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162 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing Multi-Generational Saga Entertains Completely
I am so glad to have discovered this "oldie" originally published in 1979 because it is one of the best books I have ever read. It has drama, suspense, romance, and enough plot twists to keep the most savvy reader breathlessly reading until the heart-wrenching conclusion.
William Kane and Abel Rosnovski both enter the world in 1906. One is born to a...
Published on March 17, 2004 by Antoinette Klein

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great first draft
The book is poorly written. The kind of novel that today could only be published through some third-rate POD company.

It is way too long, and all Mr. Archer does, throughout most of the book, is tell, tell, tell. It's all one long third-person omniscient narrative.

That said, the beginning was well done. I really cared about Abel. Until he went to...
Published on July 12, 2009 by Buyoneers, LLC


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162 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing Multi-Generational Saga Entertains Completely, March 17, 2004
By 
Antoinette Klein (Hoover, Alabama USA) - See all my reviews
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I am so glad to have discovered this "oldie" originally published in 1979 because it is one of the best books I have ever read. It has drama, suspense, romance, and enough plot twists to keep the most savvy reader breathlessly reading until the heart-wrenching conclusion.
William Kane and Abel Rosnovski both enter the world in 1906. One is born to a wealthy, socially prominent Boston family. The other is born in poverty in Poland to an unwed woman who dies during childbirth. They each have a remarkable life story that makes for spellbinding reading until the finale in 1963.
Abel is rescued from the woods beside the body of his dead mother by a hunter and taken into a peasant family. The Russian occupation of Poland, his fearful and solitary escape to Turkey and later America, will have you cheering this tough young boy.
Meanwhile, young William Kane is growing up in the lap of luxury, attending the finest schools, and winning every honor his father before him achieved.
You will be fascinated by Archer's storytelling and the vivid characters he portrays. You will root for Abel and take him to your heart. You will be fascinated with William and wish only the best for him. Unfortunately, when the two characters cross paths as young men, a fierce hatred erupts and they become life-long enemies, as Abel swears to destroy William Kane.
The author has made each of his main characters so endearing that the reader is torn and loyalties falter. Do you root for Abel? Do you root for William? Dare you hope they will work this out? Whatever you are thinking, you will be surprised. This is not one of those novels where you will see the ending coming, but you will be stunned, sad, and uplifted as a gamut of emotions play with your mind and heart.
I finished this late last night and have been thinking about Abel and William all day. I can hardly wait to start on the sequel, "The Prodigal Daughter."
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108 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorites, July 31, 2005
The main reason I am writing this is to warn you against reading Matt Hetling's review because he gives away the whole secret/climax of the book. I can't believe it got past Amazon. Don't reviewers know not to give away the ending and secrets? Sometimes I'm afraid to read reviews for that very reason.

I won't give a description of the book since so many others have, but I will say it's one of my all time favorites. I thought it was outstanding.

