And Thereby Hangs a Tale * Jeffrey Archer Book Review

Having recently finished Honor Among Thieves * Jeffrey Archer, I decided to pick another one of Mr. Archer’s books and decided on a collection of short stories called “And thereby hangs a tale”. Some of the stories were real, some had actually happened to him and some were probably gathered from his time in Belmarsh Security Prison.

“Stuck On You” *
“The Queen’s Birthday Telegram” *
“High Heels” *
“Blind Date”
“Where There’s a Will” *
“Double-Cross” *
“‘I Will Survive'” *
“A Good Eye”
“Members Only” *
“The Undiplomatic Diplomat” *
“The Luck of the Irish” *
“Politically Correct”
“Better the Devil You Know”
“No Room at the Inn”
“Caste-Off” *
* Based on true incidents

In India, Jamwal and Nisha fall in love while waiting for a traffic light to turn green on the streets of Delhi.

From Germany comes “A Good Eye,” the tale of a priceless oil painting that has remained in the same family for over two hundred years, until…

To the Channel Islands and “Members Only,” where a golf ball falls out of a Christmas cracker, and a young man’s life will never be the same…

To Italy and “No Room at the Inn,” where a young man who is trying to book a room at a hotel ends up in bed with the receptionist, unaware that she…

To England, where, in “High Heels,” a woman has to explain to her husband why a pair of designer shoes couldn’t have gone up in flames…

Some of these stories will make you laugh while others will bring you to tears but, once again, every one of them will demand that you keep turning the page until you finally discover what happens to this remarkable cast of characters.

It’s an acceptable book but not really a mind-blowing read. It’s something you enjoy on the train on the way to work, read the short stories which are at most 8-9 pages long and get a quick chuckle when the tables turn. On reflection, Archer has what seems to me to be a distinctly male point of view – with money, status, pay-back and turning the tables, and getting the girl, his main subject areas. The emotion is too pared back, the motivation superficial and the romance more about the chase and acquisition (where it is not just about the sex) for my taste.

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