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As the Crow Flies [Paperback]

Jeffrey Archer
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 July 1997
Written by the author of Kane and Abel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, A Matter of Honour and the collection of short stories A Twist in the Tale, this novel follows the story of Charlie Trumper's rise from East End costermonger to department store magnate.

Product details

  • Paperback: 740 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; (Reissue) edition (21 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006478700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006478706
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11.6 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,348,279 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


'Monumentally gripping... a compulsive epic' MAIL ON SUNDAY --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Charlie Trumper's earliest memory is of hearing his grandfather's sales patter from behind his costermonger's barrow. When Grandpa Charlie dies, young Charlie wants nothing more than to follow in his footsteps - his burning ambition is to own a shop that will sell everything: 'The Biggest Barrow in the World'. Charlie's progress from the teeming streets of Whitechapel to the elegance of Chelsea Terrace is only a few miles as the crow flies. But in Jeffrey Archer's expert hands it becomes an epic journey through the triumphs and disasters of the century, as Charlie follows a thread of love, ambition and revenge to fulfil the dream his grandfather inspired. 'Monumentally gripping . . . a compulsive epic' Mail on Sunday --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
109 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine quality 1 Feb 2008
As The Crow Flies is a life-spanning yarn about an East End barrow boy called Charlie Trumper, following him from childhood to old age. Through life in the first world war, to the depression and on into fame and fortune. Trumper's tale is that of the rags to riches style in the extreme.

Considering that i'm not always a fan of Archer, this book was stunningly good. There's no way you'll be able to put this down from beginning to end. It's filled with twists, wit, hatred, joy and truly tragic moments that will make you want the book to go on for ever. Trumper is a fascinating character who comes across as an ambitious, enthusiastic and genuinely decent bloke.

I would recommend this to anyone, it does at times remind you of Kane and Abel but that should by no means put you off. Wonderful!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Archer classic 17 Dec 2009
By Mandy
I have recently read this book for the third time and each time I read it I am captured by the story immediately. It's unputdownable and I read it in a day on the latest sitting!

You wouldn't be blamed for thinking the storyline of an Eastend barrow boy going on to build the 'biggest barrow in the world' with a chain of shops couldn't be that interesting and exciting. However, as the book is full of the usual Archer twists and turns and you would be mistaken as in typical Archer fashion the story grabs your imagination and leaves you unable to stop reading.

As I said in the Kane and Abel review, the man truly is a master storyteller.

Why this has never been made into a mini-series like Kane and Abel was is beyond me!
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Kindle editing 7 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I first read this story when it was originally published. I had a hankering to read it again so purchased it for my Kindle. What a disappointment!

Whoever proof-read this needs their eyes examining and their language skills thoroughly checked - there are many instances of typographical errors, a distinct lack of correct paragraphing and several places where "cut and paste" have been used with abandon. It also appears that a predictive text program has been used as there are some very odd words popping up which bear no resemblance to the actual one required. These are the errors I have spotted having only read 35% of the book!

The story itself is very good, hence why I wanted to read it again but the very poor presentation of the Kindle edition is making this extremely hard work.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kane and Abel sort of book you can't put down 7 July 2003
By Darren Simons TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was one of those books that once I’d started I couldn’t put down (and no, there had not been any bizarre accident with the superglue again). Having read Kane and Abel which I thought was quite superb, I have to confess I was slightly nervous after reading the first few pages that Archer had simply tried to cash in on the Kane and Abel with this book; however, nothing could have been further from the truth
The novel is based around Charlie Trumper and his family during the course of the 20th century and his journey from Whitechapel Market to Chelsea Terrace. During this time he repeatedly experiences turmoil from his enemy, the Trentham family, a group of characters you can’t really help but absolutely hate. Some of the twists in the book were particularly unexpected but wonderfully written.
I particularly liked the way the original style in which the book was written… the book comprises a series of periods during the course of the book from the perspective of various major characters, each of which started with a first person narrative of what you had just read – it sounds a bit weird but works brilliantly
All in all, I can’t recommend this book enough. If you’re an Archer fan, then you’ll find this book superb, and if you’re not… why not?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Kindle Edition of a great book 14 Jun 2012
By Ian
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having not read this book for many years I downloaded the Kindle version recently. Whilst the story was as enjoyable as I remember the Kindle version is very poor indeed.

Errors include:
Many time individual sentences are completely missed out - comparison to my old paperback edition shows that on various occasions the bottom line from a page on the paperback version had been lost in translation to Kindle!

Duplicated paragraphs

Missing paragraphs - for example the paperback has newspaper articles, letters, etc which are printed in a different
format in the paperback to distinguish them within the text. Some of these are completely missing in the Kindle version.

This is a real shame as it really does spoil the reading experience. I was planning to download some more Archer stories, but am now having second thoughts in case they are of the same poor quality.

Please repair!!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best 6 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is just a great story. I would thoroughly recommend. Many people criticise Jeffrey Archer but on the whole I have enjoyed the vast majority of his books, preferring the ones based in England rather than the American based stories but I am not keen on American authors either. Maybe he is not the best author in the world but he can certainly tell a good story.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trumper-ific!!! 7 Nov 1998
By A Customer
I read ATCF in three days and even tried as hard as I could to prolong the pleasure in hopes of savoring it. I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! The story of Charlie Trumper and his rise to become one of the top merchants in post-war England is inspiring and a great glimpse into history as well. One truly cares about Charlie and his family and friends. It is a pleasure to share in his triumphs and set-backs and how he overcomes what diffucult circumstances. I do wish it did not have to end. It is epic, sweeping, engaging, magnificent- I could go on and on. This was my first Archer novel and certainly not my last- I look forward to returning to it again in the future once I get through that huge pile of to-be-reads from!
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