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Only Time Will Tell (The Clifton Chronicles) Paperback – 15 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (15 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330517988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330517980
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,380 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for "Only Time Will Tell""I was utterly hooked. It was an absurdly enjoyable read."---Anthony Horowitz, "Daily Telegraph" (London)Praise for Jeffrey Archer"A dynamite commercial novel...Archer brings it off with panache."---"The Washington Post" on "A Prisoner of Birth""A compelling read...The pace never flags."---"Newsday" (New York) on "A Prisoner of Birth""One of the top ten storytellers in the world."---"Los Angeles Times""Archer is a master entertainer."---"Time" magazine"A storyteller in the class of Alexandre Dumas."---"The Washington Post" on "A Twist in the Tale""There isn't a better storyteller alive."---Larry King""Kane and Abel"...that classic of modern literature."---"The Times" (London)

Book Description

The number one bestselling first book in The Clifton Chronicles, a multi-generational family saga

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

383 of 400 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Simpson-long TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have only read one Jeffrey Archer and that was Not a Penny Less, Not a Penny More, the book which restored him to financial security after his bankruptcy and have to say that I was distinctly underwhelmed. I read some of his short stories some years later which I remember being impressed with but since then nothing. So when this dropped through my letter box I really did not know what to expect.

Well, I loved it. I have heard all the rumours that seven editors or more sit down with seven pens and rewrite Archer's books and was never sure if this was true or not, or just one of those apocryphal stories that do the rounds, but I did rather sheer away from his output because of this. Read this through in one sitting and if ever the phrase a 'page-turner' was the right description, then it certainly is applicable here.

Harry Clifton is the son of a docker who had died in mysterious circumstances, and his mother is struggling to bring him up in dire poverty. Harry is fascinated by the docks, plays truant from school and doesn't seem to have much going for him. But he is the possessor of a beautiful, treble voice and this leads him to a choral scholarship at a posh school where he meets and befriends two companions who are going to influence his future life. One of these is Giles Barrington, son of a wealthy businessman and owner of the docks where Harry's father died. As soon as we meet Hugo Barrington and see his reaction to Harry, we are left in no doubt as to the possibilities for intrigue and underhand machinations ahead of us. And so it proves.
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149 of 161 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 13 Dec. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
An absolute cracking read which is what I have come to expect from Jeffrey Archer's novels. However, I have one major criticism, and that is that I wished I would have been made aware from the beginning that this book was going to be part of what appears to be a 'Tribology'. Had I known this, I would not have been put in a rather bad mood by what appeared to be an open (and most unusual) ending. I will now have to wait at J.Archer's convenience before he gets around to publishing part 2 & 3 (which hopefully will be available in Kindle format).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JKM on 20 July 2014
Format: Paperback
The first Jeffrey Archer novel I've read and I have to say I really enjoyed it.

Set between World War 1 and 2, the book tells the tale of the early life of Harry Clifton. The son of a dock worker who dies in mysterious circumstances, with a thirst for knowledge and blessed with a good choral voice, Harry finds himself through scholarships mixing with the upper classes and in particular with the Barrington family who were his fathers employers.

The story unfolds by relating events from the point of view of the main characters involved, so each character's viewpoint reveals a little more insight into the events. This is the clever part of the writing, which kept me interested into how things would turn out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
Jeffrey Archer's standard plot seems to be young man/or woman of meager means battles his/her way up the social and economic ladder against all odds. ONLY TIME WILL TELL is the first of three novels in the Clifton Chronicles and details the life of Harry Clifton, son of a now deceased stevedore father and an up -by-the-bootstraps hardworking mother who will do anything to assure her son's opportunity for a golden future.

Beginning in the years following WWI and relayed with all the requisite Archer melodrama, Harry's story is told in the first person by several different narrators forcing the reader to cover the same ground again and again as it is retold from each narrator's point of view. (This fills pages but does very little to move the story along). The cast, too, is definitive Archer with the stalwart young Harry being guided by an eccentric loner named Jack Tar who lives in a well furnished railroad car, befriended by the scion of the wealthy Barrington family, aided by a bevy of well-meaning "teachers", falling in love with the wrong girl, learning the deep dark secrets of his life and finally running off to sea.

There are no real surprises here. All the good folks are self-sacrificing and noble and the villains practically have venom dripping from their teeth and possess not one redeeming quality. Yet with nothing new in his bag of tricks Archer still managed to keep me reading right up to the end ...... which is in truth just the cliffhanger that will begin part two in Harry Clifton's century of adventure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nicky72 on 25 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This lavish storyline draws you in from page one. Descriptive, likeable characters pull at your heart strings. This book has everything, love, excitement, danger, family, lies, all woven into a saga set against the backdrop of impending war. I could not wait to start part 2 !
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Daffodil on 27 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
Jeffrey Archer writes in such a fluid way that his books are among the most relaxing and enjoyable to read. Only Time will Tell seems like quite a gentle tale so it is almost surprising that it is impossible to put down and you long for your next quiet moment that you can settle down to a peaceful bit of indulgent reading (not easy with toddlers constantly under your feet!). I now have 20 or so pages left and the excitement of the story has definitely lifted, but above all else I'm just so sad that I've read this book the minute it was published and will therefore have to wait, presumably for a significant amount of time, until the next instalment is printed. Because of the gentle start to the story and the detailed shaping of the main characters, it is very apparent throughout the story that this is the first of a trilogy and that the story is going to build into something far more dramatic as the characters reach adulthood so I am greatly anticipating the future "Clifton Chronicles". Please let them be printed soon!
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