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And Thereby Hangs a Tale Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 14, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312539533
  • ASIN: B004NSVFEK
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Archer assembles 15 more of the clever stories for which he is known. They are split between tales of trickery, as with "Stuck on You," where an eager young man is played by a diamond thief, and decidedly sentimental stories, such as "Members Only," about a man who wants nothing more than to join a private country club. Archer marks with an asterisk stories that are based on true incidents (10 in this collection), and whether it is the weight of credibility these stories' genesis lends or if the author works better with some starting material, the entirely imagined stories are also the weakest. "Politically Correct" never gets out of the shallows in its attempt to be provocative, and "Better the Devil You Know," with its evil executive making a deal with the devil (aka Mr. De Ath), is silly even for this author, who usually writes with a winningly light touch. Still, Archer's writing exudes a certain charm and is mostly satisfying. His trademark twists--sometimes a surprise to the reader, sometimes not--and genial tone will endear these mostly cozy stories to his many fans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Like Cat O’ Nine Tales (2007), Archer‘s latest collection of short fiction features stories based (sometimes rather loosely, we suspect) on true incidents or people. Of the 15 stories, 10, we’re told, are based on “known incidents,” which means, for example, that something similar to the very clever method of stealing jewelry described in “Stuck on You” might actually have been tried. Or that someone like Benny, the too-clever-for-his-own-good prison stoolie, might really have sentenced himself to a life of looking over his shoulder. Aside from the fact that they’re marked with an asterisk, it’s hard to tell the true(-ish) stories from the outright fictional ones: in all of them, Archer creates engaging characters and puts them into situations that range from tragic to comic to, well . . . a little strange. Once again we have ample proof that Archer is as proficient with short stories as he is with novels. --David Pitt

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.



Customer Reviews

What do you expect but a wonderful story with characters you can relate to and a plot that is very interesting.
J. Robert Ewbank
Plus, the narrative style was slightly snobbish; I don't mean the classic style, but rather the cat and mouse game the author is playing with the reader.
laurenpie
I've enjoyed all Jeffrey Archer stories but these short tales are most enjoyable when one is on a short plane or bus ride.
Annie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on October 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Just about everyone loves a good story. And after reading or hearing an especially good one, who doesn't want to know the real story behind the story? The title of AND THEREBY HANGS A TALE comes from a quote in a William Shakespeare play, and it means just that --- the story behind the story.

In the tradition of master storytellers, Jeffrey Archer has crafted a collection of 15 short tales. Set in England, Ireland, America, India, Germany and points between, the book includes heroes and villains, winners and losers, injustice and comeuppance, love and loss, the demonic and the divine, and features stories of double-crossing crooks, convicts and thieves; a conniving gold-digger; fortune hunters; star-crossed lovers; and much more.

Picking a favorite from such a diverse collection is not an easy task. Those who yearn for suspense and intrigue with a surprising twist will enjoy Archer's original story, "Politically Correct." If you're looking for a perfect blend of humorous and heartwarming, then you should read "The Queen's Birthday Telegram," the true story of a centenarian who gets an unexpected surprise. And in "High Heels," a wife's high-fashion skills help a determined insurance investigator solve a case.

One of the standouts for me is "A Good Eye," an inspiring tale of art, tradition, faith and divine intervention, set in the hills of the Bavarian state of Germany. The story begins in the 1600s, with Herr Hans Grebenar, a church elder who is trained in law but who also has a passion and an eye for art. While serving as a prosecutor in the town of his birth, Grebenar discovers Herr Friedrich Bloch, a gifted painter. Despite his marvelous talent, Bloch can't steer clear of his vices. Grebenar bails Bloch out of his troubles numerous times and becomes his advocate.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Smiley42 on October 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have purchased and read every Jeffery Archer book I could find. He is a fantastic author. At first I didn't think I would like his books of short stories. I was wrong - they are great and "Thereby Hangs a Tale is no exception and ranks with my favorites of his books of short stories - A Quiver Full of Arrows, Twelve Red Herrings, and a Cat O'Nine tales. He graduated from Oxford University, was a Member of Parliament, a Playwright and served two years of a four year term in prison. If you have never read any of his books, do so now.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Barbara S on September 11, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I thought the story was well-told and interesting. I'll definitely look into more by this author. I do think the publisher made a mistake on this one though - having a free short story to gather interest in the book was a great idea. I think it would have worked better though if the entire book was available to pre-order on Kindle to catch the impulse shoppers like me.
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Claire Kosinski on August 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book, BRILLIANTLY written, you just cannot wait to get to the next tale! Bravo!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By GoodRead65 on September 14, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I'd never read any of Archer's work before but I enjoyed this. It's short and a very quick read but I thought it was pretty good. Yes, there were few surprises in but it still carried me along to the end. I'll definitely pick up more books by this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By North Shore on February 12, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
i like short stories and overall these do entertain. For some though, I was way ahead of the story and felt I had either read something like it before or that I was more clever than I give myself credit for. Not Archer's best work. And I do like most of his books.
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Format: Hardcover
The beauty of this latest offering by Jeffery Archer is his ability to combine surprise endings with truly unusual story ideas. Unlike his longer novels, the short story offerings give the author range to focus on a unique idea rather than big character development. You can almost hear him musing over a brandy: "What if I wanted to steal a priceless diamond ring from a jeweler and not get caught?" These stories reminded me of the good thing/bad thing running line where every time a situation appears one way, it actually becomes something entirely different. A completely satisfying read.Cat O'Nine Tales: And Other Stories
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Format: Hardcover
What a great collection of stories this is! Some made me laugh, some made me cry, each one made me enjoy the story in its own way. Jeffrey Archer managers to put a lot of punch into each of these short stories. For 15 days I read a story a night before falling asleep. I had to control myself to stop at just one to prolong the enjoyable experience. I would go to sleep under the influence of a great story - a great pick me up at the end of the day!
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