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While browsing in a bookstore you might chance upon books written by the author Jeffrey Archer. If you are looking for a good read I suggest picking up one of his books and reading them. Below I will give you two possible reading orders of his books. The first one is my personal preference. The second one will be by chronological order.
Reading order based on personal preference
Jeffrey Archer is one of my favourite authors of all time. Therefore when I meet a fellow book lover I immediately suggest to them trying out one of Jeffrey Archer’s book. The hard thing with recommending his books though is that while his tone and style in writing remains fairly consistent throughout his works, he tackles multiple themes/settings. He has written books on business feuds, political intrigue, historical fiction, espionage, and family sagas. He has also written short stories, plays, children’s books, and his own biography. Because of this it is hard to just suggest to a reader to dive in and read any of his works willy nilly. What I came up with then is this list. The order below starts with a short story compilation that I simply adore. I always suggest starting with that so that one can have a feel of his writing style and be entertained in short bursts. In fact I have even gone so far as to buy fellow book lovers a copy of that book just because I want to introduce Jeffrey Archer to them. After that I suggest his “shorter” novels, with short story breaks between them, before eventually jumping to his thicker novels and end with his longest saga. I did put in Kane and Abel as my third recommendation as all three books have political, business, and espionage themes expertly interwoven. For this list I will be limiting it to his short story collections as well as his novels. I will no longer include short story collections that contain previously published material from his earlier books.
- A Twist in the Tale
- A Matter of Honour
- Kane and Abel series
a. Kane and Abel
b. The Prodigal Daughter
c. Shall We Tell the President? – Upon its original release in 1977, this novel was a stand alone title. However it was revised in 1986 by changing some of the characters in order to be a part of the Kane and Abel series.
- Twelve Red Herrings
- Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less
- First Among Equals
- Honour Among Thieves
- A Prisoner of Birth
- To Cut a Long Story Short
- Sons of Fortune
- False Impression
- Paths of Glory
- A Quiver Full of Arrows
- The Eleventh Commandment
- As the Crow Flies
- The Fourth Estate
- The Gospel According to Judas
- Cat O’Nine Tales
- Heads You Win
- Tell Tale
- Clifton Chronicles
- And Thereby Hangs a Tale
- William Warwick series
Of course another way to enjoy his works would be to read them in chronological order in order to appreciate the evolution of his work. Listed below is his works arranged with their release date.
- Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less (1976)
- Kane and Abel (1979) – Kane and Abel trilogy
- A Quiver Full of Arrows (1980)
- The Prodigal Daughter (1982) – Kane and Abel trilogy
- First Among Equals (1984)
- A Matter of Honour (1986)
- Shall We Tell the President? (1986) – Kane and Abel trilogy
- A Twist in the Tale (1988)
- As the Crow Flies (1991)
- Honour Among Thieves (1993)
- Twelve Red Herrings (1994)
- The Fourth Estate (1996)
- The Eleventh Commandment (1998)
- To Cut a Long Story Short (2000)
- Sons of Fortune (2002)
- False Impression (2005)
- Cat O’Nine Tales (2006)
- The Gospel According to Judas. (2007)
- A Prisoner of Birth (2008)
- Paths of Glory (2009)
- And Thereby Hangs a Tale (2010)
- Only Time Will Tell (2011) – Clifton Chronicles
- The Sins of the Father (2012) – Clifton Chronicles
- Best Kept Secret (2013) – Clifton Chronicles
- Be Careful What You Wish For (2014) – Clifton Chronicles
- Mightier Than the Sword (2015) – Clifton Chronicles
- Cometh The Hour (2016) – Clifton Chronicles
- This Was a Man (2016) – Clifton Chronicles
- Tell Tale (2017)
- Heads You Win (2018)
- Nothing Ventured (2019) – William Warwick series
- Hidden In Plain Sight (expected release date on October 2020) – William Warwick series
On Jeffrey Archer
Jeffrey Archer is an amazing author but his life even more so. It can even be said that he is comparable to the characters that he has given birth to. He was born in 1940 to a father who impersonated a deceased war hero and later absconded to America due to being charged with a series of fraud offences. As a student he was offered a place in Oxford University to study for a diploma in Education. There were claims during this time that Archer provided false academic qualifications, including citing an American institution, which was actually a bodybuilding club, to gain admission. While in Oxford he was a successful athlete and was a fundraiser for the charity Oxfam.
In 1969, at the age of 29, he was elected as a member of the parliament. Unfortunately in 1974 he lost his fortune due to a fraudulent investment scheme involving a Canadian company called Aquablast. Due to this he stood down as an MP in the 1974 general elections, fearing bankruptcy. It was during this year as well that he started to write, penning his first novel, Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less, as a way to earn money. He followed this with Kane and Abel in 1979, which proved to be his best work.
In 1980’s his political career was revived and he was appointed as the deputy chairman of the Conservative party. Unfortunately in 1986 he had to resign due to a scandal that broke out where he was caught paying for a prostitute. He did sue for libel against the tabloid that broke the scandal, which was settled out of court, but in 2000 he was charged with perjury as it was proven that it was indeed true. Because of this he was in jail for almost two years. Interestingly enough he wrote three books based on his time in prison.
This is but a brief note on Jeffrey Archer’s life. A more in-depth look would reveal more interesting stories to tell but suffice to say his life is a colourful one and it reflects in his work.
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