Saturday, March 6, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: Sons of Fortune by Jeffrey Archer

Alipet at That's a novel idea started a new MEME called Show Me Five Saturday. Unfortunately, our host has been missing in action but Jenners puts up a Mr. Linky if you would like to play along. This meme will give each blogger an opportunity to give a brief description of a book they have read or reviewed during the week. It will work like this: Each Saturday you will post the answer to these questions.

  1. Title of the book you read: Sons of Fortune by Jeffrey Archer

  2. Words that descibe the book: Literary Fiction

  3. Characters you met or location:
  • Nat Cartwright: Vietnam war hero who goes on to run for governor of CT. At one point in the race, he is accused of murder. Who does he hire to defend himself but Fletcher Davenport even though Fletcher is also Nat's opposing candidate in the gubernatorial race.
  • Fletcher Davenport: Born as Peter Cartwright, Nat's twin brother, but switched by the Davenport's private nurse with the dead Davenport new-born only hours after the birth. His life closely paralled his twin brother except that now he is being brought up by wealthy and influential people.
  • Ralph Elliott: from school until the end of his life, Ralph Elliot was a thorn in Nat Cartwright's side. Ralph had no qualms about lying, stealing or cheating to get what he most wanted in life. Ralph was one of the few characters in the book that came to life for me. Archer did a good job of fleshing him out.

4. Things you liked/disliked about the story:

  • I didn't like the improbabilities in the story: The Doctor figured that the unhealthy Davenport baby should have been the one to die and he wondered why the private nurse was running out of the nursery at such an early hour. When he went in to tell the Davenports that their son had died he never did tell them as the Davenports were so thrilled to finally have a successful birth they promised to build a new hospital wing so the Doctor just shut his mouth. Yeah, that would salve his conscience. No one seemed to notice that Nat and Fletcher looked alike until they were running for governor. Fletcher's parents never wondered why their son had such a rare blood type.
  • The characters were what I would term "cream of wheat" characters. So bland at times Nat and Fletcher were almost indistinguishable from each other. None of the characters, with the exception of Ralph, were standouts. They may as well have all been named flat Stanley and be done with it.
  • Many inaccuracies in the story: during the gubernatorial race, one of the campaign managers talked about who would be getting which electoral college votes. Huh? They are running for governor, not president. If you are a British author and wish to use American political races, please do your homework and see how it works here. Time line at one point could not have been possible.
  • Although I did like the premise of the plot, I just wish it would have been better executed and it could have been done much better without all the extraneous filler pages.

5. Stars/Rating: 2 ** This is a generous rating as I could have stopped reading after the first 150 pages but I committed to finish it for the Chunkster, British and Read from my own shelves challenges.

Disclosure: This book is from my personal library.


  1. Disappointing that a "chunkster" was a 2 star read. I hope your next book is much more enjoyable.

  2. Sorry that this didn't work for you, especially since it was so long.

  3. Think I'll skip this one. I give you credit for sticking with it!

  4. It's been a long time since I read a Jeffrey Archer but I think I'll give this one a miss. I had the same experience this week, finishing a chunkster because I wanted it for challenges - hard work!
    Hope the next one makes up for the disappointment.

  5. HAHA! I read this author's book "Kane and Abel" and HATED it for many of the same reasons. And they have some of the same plot points even!! I'm under the impression that Jeffrey Archer is a horrible writer ... as least from my perspective. Though I was shocked that "Kane and Abel" got a ton of 5 star ratings on Amazon. I thought it was just so bad .. and it was long too.

  6. Wow! a 2 huh??? I will certainly never bother to grab this one, though I have to say that just from your review I don't think it would be my cup of tea reading material anyway. Sorry that it was a dud!

  7. Always disappointing to invest so much time in a book and end up not liking it. Here's hoping the next book you read is more to your liking!

  8. Hi! *waving* wanted to stop and say hello. Great idea you have - wish I had time to do this...I feel like the cliched snowball rolling down the hill gathering speed and more snow as I roll!

  9. The sixth collection of engrossing 15 short stories from Sir Jeffrey Archer is inspired by people and situations from all around the world. The fact that Sir Jeffrey Archer needed some time on his own to work on the book “And Thereby Hangs a Tail” was accepted happily by his readers (read me). His latest book "And Thereby Hangs A Tale" is available at huge discount at


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