Jeffrey Archer – Mightier than the sword

OK, I love Jeffrey Archer’s stories! The short ones at least. I tried reading Mightier than the sword and I found myself putting it down more often than I picked it up. No idea why it bored me so much…


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?


“Perhaps it’s appallingly written, boring, without merit and unworthy of our time, but at least let us be the judge of that.”
― Jeffrey Archer, Mightier than the Sword

Where I went wrong:

Mightier Than The Sword by Jeffrey Archer is the fifth book in the interesting Clifton Chronicles Series. The fifth! This means that these boring characters had a boring life before I even started reading this pile of crap. This is why the ending was so disappointing… he’s probably planning a sixth book.

Poorly written, with a narrative that doesn’t flow very well, and not particularly likeable characters. The author does not believe in surprises and hence the burden of entertainment purely falls on the richness of the language and the magnitude of good people’s victories.

Most of these battles, or may be wars in the author’s mind, are trivial. So is this book.

If you want to read some of other of Jeffrey Archer’s books, why not try:

Jeffrey Archer * To Cut a Long Story Short Book review

Cat O’ Nine Tales * Jeffrey Archer




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