20 April 2012

Forgotten Book: AS THE CROW FLIES by Jeffery Archer

For many of my contributions this year to Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books  I am focussing on the books I read 20 years ago in 1992. By then my reading diet was almost exclusively crime fiction.

Jeffrey Archer is one of those who writes a bit cross-genre, not always crime fiction. A former Member of Parliament and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, he was created a Life Peer in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1992.

AS THE CROW FLIES was published in 1991. The novel follows the story of Charlie Trumper's rise from East End costermonger to department store magnate.

From the author's website:
Growing up in the slums of East End London, Charlie Trumper dreams of someday running his grandfather's fruit and vegetable barrow. That day comes suddenly when his grandfather dies leaving him the floundering business. With the help of Becky Salmon, an enterprising young woman, Charlie sets out to make a name for himself as "The Honest Trader". But the brutal onset of World War I takes Charlie far from home and into the path of a dangerous enemy whose legacy of evil follows Charlie and his family for generations. 

Archer is a prolific and popular writer who has been publishing novels since 1976, beginning with NOT A PENNY MORE, NOT A PENNY LESS.
In 2012 he has recently published the second in the 3 title Clifton Chronicles, THE SINS OF THE FATHER.
I haven't read all Archer's work, but I do enjoy his short stories in particular, for example A TWIST IN THE TALE
Follow his blog.

From Fantastic Fiction:
Jeffrey Archer was sentenced to four years' imprisonment at 12.07pm on Thursday 19th July 2001. Within six hours, Prisoner FF8282, as he is now known, was on suicide watch in the medical wing of Belmarsh top security prison in south London. This, he discovered, is standard procedure for first-time offenders on their first night in jail. By 6.00am the next morning, Archer had resolved to write a daily diary of everything he experienced while incarcerated, because "I have a feeling that being allowed to write in this hellhole may turn out to be the one salvation that will keep me sane". Jeffrey Archer's diary of his first three weeks imprisonment is a raw account of life in a top-security jail in Britain. It is also an indictment of the British penal system. The tales of his fellow inmates - many of whom are in for life - are often moving stories of hopelessness. But there are those, too, who, no matter what their previous histories, attempt to live their prison lives with dignity and integrity. Returning favours, Archer comments, is far more commonplace in prison than outside. The diary should be of interest to anyone concerned with the improvement of our penal system, whether they are concerned citizens, politicians or workers in the prison service.

More biographical details.

1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

A really interesting author, Kerrie. Thanks for profiling his work.

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