And Thereby Hangs a Tale

Image of And Thereby Hangs a Tale
Release Date: 
September 13, 2010
St. Martin's Press
Reviewed by: 

Jeffrey Archer is the international best-selling author of numerous novels, Kane and Abel perhaps being the best known of his prolific works. He is also a master short-story writer and his latest collection, And Thereby Hangs a Tale, will only help enhance his reputation as a skilled wordsmith.

From Italy to India and everywhere in between, Archer navigates his literary globe to bring us fifteen short stories, each with a distinctive and international flavor. Most of the perfectly honed stories in this volume, according to the author, are based on true events, but they also carry with them the arresting twists we have come to expect from Archer. Some are cleverly funny while others are deeply perceptive about human nature.

There are a number of exquisite little gems of colloquial prose to be had in this collection, and each will whet the appetite for different reasons to different readers.

“High Heels,” the story of a young insurance detective lent a helping hand by his wife to crack his first independent case, is a captivating story with the potential to become a longer work in the future.

“Caste-Off” is a salient love story about an Indian couple, and naturally—as the astute title suggests—it’s driven by caste problems in India.

“Members Only” tells the tale of a young golfer’s dreams of becoming a member of an exclusive golfing club.

“Politically Correct” is a story of modern-day suspicion, and once again Archer eschews the pitfalls of predictability with an original and intelligent ending.

“A Good Eye,” “Stuck On You,” and “Where There’s a Will” become a trio of unforgettable yarns.

“No Room at the Inn,” about a young man who has little or no money to spend but has to survive a freezing night, will remain with you long after you have put this book to bed.

Very few modern authors can master the difficult genre of short story writing, but Archer has made the genre his forte. He has a gifted aptitude for creating stories told in a compelling and assured voice.

This latest compilation is witty, imaginatively entertaining, but more importantly, alive with great characterization and suspense. With its intended universal themes, And Thereby Hangs a Tale will appeal to everyone, especially aficionados of genuine and authentic storytelling.

One of the best short-story collections to hit the shelves in years.