Kane and Abel
They had only one thing in common . . . William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski, one the son of a Boston millionaire, the other a penniless Polish immigrant – two men born on the same day on opposite sides of the world, their paths destined to cross in the ruthless struggle to build a fortune.
Kane and Abel is the marvellous story, spanning sixty years, of two powerful men linked by an all-consuming hatred, brought together by fate to save . . . and finally destroy . . . each other.
This is a very well-written book, the scenes are set beautifully and the characters are developed into three dimensional people you really come to care about. The first half, where most of the character development takes place is amongst the best I’ve ever read, I think it’s amazing; unfortunately I feel the second half of the book lets it down, the moment the rivalry between Kane and Abel starts up I began to lose interest.
I’m not sure why, but I found it hard to understand why someone would risk their fortune and their business ruin someone because of one decision, a decision you can’t even say was unreasonable.
I know that man people consider this Archer’s best book, but I have to disagree.
Though things falter in the second half, they do pick up again towards the end, allowing the book to finish on a positive note.
Today’s review is for First Among Equals by Jeffrey Archer, a political novel from a man with first-hand knowledge of the political process.
First Among Equals
This is a fascinating look behind the scenes of British politics from the 1960s to the 1990s. First Among Equals follows the careers of four newly elects MPs as they seek to rise from the back benches to the highest office in the land. Written by someone who had been there and done that, as the saying goes, this book has the benefit of in depth knowledge that enables the reader to see how their MPs really worked during that period, and gives an insight into the manoeuvring MPs have to do to keep power, get ahead and the things they wish to use their power for.
There’s plenty of appeal right there but adding to it is the real historical events that are mentioned and included as situations for the characters to deal with.
As with all of his books, Jeffrey Archer has created believable characters you want to root for, characters you want to fail, and characters you laugh at. At the same time he has created a story that is accessible even to someone like me, who has little to no interest in politics.
If you like a good, character driven story then I recommend you give this a go; if you aren’t touched by Andrew Fraser’s efforts to be a good MP for his constituents, a good husband, and a good father, then I don’t know what will touch you.