"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Monday, July 4, 2011

Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer

The gentlemen in Archer's Kane and Able are incredibly frustrating! The lengthy battle for power that the two main characters engage in is drawn out and exhausting. You spend an exorbitant amount of time watching each man grow into his own fortune and power and then the rest of the time is spent watching them waste that same fortune and power, not to mention years of their lives, in a constant misplaced and unnecessary feud for revenge. Both men are annoying in their own right but I found Abel downright unlikeable. His myopic view of the world, big business, and the amazing self-righteousness he displays in placing his ideas of what is moral and ethical are infuriating. I like him when is young and struggling but when he finally makes it he has the attitude of a born-again Christian or an ex-smoker. The people not inspired to bend to his will are clearly in the wrong-always. I kept thinking that eventually I would come into this lovely tale of partnership and friendship but no such luck. There is a developed irony in the novel and I typically appreciate that talent in authors but by the time I got to that point I was too irritated with the characters to give the ironic twist any more than a dissatisfied snort. 
I never attached to any of Archer's characters. I wanted to really love at least one of them so I could root for someone, hold my breath in anticipation for someone, but I never got sufficiently engrossed in the tale to fall for any of the characters. Despite the novel's length, the characters remain two-dimensional and undeveloped making it impossible to really invest in their story.

You will find an official description of the plot line at: 

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