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A great story from a master entertainer!

  • Apr 13, 2011
Fletcher Davenport and Nat Cartwright are two successful young men - but they also happen to be twins separated at birth as a result of the unscrupulous actions of a well-meaning nurse in the hospital nursery. Nat Cartwright, raised in a loving modest household, his mother, a school teacher and his father, a successful insurance salesman, serves with honourable distinction in Vietnam, and becomes an overwhelmingly successful currency dealer and banker. On the other hand, Fletcher begins his days as the son of a millionaire and his society wife, graduates from Yale and distinguishes himself as a defender in the field of criminal law. Popular among their friends and peers, both men become involved in politics, first in school and college, then at the municipal level and finally as opposing candidates for state governor, all the while unaware that they are twin brothers.

Is the story or plot believable? The best one could say is that it's possible but it isn't even close to being credible! Are the characters overly good, overly perfect, overly handsome, plain, nerdy or beautiful, or overly despicable and evil? No doubt about it! Is the ending too pat and too cute? Yep, no question there either! Do I care about any of that? Not even a teeny bit! If Jeffrey Archer showed up at my door and tried to explain that there was a deep, subliminal moral message and some special theme underlying the whole story, I'd cover my ears and tell him to go away. The story was simply too artificial, too contrived, too enjoyable and too well written and exciting to be accounted for as anything other than great brain candy.

Did I mention that I loved it from start to finish? Time Magazine put it best in their editorial review on the back cover of the book - "Archer is a master entertainer"!

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April 13, 2011
Well, as long as we're entertained, who cares about it being close to reality? ;-) I'll check this out in e-books and hope to get one downloaded soon!
About the reviewer
Paul Weiss ()
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   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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Veteran novelist and British politician Archer (Kane and Abel) is currently serving a prison sentence for perjury, so readers can perhaps forgive him if this latest effort falls short of his usual standard. The implausibly plotted novel follows fraternal twin boys separated at birth by a bizarre set of circumstances. Nat Cartwright and Fletcher Davenport are born in Hartford, Conn., in the early 1950s. A meddlesome nurse sends them home with different families. Nat is raised in a lower-middle-class household, attends the University of Connecticut, serves heroically in Vietnam and goes into banking. Fletcher, the wealthy Yalie, becomes a lawyer and a politician. The men are repeatedly thrown into competition with each other, whether for admission to college or in their professional lives, their rivalry culminating when they both run for governor of their home state. The characters are too thin, and their respective worlds too littered with clich‚s, to offer a satisfying portrait of the baby boomer generation. Contrived plot twists offer little distraction, while the dialogue sometimes reads like a set of photo captions-information without emotion. "When you think about it, they are the obvious predator," says Nat about a takeover threat. "Fairchild's is the largest bank in the state; seventy-one branches with almost no serious rivals." Archer is usually a skillful storyteller, but he drops the ball here.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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ISBN-10: 0312313195
ISBN-13: 978-0312313197
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

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