Finished reading “Kane and Abel” – the first novel I have read of Jeffrey Archer.
Haven’t found a good review of the book, if you know, let me know. The search on Google throws up results about two musicians and their music.
My thoughts/comments :
Again enjoyed the initial story thoroughly. The struggles of Abel (Wladek) were thrilling to read. Even the business like smartness of Kane in his initial school years ( like collecting match box covers ) were detailed and interesting in the early pages. After he grows up that detail is missing.
Abel after became successful must have visited the lady who’d helped him in the train. There is no mention of it afterwards, though he visits embassy and all.
Though it was little distracting for me, liked the links and references to actual facts and history – like war, President elections, stock market crash etc. ( Though am not aware of Polish-German conflicts. ) And kept hoping/guessing this was a real story
The war efforts of both Kane and Abel almost looked like a forced distraction/deviation. It is so detached from the main story, looked like, from a meeting room they went out for a smoke and came back. Their meeting during the war, I thought would have some link/effect in their story later, but was disappointed, more disappointed that it didn’t even get a mention in the final letter.
Few sequences/passages I very much enjoyed are 1. the golf rounds Kane plays with Alan Lyold, 2. Zaphia meeting Abel surprisingly after he becomes successful 3. Kane’s sudden marriage in a foreign land.
As usual as these days, kept imagining how a particular sequence is realized on screen. Should watch this movie sometime.
I was expecting the feud to end earlier but it didn’t, and it seemed at the end as though it was getting elongated for no reason or with no happening. Also was disappointed that Kane got ill-treated though he was good and did right things – and he was a better human too – did not ditch his wife. It was also wrong that he lost the chairmanship – it would have been better if he had died before that.
For all the detailed smart moves of Kane, like hiring a detective who would be all knowing, Abel was too dumb. Was expecting Kane to buy out Abel’s hotels and give a slap back to Abel in his own business.
Why Kane’s friend had to die off abruptly like that – may be it was thought when the character is created itself coz his bank has to go to Kane but, for the reader it is abrupt. The unpredictability like this surfaces at many places right from Abel’s friend’s death to Kane’s losing chairmanship in his own bank to losing it finally in Lester’s to his death.
For me, the novel felt elongated after the affair of their children- which if at least had fueled/patched up their rivalry it would have been meaningful to invoke that plot. I dislike the plots which don’t necessarily add to the main story – which I thought was their rivalry because the cover pages & title suggested that – but for me it would have been perfectly fine to outline two characters and not have any connection – like in the early pages – thorough out the novel highlighting perhaps the similarities or the contrasts in their lives.
Wonder who the two anon people author mentions about/dedicates to in the first page and how they are related to the story.
For a novel, 550+ pages big, and for a novel that occupied my travel time for 15days or more, these comments/thoughts are less