18 December, 2017

#BookReview :: Tell Tale by Jeffrey Archer

Nearly a decade after his last volume of short stories was published, Archer returns with his eagerly-awaited, brand-new collection TELL TALE, giving us a fascinating, exciting and sometimes poignant insight into the people he has met, the stories he has come across and the countries he has visited during the past ten years.

Find out what happens to the hapless young detective from Naples who travels to an Italian hillside town to find out Who Killed the Mayor? and the pretentious schoolboy in A Road to Damascus, whose discovery of the origins of his father’s wealth changes his life in the most profound way.

Revel in the stories of the 1930’s woman who dares to challenge the men at her Ivy League University in A Gentleman and A Scholar while another young woman who thumbs a lift gets more than she bargained for in A Wasted Hour.

These wonderfully engaging and always refreshingly original tales prove not only why Archer has been compared by the critics to Dahl and Maugham, but why he was described by The Times as probably the greatest storyteller of our age.

This is a collection of fourteen short stories, some of which were inspired by real life stories.

The book opens with a hundred-word story called ‘Unique’. I suppose for a hundred-word story, it does deliver but completely fails to set the mood for the book. Thus, it falls on the second story ‘Who Killed the Mayor’ to set the tone for the collection. ‘A Gentleman and a Scholar’ has to be my favourite story in the book. It chronicles the journey of a woman entering the world of academics at a time when it was monopolized by men. The ending of the story left me with an impression. ‘The Road to Damascus’ is probably my second favourite in the collection. It is about discovery and irony. ‘All's Fair in Love and War’ has to be my least favourite in the collection.

The fourteen stories in the book form an eclectic collection. Some are really short and some are comparatively longer. Some are complete fiction, while some were inspired by real life incidents. Some had clever twists and some offered alternate endings. Some were full of irony and some were full of hope. In short, each story is distinct and offers up the readers a wide variety. 

I have always been a fan of Jeffrey Archer’s short stories. For me, nobody tells a short story better than Archer, except maybe O. Henry. But I felt that the author’s usual ‘spark’ was missing in this short collection. It fails to meet the standards set by the likes of Cat O’Nine Tale, A Quiver Full of Arrows and Twelve Red Herrings by the same author.

Review Copy received from Pan Macmillan India

No comments:

Post a Comment