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Only Time Will Tell: The Clifton Chronicles 1 Kindle Edition
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The first book in the internationally bestselling Clifton Chronicles from master storyteller Jeffrey Archer
"I was utterly hooked. It was an absurdly enjoyable read." Anthony Horowitz, Daily Telegraph
The epic tale of Harry Clifton's life begins in 1919, in the backstreets of Bristol. His father was a war hero, but it will be twenty-one tumultuous years before Harry discovers the truth about how his father really died and if, in fact, he even was his father.
Only Time Will Tell takes a cast of memorable characters from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World War, when Harry must decide whether to take his place at Oxford, or join the fight against Hitler's Germany.
In Jeffrey Archer's masterful hands, you will be taken on a journey that you won't want to end, even after you turn the last page of this unforgettable yarn, because you will be faced with a dilemma that neither you, nor Harry Clifton could ever have anticipated.
Only Time Will Tell is part of The Clifton Chronicles series, but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.
THE CLIFTON CHRONICLES SERIES
BOOK 1: Only Time Will Tell
BOOK 2: The Sins of the Father
BOOK 3: Best Kept Secret
BOOK 4: Be Careful What You Wish For
BOOK 5: Mightier Than The Sword
BOOK 6: Cometh The Hour
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
- ASIN : B004V55DIO
- Publisher : Macmillan; Main Market Ed. edition (March 1, 2011)
- Publication date : March 1, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 2174 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 373 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #398,029 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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It was soon clear to me why the author has sold in excess of 330 million books. His exceptional gift for storytelling kept me up all night to finish (despite the fact that I knew a cliffhanger was inevitable, as that’s how a book series works).
Archer steers the plot forward at a cracking pace. He is also able to handle several characters in the first person viewpoint, presenting parallel viewpoints, something few authors seem to manage well. Also clever is the way in which he hints at plot twists, often resolving them in the same chapter and ending many chapters with a suggestion as to the next looming crisis, thereby maintaining tension and anticipation for what is to come.
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.
His mother reveals her doubts about who really is his father, plus the hardships of rearing a child alone. She does everything to ensure Harry can advance in his education.
His friends tell how Harry’s integrity keeps them out of trouble and encourages them to do better. But as Harry tells the same story you can see he never sees himself as the leader, but as someone always looking for more knowledge, even if it is which fork to eat with.
My favorite is an Old Jack’s side of the story. This decorated veteran has a lot of wisdom and guidance for the youth. He was a trusted friend who knew the history of many events in Harry’s life and was able to direct him down the right paths.
The story ends with Harry unknowingly trading his life for the life of a murderer.
Top reviews from other countries
As my all time favourite story-teller, Archer did not disappoint with volume one of the torrid life of Harry Clifton and his sordid beginnings, which we can already see leading to strife, anguish, heartache and betrayal as he grows up.
Sitting down to read this book, it was almost like someone had wrapped a cosy blanket around me and given me a steaming mug of hot chocolate, such is the warm glow that Archer's stories always give me.
This is a man who knows how to tell a tale, both epic and short. My preference is the endless epic, which I truly wish would never end.
The story spans the inter-war years of 1919-1939 and focuses predominantly on the lives of three generations of two families, the Cliftons and the Barringtons. Harry Clifton is the main character of this novel. He is a talented young boy who comes from a poor family and whose father died in the Great War, or at least, that is what he has been told.
The three things I particularly like about the story are its plot, its historical setting and its descriptive prose. In the plot we see the same events unfurl from the viewpoint of different characters in the story. At first I found this a little confusing and seemingly repetitive, but once I realised what was happening, it actually increased my enjoyment of the story. In addition, there are a number of twists and turns in the plot, some of which caught me totally by surprise.
Another aspect I enjoyed is that all the events occur in a period I can relate to; not through personal first-hand experience as I was born after the second world war, but through knowing people who had lived through the inter-war years and having heard them talk about it. Given some of the events that occur in the story, this 'personal connection' added a degree of relevance & realism for me.
Finally I think Jeffrey Archer is a terrific story-teller and I found it extremely easy to visualise the places, people and events he describes in this sweeping saga.
However, if you decide to read this story, be aware that it ends on a cliff-hanger, and you will need to read the next book in the series to see what happens next ... not that this bothered me as I was hooked from the opening pages and immediately downloaded all the other books in the series!
A slow start, but then the story began to really draw me in and the big question about Harry’s parentage ebbed and flowed beneath the surface until the build to the denouement – where everything falls apart beneath an avalanche of revelations. I wasn’t quite convinced that both Hugo Barrington and Maisie Clifton would have allowed matters between Emma and Harry to get quite as far as they did, not without some sort of intervention. Hugo perhaps, because he was such a cowardly toad but Maisie had a good handle on moral responsibility and lived for her son, so I’m not sure she would have simply stood by. Not only are there some unresolved threads in this book, but the story ends on the most terrific cliffhanger of a plot twist, so if you prefer everything to be tied-up with a ribbon by the last page, you might feel cheated.
The writing itself is concise and to the point and without too much of a descriptive slant, but it’s a clever structure and the likeable characters combined with steadily building tension, kept me turning the pages. There are slightly overlapping timelines shared between the characters but I liked this structure as it allowed for a greater understanding, not only of the character viewpoints and motivations but in the way it brought to light more and more subtle information. This is a heart-warming story, an easy-read of a historical family-saga with a slightly soapy feel. The sort of fiction which doesn’t pretend to be anything else, and I really enjoyed it.
My review rules are: The more stars, the more I liked it.
If there are too many typos or errors the less stars I give
If the storyline or plot is poor or contains too many errors, the characters are too weak, the ending lacking something, then the less stars I give.
Simple, uncomplicated and to the point without giving anything away.
Some of the books I read have been given to me by the author as a pre-release copy and this does not bias my reviews in any way