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Kane & Abel Unknown Binding – 1996


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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 582 pages
  • Publisher: Reader's Digest Association (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00073ECCM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (340 customer reviews)

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Timbertwig VINE VOICE on 6 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
My reading list is comprised almost exclusively of fantasy fiction and Jeffrey Archer is one of the few non-fantasy novelists that I read. His novels are quite often predictable and rely heavily on coincidences. But without exception they are all unputdownable.
Kane and Abel was the first Archer novel I read. The plot about two men born on the same day in different parts of the world is a compelling one. Archer weaves an intricate and entertaining tale of revenge and hatred as he chronicles the seemingly unrelated lives of the two protagonists. When their paths eventually cross, readers are thrown into a world of double-dealings, backstabbing, and intrigue.
Archer excels in making the readers care deeply for both the title characters. He does not make one the hero and the other the villain. Both are determined, successful and strong but ultimately humans capable of making mistakes. The twist that Archer throws in so skilfully at the end makes for one of the most bittersweet conclusions I have ever read.
Very few people I know would admit to liking Jeffrey Archer the Politician. But I can almost guarantee that this book will make you a fan of Jeffrey Archer the Storyteller. Give him a try.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Darren Simons TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
This was the first Jeffrey Archer book I read and all I can say if you haven't read it is go and get it... it's superb! The basic theme of the book is about two characters, one of whom is called Kane, the other (believe it or not) Abel. The book describes their lives in parallel and the various stages in life in which they meet or affect eachother. The book cleverly alternates chapter between each of them as they grow up in completely different environments in Boston and Poland, to the point at which you can't help but wonder whether these two will ever meet. The characters are described fantastically and the way in which true historic events are included is also very well done.
There isn't as such an excitement crescendo to this book and there are perhaps pretentions that this should go down as a classic (which for me anyone it does), but the ending to the story is brilliant - a top effort from start to finish.
On a side note, there are two books that follow this one as well - The Prodigal Daughter and Shall We Tell The President. The former is an excellent book although perhaps too similar to Kane and Abel looking at the next generation of Kane and Abel. Shall We Tell The President continues from this but was apparently originally written with completely different characters - for me, it's a shame it was changed... the book's great but it gains nothing by including the Kanes again.
My recommendation would be definitely read the Prodigal Daughter (but not too soon after Kane and Abel) but as for Shall We Tell The President, see if you can get a copy of the original version.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 3 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
I must confess I entered into reading this with quite a sniffy attitude, which was quickly replaced by awe at such a well penned page turner. The plot itself, two men born at the same time with very different but intrinsically linked lifestyles, one materialistic and the other a survivor etc etc, makes for a somewhat cliched but excellent combination. The key to its success is how Archer manages to turn this into a rivotting storyline with clever twists and turns, fuelled by the hatred that the main characters have for each other when they both become rivals. You find yourself swept along with the fast pace and waiting for the good to trimuph over evil. If you've never given his books a try, I thoroughly recommend this for a good read.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "ginawina3" on 18 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best reads I have had in a long time. I felt unable to put it down until it was finished. When I finally did finish reading it I wanted to immediately get my hands on the sequal. It is a tale of two mens struggle to achieve their dreams and goals, spanning 60 years. It tells the tale of one boy born to unbelievable wealth and another boy born in the pits of poverty. Their lives and destinys entwine. It has you rooting for them one minute and then frustrated with them the next.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MG on 23 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a truly epic tale. I bought this before I was due to take a long haul return flight to try and pass those boring hours - I think on the return leg I wished the journey were even longer so I didn't have to tear myself away... From the very start I never wanted this book to end. I loved every second and only wish I had read it sooner (my foolish Jeffrey Archer snobbery getting in the way). I don't remember ever having been so involved with characters that I cried at the end of a book. Absolutely superb. Can't recommend it enough. If you're considering it... Read it!!! You'll be so pleased you did!

Just read this back; I should be on commission, shouldn't I!?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By karenf on 16 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I first read this 26 years ago and as a 15 year old i loved it so when i saw the 30th anniversary edition i thought it might be good to read it again as a 41 year old woman and it was so worth it. I enjoyed every page of it. Well worth a read again if you read it before and if you haven't then its a must for this summer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "markcheshunt2" on 9 July 2004
Format: Paperback
Like quite a lot of people, I didn't think that Jeffrey Archer was a nice person - indeed he was in prison. But after listening to my Nan rave about his last book, Sons of Fortune, I decided to read some of his books. A trip to my local library gave me some of his short story books, and after those I was hooked.
Kane and Abel was by far the best novel that I ever read and would recommend it to everybody. It reveals quite a lot about prejudices and what people think about each other, especially during the War years.
Jeffrey Archer, I apologise for everything that I have said about you in the privay of my own home. You truly are a great author - much better than a plotician anyway.
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