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4.5 out of 5 stars288
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 14 June 2012
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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on 1 February 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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on 17 December 2009
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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on 7 August 2011
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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on 7 July 2003
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 December 2011
I have come to admire Jeffrey Archer's story-telling abilities. As the Crow Flies is an uplifting story of Charlie Trumper's life and is the best kind of, what might be seen as, old-fashioned story-telling with an admirable central character who survives through the ups and downs of life to final success in the end. It's full of tragedy and triumph with twists and turns that keep the pages turning. Good and bad people are pitted against one another as if in Victorian melodrama.

The narrative starts during Charlie's adolescence, through army service in the First World War, to his rise in the business world. Throughout, the story is enriched by the details of his personal life. The book is divided into sections where the passage of his life is chronicled through his own voice and through those of his family, friends, business associates and enemies. Each section not only moves time on, but also gives a different perspective of the story as experienced by the different characters and at the same time helps the reader to imagine and empathize (or not) with them.

In addition to the rags to riches element of the story there's a cracking good mystery over the identity of Cathy's parents that leads the plot to and from Australia onto nail-biting scenes in lawyer's offices. Great stuff!
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on 6 May 2011
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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on 22 July 2010
Not one for writing reviews of books, but this one is something special. Having been introduced to the brilliant Prisoner of Birth, my first experience of Jeffrey Archer's writing, I had to get read more. I chose this based on the reviews and it did not disappoint. Hard to put down and the pages just fly by, interesting structure and gripping story line, definately gets a big thumbs up...enjoy!!
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on 31 January 2013
As the Crow Flies By Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer's own life story is as unusual and intriguing as any of the convoluted tales he weaves with such skill in his many best-selling novels. In 1974 when he was a Conservative MP in Britain he was the victim of an investment fraud and lost his fortune. He and his wife Mary had to sell their mansion and move to a small home.

Faced with imminent bankruptcy for many thousands of pounds, he turned in desperation to authorship. His very first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny less, was in instant hit. He was not yet 35. Today he is a multi-millionaire and although he is now in his 70s he is writing what may prove to be his most ambitious creation so far - a five volume work entitled The Clifton Chronicles.

Then came an event which led to him being publicly shamed, jailed for perjury and even banned from the Lords cricket ground -truly cruel and unusual punishment for a man so fervently devoted to the game of cricket.

Archer had sued the British newspaper The Daily Star for defamation for saying that he paid a prostitute for services rendered. He said he gave her money as an act of compassion, not or payment for passion. He won the case and the newspaper paid him 500 000 pounds.

Years later Archer was charged with lying about the affair with the prostitute and was sent to prison for four years--widely regarded as a sentence greatly disproportionate to the offence.

All this, of course, is public knowledge. But no so widely revealed is the fact that Archer repaid the Daily Star the 500 000 pounds plus legal costs and interest - a total of more than one million pounds.

Archer spent two years in jail, and, of course, he has written about that ordeal in his Prison Diaries. His skill as an author and his obvious flair for relating to people make his three volume diaries startlingly insightful to the criminal mind and to the way in which British prisons are run.

In As the Crow Flies, a novel of 789 pages (in its e-book form) Archer is in peak form, creating a veritable universe of characters and the dramatic events which shape their lives, loves and destinies.

His central character is Charlie Trumper, of Whitechapel in London's East End who inherits his grandfather's fruit and vegetable barrow, as well as his enterprising spirit, which gives Charlie the drive to lift himself out of poverty.

Success, however, does not come easily or quickly, particularly when World War I sends Charlie into combat in France. This gives Archer the chance to introduce the class conflict which still bedevils life in Britain - as testified by the fact that Andrew Mitchell has just had to resign as Tory Chief Whip for calling police officers "plebs" (which he denies doing).

Young Charlie catches one of his officers, Guy Trentham, in an act of cowardice and possibly murder. They become daggers drawn, and after the war, as Charlie's business flair and energy propel him up the ladder of success, he encounters Trentham again.

The blue-blood rotter -perhaps cad would be a more era-appropriate word--has his eyes on Becky, Charlie's beautiful and clever Jewish business associate and has his way with her before leaving for a three year stint in India.

Charlie marries Becky, now pregnant, and the plot thickens, as it always does when Archer is directing.

This is just the beginning of an entirely engrossing novel of remarkable depth and sweep as the action moves from Britain to Europe, to America and Australia, and across many decades until Charlie Trumper is a man in his seventies and he has succeeded in building what he calls the "biggest barrow in the world" in the heart of posh Chelsea. Meanwhile characters have been born and died, have lied and loved and cheated and achieved.

When I finally put down my Kindle as I reached the last page, I felt a tug at my heartstrings as though I was saying goodbye to well loved friends.

Jeffrey Archer is the supreme story teller and he writes with an insight and awareness which reveal him as a human being of warmth and deep understanding of the human condition. --Prospero

I salute him with my rating of five golden stars.
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on 27 May 2011
Smashing book with a huge time sweep from the start of the 20th Century until the late 60s with great twists. Having lost my paperback copy, I'm delighted to see this title now in Kindle so I can replace it that way.
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