Pam
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kane & Abel - Polish nobleman versus American banker, April 28, 2000
This book is realy woderfull. I could not put this book away while reading. Jeffrey Archer put the action in the real world with a knowledge of the reality of Poland before the second war and the post war era. This is what I like about it. Since I am Polish I can say that the fact from the begining of Abel's life are set in the reality of those time. The Russian soldiers were shown in the actual reality what I know from the facts that my father was telling me about them. Anyway the characters of Abel and Kane are drawn nicely to shaw thedrive to success. Kane is driven by the financial purpooses to get rich by all means, while Abel's success is driven by his stubborness to destroy Kane who was gilty of dead of Abel's former boss. The action of this book is swift, and is very characteriscal to all books of Jeffrey Archer. Second part of this book "The Prodigal Daugther" is in the same style. I highly recomend to everyone this book, and of course when you read "Kane & Abel" do not forget to read "The prodigal daughter" to have the full picture of Kane's family.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping throughout, with a final priceless irony, June 24, 2002
Quite possibly Jeffrey Archer's most accomplished work. In "Kane & Abel" he employed the literary device of a looking at his protagonists and antagonists' lives through a wide-angle lens, a device he was again to employ to great effect in "As the Crow Flies" and, more recently, in "The Fourth Estate". Where many writers show us only a few years or even a few weeks in their characters' lives (and often that is quite enough), Archer is the master of fictionalizing entire lifetimes, and making them interesting enough that we are happy to be a part of them.
"Kane and Abel" tells the story of two men born on the same day yet in vastly differing circumstances. William Kane is born to wealthy New York parents at the dawn of what has been called The American Century, a life full of privilege and promise stretching before him. A world away, little Wladek Koskiewicz, bastard son of a Polish baron and one of the baron's peasants, has none of Kane's early advantages; no advantages at all in fact. Wladek's family is killed in the Great War and he sets sail for America with nothing more than the scantest of birthrights, a bracelet belonging to the dead Baron through the inscriptions of which the american Immigration official incorrectly documents him as Baron Abel Rosnovski.
Kane is stubborn, Abel determined; the two men cross paths repeatedly in business, each seeking to outmanoeuvre the other. Archer writes Abel as the more sympathetic character: his conscientious effort to become a better sexual partner and his later humiliation of Melanie Leroy, the daughter of his onetime business partner, are but two actions through which Archer shows us that Abel is endowed with the methodical focus and vindictiveness traditionally associated with those driven to rise above their current station in life. Kane has an early head start in the race and is portrayed more coldly. But both are men you'll never forget once you've read this book.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explore The Human Condition, August 19, 2003
One of the things that I love about reading a novel is that it is a chance to visit another community, or life, without actually going there.
"Kane & Able" is a story that captures the dramatic lives of 2 men who were born on the same day, in 1906, from 2 completely different socioeconomics.
William Kane was born into wealth. He was stubborn, haughty and all the "attributes" associated with someone who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Baron Able Rosnovski, an immigrant from Poland, was determined, creative and willing to do whatever it takes to never live the impoverished life that he was born into.
Both of these men eventually and repeatedly crossed paths, in business. And they desperately try to outwit one another, at a heavy expense to all around them.
As I read this book, I kept wanting to say, "Look in your heart," because each man was so busy trying to outdo the other that they loss sight of what matters, until the end.
Although this book has 477 pages, you will read it faster than a book that is one third its size, because Mr. Archer has developed the characters so well --- you will feel like you are looking at an IMAX movie.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!, July 30, 1998
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Having finished As The Crow Flies, I eagerly turned to Kane & Abel with much anticipation, but wondering how could I like this book as much as I loved ATCF. It was not difficult. I LOVED THIS BOOK TOO!!! Archer is an amazing writer of epic, engaging and "unputdownable" novels. With about 100 pages to go I could not help but to speed up to learn about the fates of William, Abel, Florentyna, Richard et al. I need to re-read those pages to see if perhaps I was a bit hasty! While the end pairing off is a bit predictable, it is heart-warming and a character or two could be left out. K&A might also cause the reader to rethink her or his actions in life and perhaps take a different take on things. Do read this- you will not be disappointed and you will not believe how moved you will be.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorite works of fiction!, November 24, 1999
I made a promise to myself when my son was born that I would read a book of fiction a week.Well, that has been over 12 years ago and I've met or exceeded that. When folks ask me which ones are my favorites, this is definitely one of them! I could not put it down, I was so mad when I reached the end because it was the end! I wanted more! Luckily, there is The Prodigal Daughter. Read this book, you'll love it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY, a "family saga" that men can appreciate!, May 3, 2012
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This review is from: Kane and Abel (Kindle Edition)
Jeffrey Archer did me a favor. He wrote a family saga that didn't become cloying, romantic or trite. Kane and Abel has all the elements of the genre at their best.

The book begins in 1906. In Poland, a child is born penniless. In Boston, on the same day, a child is born into a life of wealth and privilege. These men, Abel and Kane respectively, are the center of Archer's multi-generational novel. As we follow their stories, we're immersed into two very different worlds. Worlds that, eventually, collide.

