Thursday, March 25, 2010

Top of the Heap

Whilst reading this week's book, I felt so old!  No it was not the latest vampire thriller set in a teen-angst filled world of swooning hearts and longing looks.  It was a book I read for the first time when I was 15.  When I told Drew this little fact, I realized that was almost 15 years ago.  I have lived half of my life since reading this book - wow! 
Drew, in a previous entry, reviewed a book he had first read in his teens and so I thought it would be ok to revisit one of my favorites from "back in the day."  As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer is ridiculously readable, so it is hard to call it literature, but it is nonetheless well written enough not to get the editor in me raging at the stupid errors (although I think I located one).
It follows the life of a man from barrow boy to tycoon beginning in 1900 and finishing up in 1970.  It travels the globe from Whitechapel to Chelsea Terrace (about two miles away as the crow flies) with stops in WWI France, post WWI India, post WWII America, and Australia.  The characters created by Archer (as in all of his books) are fully realized and yet slowly revealed.  They are layered against one another in a structure that lends itself to storytelling magic. 
Archer is known for the red herrings in his books and they are here indeed.  Although I read this one 15 years ago, I found myself somewhat familiar, yet fully surprised at each turn.  I think this is only due to the storyteller's yarn Archer spins.  I actually dreamt all night last night about how the story could turn out.  Of course each of my crazy twists were not even close, but I was happiest with the written ending. 

Rating: 6.9 (It doesn't get much better)

-L

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