisoner of Birth and Paths of Glory, both of which were number one bestsellers in the UK, Australia, Canada and India. His volumes of short stories, such at Quiver Full of Arrows, Twelve Red Herrings and Cat O'Nine Tales have made him arguably the bestselling short story writer in the English language. Now published in 97 countries and more than 33 languages, Jeffrey Archer remains firmly established as one of the biggest authors of his generation with continuing global international sales surpassing 135 million copies. He is married with two children and lives in London and Granchester.

Product Description

Review

'My Perfect Sunday'
-- Sunday Telegraph

'This milieu suits him perfectly . . . The British John Grisham.' -- John Dugdale, The Sunday Times

Review

'This milieu suits him perfectly . . . The British John Grisham.'

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

168 of 170 people found the following review helpful By Femmielala on 13 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm a huge fan of Jeffrey Archer. You can say what you like about the perjuring old Tory...he writes a damn good novel!

East End mechanic Danny Cartwright proposes to his girlfriend Beth and they go to a pub in Chelsea to celebrate with Beth's brother Bernie. The night takes a sinister turn when a group of braying upper class young men start insulting the three revellers. Events culminate in Bernie being stabbed to death in the pub alleyway and Danny being wrongly charged with his murder.

At the ensuing trial, the four witnesses for the prosecution are a barrister, an aristocrat, a partner in an established firm and a popular actor. Danny doesn't stand a chance and is sentenced to 22 years in prison. Incarcerated in the highest security prison in the Country, he sets out on a quest for justice and revenge.

This is another epic from Archer. The courtroom scenes and descriptions of life in Belmarsh are detailed yet fascinating. Well, he is rather an expert! This is like three books in one. First you get a more refined, Grisham-esque court drama, then you get the Public-school take on Prison Break, then a brilliantly executed plan of revenge. Archer's mind is astounding.

My only criticism is the slightly high-handed treatment of the working class. I work in the east end described in the book, and I'm not sure that east enders talk the way they do in Prisoner of Birth. It's all cockles and mussels and cor blimey guvnors, which is a little wobbly. However, that aside, this is a hugely entertaining novel and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it to anyone.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. A. Sharland on 8 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Had this book recommended to me and to be honest turned my nose up at it as didn't think that I would ever enjoy a Jeffrey Archer novel. When I had nothing left to read, I decided to give it a go and was gripped from start to finish. A fantastic story, with a brilliant ending. Really enjoyed it and would put in the top 5 of books I have read.
Have just bought As The Crow Flies by the same author and is also a great story.
Highly recommended.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Ichabod J VINE VOICE on 31 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
You can't go far wrong in terms of plot if you update a classic, and here Archer gives us a modern version of Dumas' tale. Decent man is falsely accused and convicted of heinous crime, betters himself in prison and goes on to seek revenge on those who had him imprisoned.
This is a pretty good page turner which should be enjoyed for what it is; yes, the characters are all stereotypes and Archer has introduced some improbable elements to his version of the classic tale, but overall it's a good yarn. The court scenes in particular are well done and provide the most focussed and enjoyable scenes in the book.
There's no point being sniffy about Archer's work - if you're after serious literary fiction, look elsewhere. But if you enjoy a bit of reading for pleasure, this is a decent bit of light entertainment and there's nothing wrong with that.
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109 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth S on 8 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I can not remember the last time I picked up a book by any author and literally couldn't put it down until I had read the last page. Such was my night last night when I began to read a copy of Jeffrey Archer's new novel 'A Prisoner of Birth' in the evening. I was hooked into the story and fate of Danny Cartwright from the first chapter and absolutely stunned by the last. I found the pace of 'A Prisoner of Birth' unstoppable and the twist and turns not only gripping but incredibly interesting and informative. I did not find any part of the book to be improbable -or at least no more so than the hidden treasure in the great Dumas classic, 'The Count of Monte Cristo' which 'A Prisoner of Birth' revives. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to read a novel that not only gives insight into prison life, but the thrilling sophistication in which revenge today can be carried out. I now look forward to catching up on the past books of Jeffrey Archer - although I not looking forward to the sleepless nights that no doubt will follow.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Fintan Mcmahon on 27 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is Jeffrey Archer back where he belongs - on top. From the first couple of pages the pace rarely flags. The twists and turns are excellent. The worst thing about this book is it's length!! It's too long and too short all at once.

It will keep you up at night well past your sleeping time and you will want to get back to it first thing the next morning. But beware it leaves a big hole when you are finished. Be sure to have another book to hand because you will still want to read.

Can't wait for his next book.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Helen Simpson VINE VOICE on 23 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Some reviews have compared it to 'Kane and Abel', one of his first novels - however although I have read a few of Archer's other books, I've not read that particular one so couldn't compare it. I just enjoyed the book for what it was - a well told story that maybe could be argued was slightly far-fetched at times...but it wasn't far-fetched enough to make me want to put it down.

The characters are either 'goodies' who are loyal, honest and likable or 'baddies' (I almost wanted to boo when they made an appearance!) who are cheats and liars. A plot that is cleverly thought out and forces you to "just read one more page" until you realise you've read another 30!
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