Book Review: Kane & Abel


kaneabel Kane & Abel, Jeffrey Archer  (1979)

When I was twelve years old I read a small collection of short stories by Jeffrey Archer, and ever since then, I have always thought of myself as a fan of his writing.  (Fun Fact, I don’t believe I ever actually finished the book.)  You might find it strange, then, that I hadn’t read any other of his books until June this year when I read, and subsequently fell in love with, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less.  My interest renewed, I followed this with Kane & Abel.

William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski, one the son of a Boston millionaire, the other a penniless Polish immigrant. Two men, born on the same day, on opposite sides of the world, their paths destined to cross in their ruthless struggle to build a fortune.

An unputdownable story, spanning sixty years, of two powerful men linked by an all-consuming hatred, brought together by fate to save—and finally destroy—each other.

Now, going into the book I had no idea what it was about.  None.  I decided simply to start reading and see where I ended up, and I’ll tell you, I was hooked from page one.  I loved watching the characters grow up, and the pacing was fantastic.  All I wanted as I read on (and on, and on… reading the book on my Kindle, I had no idea just how large the book is.) was for the two characters to meet, because, given the opportunity, I’m sure they would get along famously.  I now realise that that is the whole point of the book.  Read to the end.  Just do it.  Things aren’t always as they appear.

The story is just – wow!  It’s intense and the actions in one section are mirrored in the events of the next, an effect that I personally really enjoyed.  I love amazing driven characters, whether in fiction or on film, and Kane & Abel gives you that.  I felt all of the good things and all of the bad that the two characters experienced, and I don’t know if I could pick a favourite.  When I read Kane’s sections I loved him and when I read Abel’s, I loved him, too.  All I wanted for them both was a happy ending, and while I didn’t agree with the way the story ended, I appreciated it all the same.  The book made such an impact on me, that I have to say it’s cemented its place on my list of all time favourite books; I look forward to reading the sequel.



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