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Cat O'Nine Tales: And Other Stories Audio CD – Bargain Price, June 12, 2007

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427200475
  • ASIN: B005SNN74K
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,659,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bestseller Archer (Kane & Abel) put his time in prison to fine literary use, as evidenced by the 12 stellar entries in his fifth story collection, nine of which are based on tales he heard from fellow inmates while incarcerated. Three others he composed after his release. Highlights include "Maestro," in which a restaurant owner finds a way to launder money so that the tax man can't collect; "The Man Who Robbed His Own Post Office," about a hardworking couple who steal from their own business rather than see it all taken from them; and "It Can't Be October Already," in which a man uses the system to beat the system. The economy and precision of Archer's prose never fails to delight. The criminal doesn't always get away with his crime and justice doesn't always prevail, but the reader wins with each and every story. Drawings by the inimitable Ronald Searle are a bonus. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"One of the top ten storytellers in the world."--Los Angeles Times
"Archer is a master entertainer."--Time
"Jeffrey Archer served in Britain's Parliament for 19 years - and in Her Majesty's Prison for two.  Those two years provide the basis for this collection of stories.  His 'mates' teach him prison protocol and divulge the details of their crimes.  No doubt Archer enhances their tales with his imagination and narrative expertise, and in this he is aided by the reading of Anton Lesser.  If you want an audio experience that is easily divided into satisfying segments of 45-50 minutes each, this is a good choice." - The Roanoke Times

Customer Reviews

I have to say that Jeffrey Archer is a great writer and novelist.
Konrad Kern
These short stories and the other two short-story books by Archer that I read recently were fun to read.
The stories are entertaining, well thought out, well written, and they hold the readers attention.
Book Princess

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 24, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jailed in 2001 after having been found guilty of perjury, "Lord" Jeffrey Archer spent much of his time while incarcerated listening to the stories of his fellow inmates, and after adding his own embellishment to each, committing them to paper. The resulting "Cat O'Nine Tales is a delightful collection of another twelve adroitly plotted short stories guaranteed to keep you amused with their portrayal of characters who are shrewd, resourceful, creative, inventive, and wily. These same adjectives might be said to apply to Lord Archer himself whose "tales of unexpected conclusions" always bear witness to his pre-eminent talent as a story-teller.

His previous short story collections like A Twist In The Tale - Twelve Short Stories and Twelve Red Herrings as well as his novels (my personal favorite being Kane and Able)have always provided this reader with much pleasure. As for this smorgasbord of morality (or if you prefer...immorality) tales, I once again find myself drawn to certain stories. "Don't Drink the Water" is a cautionary tale which shows us that even a seemingly infallible solution to ones marital problems can have dire consequences while "Charity Begins at Home" deliciously explores one mans ingenious solution to achieving tax free financial security.

Adding to the appeal of this book are the amusing and engaging illustrations of Ronald Searle. They possess a guileless charm reminiscent of Shel SilversteinA Light in the Attic (20th Anniversary Edition Book & CD). The unerring simplicity of Searles' drawings coupled with Archers versatility and veracity are sure fire winners.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've been a long-time fan of Jeffrey Archer's works, be it his novels [Kane & Abel, First Among Equals, As The Crow Flies] or his short stories. Cat O' Nine Tales marks his fifth collection of short stories, the others being A Quiver Full of Arrows, A Twist in the Tale, Twelve Red Herrings [all three of which have also been compiled into 36: The Collected Short Stories]. The first three collections truly showcase Archer's talents as a craftsman of short stories. The fourth collection To Cut a Long Story Short, while entertaining, seemed, in my opinion, weaker than the earlier three.

This current compilation of short stories is quite well-done, though still not in the class of the earlier three. Partly based on ideas Archer obtained whilst incarcerated, e.g. The Man Who Robbed His Own Post Office & Maestro [about an Italian businessman who lands in trouble with the authorities for tax evasion], there are others that revolve around criminal motives ["The Alibi"], deception ["The Commissioner"], romance ["In the Eye of the Beholder"], and also the melancholic "Charity Begins at Home".

As is his style, Jeffrey Archer delivers these stories with a dose of wit and doesn't fail to entertain. A light and engaging read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brian Reaves VINE VOICE on August 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Archer's short story collection here is perfect. Each story is interesting and has that trademark twist that keeps us coming back for more. The incredible thing is the lack of any weak stories among the bunch. Granted, some move faster than others, while a few seem to take a long time getting where they're going, but they all pay off in the end for the patient reader.

Stand out stories include "Maestro" and "The Red King". While some of the stories seem similar in theme (prison), it's understood why and makes sense. A wonderful way to pass the time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Kern VINE VOICE on July 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have to say that Jeffrey Archer is a great writer and novelist. I do prefer his novels over his short stories though. I wasn't overly impressed with all the stories in this collection but they did provide an afternoon of entertainment, which is as long as you'll need read it. Recommend you check it out at the library first.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul Weiss on October 11, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not suggesting for a second that Sir Jeffrey Archer shouldn't have been in prison or that he didn't deserve his all expenses paid vacation courtesy of the UK taxpayer. But, on the other hand, if he felt he was served some lemons then you have to give him credit for preparing some lemonade that he could sell to his remaining fans after he was released.

CAT O'NINE TALES includes twelve short stories, nine of which were borrowed (stolen?) and then embellished from his fellow inmate cronies and three of which were original (and, if I do say so, the least interesting of the twelve). While they do have a certain ring of truth and are interesting, in the sense that they have ironic and sometimes mildly humorous endings, the story-telling is, to say the least, pedestrian. Especially when it's compared to the work that Archer produced when in such stellar novels as Kane and Abel.

Had this collection been "pure" fiction, tales such as "Maestro" which regaled us with the escapades of an Italian restaurateur, busted for evading a spectacular chunk of tax, might have struck the reader as picaresque, perhaps humorous portrayals of almost impish rogues. But, since we now know the story is based on a true-life criminal who sought to extensively line his own pockets at the expense of his fellow citizens and more honest taxpayers, it's tough to generate any sympathy for the character. As a result, it's also difficult to feel any real enjoyment in reading the story. The same comment about his characters generating any real interest or sympathy might be levelled at virtually every story in the collection.

Only moderately enjoyable and mercifully short and easy to read, CAT O'NINE TALES is probably the output of an author past his prime who should retire gracefully. I wonder if he's getting a pension from the British government in spite of his stint behind bars?

Paul Weiss
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More About the Author

Jeffrey Archer has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 270 million copies in 97 countries and more than 37 languages. He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (eighteen times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction (The Prison Diaries).

Jeffrey served five years as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons and twenty-two years as a Member of the House of Lords.

His latest novel Be Careful What You Wish For, published in March 2014, is the fourth volume in a seven book saga called The Clifton Chronicles, and spent twelve weeks in the top 10 - four of them at #1 - on the Sunday Times Best Seller list, and also went to the top of the bestseller lists in India, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa.

Jeffrey is also an art collector and amateur auctioneer, conducting around 30 charity auctions a year.

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