Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer
I really didn’t want to enjoy this book, (I’m not a great fan of the man – no offence Jeffrey!), but I actually did. The story-telling is tremendous and got me hooked almost from the first page. The story of the biblical Cane and Abel is well known enough, but this basically turns it on its head. Archer manages to create sympathy with both characters, making it a difficult – if not an impossible – choice to ‘choose sides’. Each man endures personal hardships and the characters are clearly influenced by it, and it is abundantly clear that in another world these two men would be the best of friends. I won’t say anymore just in case there are people out there yet to give it a read – so no spoilers.
The writing itself is excellent and a delight to read. Archer manages, almost effortlessly it seems, to strike the right balance between dialogue and prose and background stories to keep the story moving forward. At no point did I find myself flicking forward to find the end of the chapter so I could put it down. It was rarely out of my hand. I was truly absorbed. It’s been a while in my reading that I’ve managed to say that about a work of fiction.
I know that I shouldn’t have put off reading it just because I’m not a massive fan of the author, but it’s too late now. The important thing is that I’m happy to prove myself wrong and I chide myself at my hope to find it underrated. I’ll definitely pick up some by him again.
If you haven’t read it. Do so. Now. It’s quite simply one of the best books I’ve read in the past few years.