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A Prisoner of Birth [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Jeffrey Archer , Roger Allam
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)

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Book Description

13 Mar 2012
Danny Cartwright and Spencer Craig were born on different sides of the track. Danny, an East End Cockney, leaves Clement Attlee Comprehensive School at the age of 15 to take up a job at a local garage. He falls in love with Beth, the boss’s daughter, and asks her to marry him. Spencer Craig resides in the West End. A graduate of an English public school and Cambridge University. After leaving university he becomes a criminal barrister and is soon tipped to be the youngest Queen’s Counsel of his generation. Danny and Beth travel up to the West End to celebrate their engagement. They end the evening in a wine bar where Spencer Craig is also celebrating - his 30th birthday, along with a select group of university chums. Although the two young men don’t meet, their lives will never be the same again. For, an hour later, one of them is arrested for murder, while the other ends up as the Prosecution’s chief witness in an Old Bailey trial.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: MacMillan Audio; Abridged edition (13 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427217521
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427217523
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 13.4 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 564,247 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


'My Perfect Sunday'
-- Sunday Telegraph

'This milieu suits him perfectly . . . The British John Grisham.' -- John Dugdale, The Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'This milieu suits him perfectly . . . The British John Grisham.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another classic from Archer 13 July 2009
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to his best 8 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jeffrey Archer draws on all his prison experience to paint a detailed picture of the life of a prisoner, convicted of a murder he did not commit, who sets out to get his revenge on the unlikely conspirators who got him locked away for life. The plot is dependent on a remarkable degree of good fortune (like sharing a prison cell with someone who just happens to be his spitting image and also heir to a title and massive fortune), and also on an acknowledged similarity to Alexandre Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo". A legal adviser could have been usefully employed to help represent Court scenes more accurately. Having said that no one is better qualified to take an improbable story and make it convincing in a Court setting than Jeffrey Archer.
Despite its flaws, this book is a real page-turner about justice and revenge by an expert story teller on his best form. It is a thriller with lots of twists, turns and sub-plots. I metaphorically burnt through this book before passing it on to someone else. The short chapters make it ideal to advance through the action at every spare moment, and once you have got started that is what you are likely to be doing.
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102 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleepless Nights 8 Mar 2008
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read. 8 Feb 2010
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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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Count of Monte Cristo' updated 31 Mar 2008
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story teller
I was hooked on this book from the very first pages. The story line was engaging and the attention to detail first class .Another winner from the pen of Jeffrey Archer
Published 9 days ago by jazzyjan
5.0 out of 5 stars Linda ,"b"
Very enjoyable and kept me wanting to turn the page. I would recommend this book to anyone who just wants a fairly easy read, whilst at the same time keeping one intrigued as to... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Unknown
4.0 out of 5 stars more of the same but a good read
All his books are very similar and predictable. Even so they are all good reads. He knows how to write to hold the reader. TYHere is one exception to this comment. Read more
Published 15 days ago by H. D. Harvey-kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Prisoner of birthday
Very good cleverley written certainlly

a page turner look forward to my next choice of an archer book I enjoy themprisn
Published 16 days ago by beryl j stubbs
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspend disbelief!
In spite of the improbable plot and the many ridiculous coincidences I enjoyed this book. Mr Archer always has the skill to draw the reader in no matter how much your brain is... Read more
Published 21 days ago by T Joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read!
I couldn't put it down! Jeffrey Archer at his best. Reminiscent of "Not A Penny More Not a Penny Less!"
Published 1 month ago by Helen Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Jeffrey Archer is superb hard to put down very compelling reading a great story from a very good author absorbing
Published 1 month ago by John Graham Rollinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner!
Like all Jeffrey Archer's books I couldn't put it down. Hadn't read any of his for a while and loved it.
Published 1 month ago by Mark Dougan
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant, could not put it down.
This is the best book I have read in a long time. I loved the characters and the great twists in the story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Emma McGowan
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating
Me? A woman with not a lot of time to read. However, I started to flick through the pages of Prisoner of Birth and found that I just could not put it down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Terasa Teagle
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