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Only Time Will Tell (The Clifton Chronicles) Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 30, 2011
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Praise for Only Time Will Tell
“Archer delivers another page-turning, heart-stopping saga, with delightful twists, and a surprise ending… readers will surely wait for the next with bated breath.”
“General readers as well as Archer fans will enjoy this unforgettable tale, which abounds with cliff-hangers that propel its intriguing and intricate plot.”
---Library Journal (starred review)
“What appears at the outset to be a straightforward coming-of-age tale becomes, by the end, a saga of power, betrayal, and bitter hatred. The novel ends on a deliberately dark note, setting the stage for the sequel…An outstanding effort from a reliable veteran.”
---Booklist (starred Review)
“I was utterly hooked. It was an absurdly enjoyable read.”
---Anthony Horowitz, Daily Telegraph (London)
Praise for Jeffrey Archer
“A dynamite commercial novel…Archer brings it off with panache.”
---The Washington Post on A Prisoner of Birth
“A compelling read…The pace never flags.”
---Newsday (New York) on A Prisoner of Birth
“One of the top ten storytellers in the world.”
---Los Angeles Times
“Archer is a master entertainer.”
“A storyteller in the class of Alexandre Dumas.”
---The Washington Post on A Twist in the Tale
“There isn’t a better storyteller alive.”
“Kane and Abel…that classic of modern literature.”
---The Times (London)
About the Author
Top customer reviews
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Mr. Archer is a very talented story teller and this particular book is a page turner.....until it is not. The ending was so unlike the rest of the book I found myself skimming through it just get to the conclusion, only to find there was none. Very disappointing, as I thought I had discovered a delicious new author to enjoy.
Four stars (for talented story telling) plus minus one star (for jumbled , incohesive, out of character, messy, cliff-hanger ending) equals three stars.
For fans of Archer’s previous epics (KANE AND ABEL, THE FOURTH ESTATE, SONS OF FORTUNE), the story will have a familiar feel. The rags-to-riches storyline and sparse storytelling technique have served the author well for many years, and ONLY TIME WILL TELL is cut from the same cloth. It’s not exactly ground-breaking fiction; on the other hand, the writing is good enough that the story feels comfortable if not particularly gripping. The author employs a mixture of first-person and third-person narrative, breaking the book into eight distinct parts retelling the same events from different characters’ points of view. The resulting gradual revelation of motivations and backstory creates a satisfying depth that for the most part overcomes some heavy-handedness in the description of events. The author also weaves in enough references to real-life people and events to give an authentic historical feel, and the book ends on a cliffhanger that leaves the reader ready to begin volume two (SINS OF THE FATHER, 2012).
ONLY TIME WILL TELL is not Jeffrey Archer’s finest work, but it is nevertheless a welcome start to a lengthy series by one of the world’s best modern storytellers.
What he cannot know, though, is that his mother, Old Jack, and other adults in his life, are keeping a dark secret from him, a secret that will emerge from the darkness of the past to haunt him as he stands on the verge of manhood, and is about to marry, Emma, the love of his life. It is a marriage that is doomed from the start by the stunning revelation that Emma might be his half-sister, and worse, that her father—who is possibly Harry’s father as well—was involved in his father’s death.
Looming over all this is the menacing shadow of Hitler’s rise in Germany, and the threat of another war, a war that Harry is determined to serve in.
A stunning portrayal of life in England in the period between World War I and the outbreak of World War II, Only Time Will Tell takes the reader into the lives of the characters in a unique way. The story whips back and forth, detailing the intricate histories of each character; setting the scene with a first person view of each character, followed by a third person account of events that shaped that particular person’s life.
The ending, a bang-up of a cliffhanger, which I will not divulge so as not to spoil it for new readers, sets the stage perfectly for Harry’s further adventures.
I also like the time period where it begins and ends. It starts off in the 1920s from the viewpoints of several of the characters who offer their perspectives on events. This gives the story a three-dimensional character to it, as if it is taking shape in the reader's mind as each character offers their perspective. I've read other multiple viewpoint books and really enjoy that technique.
The Clifton Chronicles centers around Harry Clifton and the mystery of who his father is. Harry and his mother are poor but this does not deter his mother's determination that Harry get a good education which she believes will lift Harry up and out of their poverty. The book ends as World War II begins, and left me looking forward to the next book. If you are looking for a well-crafted tale set in the past, I highly recommend this series.