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To Cut a Long Story Short Paperback – 4 Jun 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 331 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reprint edition (4 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250029457
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250029454
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.3 x 19.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,678,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Fraud, deceit, deception, lying, bankruptcy, infidelity: these are the recurrent themes that concern Jeffrey Archer in his fourth collection of short stories, To Cut a Long Story Short. Of the 14 stories gathered here, nine are asterisked as being "based on true incidents" but the whole collection is remarkable for the extent to which Archer's own chequered career finds echoes in his fiction. In "Crime Pays", Kenny Merchant--"that wasn't his real name, but then, little was real about Kenny" finds an ingenious loophole in the Data Protection Act to make a financial killing, while in "The Letter" a wife enjoys reading a kinky love letter from her lover (a well-known novelist) in front of her husband. Her lover recalls making love in "the loo at the Caprice" and fantasises about "being tied to a four-poster bed, with you standing over me in a police sergeant's uniform".

In one of the few stories that does not involve people conning one another, "The Grass is Greener", the moral of the story appears to be that the head of an international bank experiences more pain and personal turmoil than Bill the beggar who sits on the street outside. In "A Change of Heart", a racist white South African devotes himself to doing good for the black community after receiving a black man's heart following a near-fatal car accident. Archer's fans will undoubtedly enjoy this collection but other readers may find its relish for duplicity rather dubious or at best find its sentimental morality rather cloying. --Guy Smit --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for international bestselling author""

JEFFREY ARCHER

"One of the top ten storytellers in the world." --"Los Angeles Times"

"There isn't a better storyteller alive." --Larry King

"Archer plots with skill, and keeps you turning the pages." --"The Boston Globe"

"Cunning plots, silken style.... Archer plays a cat-and-mouse game with the reader." --"The New York Times"

"Archer is a master entertainer." --"Time"

"A storyteller in the class of Alexandre Dumas...unsurpassed skill." --"Washington Post"

And his novels and short story collections

THE SINS OF THE FATHER

"Will keep your blood pressure high and you'll risk back injury just from being kept on the edge of your seat...I guarantee that anyone who takes this book from the shelves will not be able to put it down."--"The Spectator" (UK)

"[Archer] is a master of fiction...Jeffrey Archer has the strange gift denied to many who think themselves more serious novelists. He can tell a story, and he does so with such conviction, such appealing naivety, that you suspend disbelief, and read happily on."-- "The Scotsman" (UK)

"Archer can plot a story. "--"Kirkus Reviews"

Will keep your blood pressure high and you'll risk back injury just from being kept on the edge of your seat...I guarantee that anyone who takes this book from the shelves will not be able to put it down. "The Spectator (UK) on The Sins of the Father"

[Archer] is a master of fiction...Jeffrey Archer has the strange gift denied to many who think themselves more serious novelists. He can tell a story, and he does so with such conviction, such appealing naivety, that you suspend disbelief, and read happily on. "The Scotsman (UK) on The Sins of the Father"

Archer can plot a story. "Kirkus Reviews on The Sins of the Father""

See all Product Description

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 12 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books that when you start one of the short stories, you simply cannot go on until you have finished it. The classic example of this is Endgame which is a thoroughly fascinating story and keeps you interested all the way through. Chalk and Cheese is also highly entertaining.
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Format: Paperback
On offer is another full plate of delectable short stories. Some of them are based on true events. This is yet another excellent example of Archer at his best.
From the very start you have a fine short story which took all of 30 seconds to read. How did he do that?
May we ask Jeffrey to keep rolling them out.
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I,ve read most of archer's books and overall I'm a big fan,however having read most of his short story books,I must admit to an overall rating of three rather than 4/5 stars.Some of the stories have that wonderful archer magic,while some are ok at best.
When I reread these books,I will "highlight" the best chapters for future reference,because some of them definately do merit reading again and again and the best and most obvious is the story(1 page!) Death Speaks....it's an old story from way back but absolutely brilliant.....a pub philosopher's dream!!!
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This book was, to me, intriguing as nine of the fourteen books were based on true events meaning that the stories had a lot more impact on me as they had actually happened. The only problem was that it only told you which were true at the start which meant constant flicking back to the contents page.
Many of the stories were very humorous, varied enough that you don’t get bored. It’s suitable for both people who want to power through them, but also people who just want to have a read every so often. I have read the book twice now in two weeks, and the stories remain just as fresh upon the second reading.
In my opinion some of the stories were not as interesting as the other; Crime Pays and Other Blighters Efforts. They were however both still very readable.
My favourite stories were Chalk and Cheese, which was a humorously ironic tale of two brothers and A Change of Heart, a story of a racist man who receives a black man’s heart during a transplant operation and changes his views, which was very touching. Also The Grass is Always Greener brings to light how we all have problems and always want what someone else has.
Overall Archer is an excellent short story teller.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. His prison dairies are exceptional and stand alone as a valuable contribution.
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By Nick Brett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 April 2009
Format: Paperback
Surprised by all the good reviews, as I found this very dull and functional writing. None of the stories were overly interesting, clever or engaging. I was expecting a few twists and clever conclusions but was left unmoved by nearly all the stories.
I wouldn't recommend this at all.
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By A Customer on 14 Dec. 2000
Format: Hardcover
These fascinating stories are perfect reading on holidays, public transport et. al. I strongy recommend them.
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Format: Paperback
I am a Jeffery Archer fan, particularly of the short stories, and this new collection is as good as ever, varied, highly readable, with some good twists. Some are acknowledged to be based on true events, though on the whole I prefer the original ones. The publisher's blurb states that the last story, "The grass is always greener" is the best ever. Certainly well written with up to date characters, but this basic idea is not original. Stacy Aumonier got there first with "The octave of jealousy" from the collection "Miss Bracwegirdle and others",published around 1930. For me Archer's best short story is "Old love" from "A quiver full of arrows."

Alan Bold
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