Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Review of A Prisoner of Birth By Jeffrey Archer

I am a big fan of Jeffrey Archer. Of all his books, Kane and Abel was mind blowing. I still remember being inspired by the intelligence and street-smarts of the two characters. I wanted to be that when I grew up - a corporate hot-shot. Even his short story collection has been pretty amazing.

His new book - A Prisoner of Birth was especially enticing to read as my friend told me that it has elements of another favourite book of mine - The Count of Monte Cristo. Imagine the remix - Jeff taking off on the Count.

The book starts off very well with a crime and a subsequent trial scene that is fast paced and keeps you guessing. The characters are many but well established and their true nature comes up clearly against this background. You sympathise with the hero (Danny Cartwright) and his wife and clearly begin to dislike the villains.

It is after this that the turn of events become a bit unreal. The plot slows down and doesn't pick up too much. There are some events which conveniently happen and are not quite believable. It is here that The Count of Monte Cristo scores over A Prisoner of Birth by keeping the events simple but fast-paced. Also, The Count (Edmond Dantes) is a swash-buckling yet suave figure, completely transformed from what he was earlier. Danny Cartwright seems to have retained elements of his old self that keep him from becoming an avenging angel. Of course, the former has stuff like hidden treasures and duels with swords. That is the stuff that really sells right!!

On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being highest), I would rate it at 3.5. Overall, an entertaining read and worth the money. It is fun to delve into the characters and trying to figure how each of the villains is going to get his due. So grab your copy and settle down to a cozy read. Have fun.

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