With 6992 ratings
By: Jeffrey Archer
Purchased At: $1.60 (84 used & new offers)
Mightier than the Sword opens with an IRA bomb exploding during the MV Buckingham's maiden voyage across the Atlantic - but how many passengers lose their lives?
When Harry Clifton visits his publisher in New York, he learns that he has been elected as the new president of English PEN, and immediately launches a campaign for the release of a fellow author, Anatoly Babakov, who's imprisoned in Siberia. Babakov's crime? Writing a book called Uncle Joe, a devastating insight into what it was like to work for Stalin. So determined is Harry to see Babakov released and the book published, that he puts his own life in danger.
His wife Emma, chairman of Barrington Shipping, is facing the repercussions of the IRA attack on the Buckingham. Some board members feel she should resign, and Lady Virginia Fenwick will stop at nothing to cause Emma's downfall.
Sir Giles Barrington is now a minister of the Crown, and looks set for even higher office, until an official trip to Berlin does not end as a diplomatic success. Once again, Giles's political career is thrown off balance by none other than his old adversary, Major Alex Fisher, who once again stands against him at the election. But who wins this time?
In London, Harry and Emma's son, Sebastian, is quickly making a name for himself at Farthing's Bank in London, and has proposed to the beautiful young American, Samantha. But the despicable Adrian Sloane, a man interested only in his own advancement and the ruin of Sebastian, will stop at nothing to remove his rival.
Jeffrey Archer's compelling Clifton Chronicles continue in this, his most accomplished novel to date. With all the trademark twists and turns that have made him one of the world's most popular authors, the spellbinding story of the Clifton and the Barrington families continues.
Jeffrey Archer's spins a tale with complex, well-developed characters facing various - and at times - dire challenges throughout the tale whose lives are intertwined through many circumstances/situations over time that are made clear as the novel progresses from beginning to end. However - at the end of the novel - WAY too many questions remain unclear for the reader concerning many of the intricate situations woven into this tale who is basically told to wait for the next work in this series which should be available some time this year (2016). The only time I was more disappointed with the 'leave the reader hanging' feeling is when James Leigh did not write a follow-up novel to his excellent work, "The Ludi Victor."
Again Jeffrey Archer, "Mightier Than The Sword" is a well-written, fast-paced novel. In the future.please learn from you contemporaries I previously mentioned (Follett, Ludlum, DeMille) and provide the reader with closure at the end of each book in this series. It's very well-written and the characters are believable and fit well into the then-historical context in this novel/series; we anticipate reading the future of the Barrington/Clifton/Fenwick saga!
I find so many novels where the dialogue us stilted, stale and even silly. Many are acclaimed as great works well of fiction.. In my judgment Archer's ability to write as I believe people would actually talk is a rare gift. I highly recommend this book but only if you have read the prior chronicles as each book builds on the prior ones.
This tale features a couple of the darker characters, Lady Virginia and Major Fisher, continuing their vendetta against the Barringtons, both personally and in business. There's some really skilled plotting which keeps the tension high and the pace is breathtaking. There's courtroom drama in the UK and Russia, election shenanigans and party politics, freedom fighting for a Soviet dissident who's challenged the official version of Stalin's rule and Giles' regret at losing the love of his life. These seemingly disparate threads are neatly drawn together making this an exciting and often surprising read. I enjoyed it and have already started on the next in the series.
If you haven't read any of the previous volumes then you may find parts of this story a little bewildering and, in respect to the plot, a little incredible. On a positive note, two family trees are provided at the start of the book which would help you understand how the two families are related. However, you should be aware that some members of the family featured in the tree, while still alive, do not feature in this novel (e.g. Maisie). In addition, you may question how realistic are parts of the story (e.g. Harry's photogenic memory & his knowledge of the written Russian language; the likelihood of Russian agents still watching the wife of a Russian dissident many years after she had moved to England, etc). However, in my opinion these elements are no different from many seen in other thrillers where the 'hero/heroine' has amazing skills of strength, powers of observation & deduction (etc) that we mere mortals can only aspire to!
As far as I am concerned, I am hooked and will start reading the next book in the series as soon as I have finished writing this review to find out what happens next in the lives of the Cliftons and the Barringtons.
As for the implausible to the point of ridiculous plots!!! Harry in a Russian jail — his photographic memory. What?? An entire book written in Russian ?!!! I tell you, if this were a first manuscript of an unknown author it would be laughed out of the publishers office.......As for purchasing the next one on the ludicrous cliff hanger worthy of a ten year old ....no thanks. Archer is rich enough.....just stunned at so many good reviews........there again, Jeffrey Archer readers, eh?