Book Review - Kane and Abel

Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer
Originally published in 1979
Currently available from St. Martin’s Press – 2009 reprint

(I originally bought and read this book about 10 years ago but have re-read it many times)

Abel Rosnovski and William Kane were both born on April 18, 1906 and that is where there similarities end. Born worlds apart, this is a rag to riches tale that reads like an exciting biography. I really enjoy a good story that is detailed, fast paced, and has twists that are unexpected, Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer fully fits this description.

While some stories that follow the lifetime of a character will have sections that stall for some pages, there is never a dull moment in this book.  The characters have flaws like everybody else in the world but that helps to make them seem more believable, even more likable. There are times that Rosnovski and Kane make decisions that are unethical but because you know where they are coming from and you can see exactly where there mindset is at the time, the decision they make is understandable.

This is a story of survival, hard work, love, and loss. When I read a novel I am not normally looking for life lessons, I just want to escape from reality for a while. By the end of reading this book I could not help but find a few underlying life lessons hidden in the pages. For me Kane and Abel reinforced that not only do you have to work hard to see you dreams come true, but while you are following your dreams, make sure not to loose sight of what you need in your life to be happy.  Is a life full of business success worth living if you are not happy?  When I read the last page another lesson jumped out at me, small decisions can have huge consequences! This forcing me to remember that I need to think a little bit before I open my mouth (a little lesson I can always use some reminding of).

Originally published in 1979, this book is still available in bookstores and libraries, and has even been converted into an ebook. Kane and Abel is a true classic of the 20th century. In 1985 the book was made into a TV Miniseries starring Peter Strauss and Sam Neil.

This was the first book I read by Jeffrey Archer but certainly not the last. He is a talented writer who not only writes long fiction but has many collections of short stories. The short fiction is quick and well told with all sorts of twists, a writing technique harder to master (but he does) when a page limit is upon you. 

Jeffrey Archer’s newest book Only Time Will Tell will be released in North America at the end of this month and I can hardly wait to get my hands on it. Watch for my review of it coming in the fall.

If you would like to continue reading his work here are some of my top picks:

**The Prodigal Daughter – a continuing look into the lives of the Rosnovski and Kane families through the daughter of Abel and the son of Kane

**The Fourth Estate – two media tycoons battle in true Kane and Abel style

**A Prisoner of Birth – a tale of wrongful accusations and mistaken identity

**Sons of Fortune – twin boys are separated at birth and somehow fate will reunite them many years later


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