Archer takes us through history with these two men and their families. WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, all the way through the 60s and beyond. Lives, deaths, politics, finance, power struggles, love, hate, empire building and revenge saturate this novel. It is, after all, the story of two men and the dynasties they and their families create.

I thank Jeffrey Archer for writing a family saga that didn't lapse into romantic tedium, but instead was written from a male point of view. I was captivated by the characters,
loved the history and never found myself bored by a single paragraph.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it!, January 1, 2004
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This review is from: Kane and Abel (Hardcover)
I finished Kane & Abel today. I read this book, unlike most books which I choose on my own, on the recommendation of my dad. I don't think he's ever given me a book I didn't like.
I love Kane & Abel. Really, really do. There's something to be said about a book that can make the business/financial world interesting. For those not familiar with the book, the novel centers on two men born on the same day: Willian Lowell Kane, the son of a wealthy banker in America, and Abel Rosnovski, an orphan shuffled around in his native Poland, who undergoes extremely trying times before coming to America. The novel is basically the life story of the two men- the way they grew up, their motives, their drive, their families, etc. There comes a point where the two men meet, and they develop, surprisingly, an enmity that dominantes their lives, both striving in an effort to outdo the other, while rising to the "top of the world."
It's definitely one of those novels that makes you respect and marvel the drive of some people, and presents you with a million little plot twists that keep it going. You'll be torn between loving Kane or loving Abel, or hating both, or not wanting to care. But you'll have to care. It's the power Archer seems to hold, to be able to write 540 pages of book without fizzling out in a pathetically boring manner. Like any other book, it hurts for this one to end. The sheer amount of events, and the remarkable way these events flow and tie the two men together is incredible.
The only problem I had with the book was the time frame. The book covers Kane and Abel's lives in 540 pages, divided into seven parts, from 1906 to the late 1960s. This means that from one page to ten pages later, 5 years may pass. It's unnerving and almost annoying at times, and you really wonder what went on during all that time. However, there's enough to write about, and what IS written about is executed well.
I'll also add that Kane & Abel gave me a newfound respect for the financial world, one that didn't really exist prior to reading this book. When my dad told me to read this, I said "Wow, a book about two men who hate each other and make a lot of money. I really don't want to read this." But I went ahead and read it anyway, and you can bet that I'm extremely happy that I did. You won't be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Undeniably Talented Author!, October 3, 2003
My 'hats off' to Jeffrey Archer! He's spun an ultimately very depressing tale of two extremely intelligent and talented men who wasted much of their lives, and especially their final years in foolish conflict that needlessly causes alienation between a son and daughter, etc, etc. The fact that I was depressed by the book is again a tribute to the author, who made me care even though a lot of the plot elements were hard to understand or hard to swallow. An example of 'hard to understand' was Kane's over the top reaction to his son's marriage. Up to that point I had been led to believe that it had only been Abel who had been dominated by hatred toward the other. Kane was worried about Abel but had often shown begrudging admiration for him, never mindless hatred. And why, when the son and daughter were telling their respective parents of their upcoming marriage, did neither explain the unusual circumstances of falling in love prior to learning of the relationship between their fathers, rather then leaving their fathers to think that there was some sort of knowing betrayal in them having come together? And, speaking of hard to swallow, the two main characters, both filled with patriotic duty, independently join the military and the one who is in charge of food services finds himself on the same battlefield as the man he hates and rescues him from among hundreds of casulties and neither ever know who the other was!!! Or, their son and daughter randomly meet in Bloomingdales and fall in love?! It's almost like Archer had been challenged by a friend, "I bet you can't come up with a bunch of implausible plot twists and inconsistencies and still write a book that practically everyone will love", and he said, "Oh yeah, I'll bet you I can, and I'll title it Kane and Abel". And again, hats off to Mr Archer, for he indeed won the bet!
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Kane and Abel
Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer (Paperback - November 3, 2009)
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