Book Review: Only Time Will Tell

Book Review: Only Time Will Tell

April 15, 2011 2 By Manjil P. Saikia

Only time will tell
Book: Only Time Will Tell
Author: Jeffrey Archer
ISBN: 0330535676
ISBN-13: 9780330535670, 978-0330535670
Binding: Paperback
Publishing Date: 2011
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of Pages: 388
Language: English
Price: Rs. 325

Rating: 4/5

The latest offering from international bestselling author, Jeffrey Archer is “Only Time Will Tell”, the first installment of a five part series of “The Clifton Chronicles”. As the book mentions, this is indeed Archer’s greatest attempt at story telling in his 40 long and illustrious years of being a bestselling author. Like all of Archer’s books, this book too doesn’t fail to create the magic that only a master magician like Archer can create. However, this book is In a sense different from all his other works because of the ending. Although almost every book by Archer has a somewhat unusual ending, but this book beats the rest. However. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and talk about the ending when we have 386 more pages to talk about.
Only Time Will Tell (OTWT) begins the story of Harry Clifton, a poor English boy born in 1919. The book chronicles the childhood, the schooling, the parentage and finally the coming of age of Harry. Along with Harry we meet with a variety of interesting characters like Maise Clifton, his mother, Old Jack Tar, Giles Barrington, Emma Barrington, Hugo Barrington and many others. The book is subdivided into many sections and each section is told in the first person narrative by a different characters. This is although not unique about this book. Archer’s “As the Crow Flies” used this style quite successfully. This style means that certain incidents are repeated more than once from a different perspective if the time frame of two characters overlaps.
OTWT like classic Archer doesn’t fail to capture your imagination in the very first page itself. It entices you into knowing what comes next. The book however, seems like an unfinished part of the whole picture due to the abrupt ending. Although the reader is still given a taste of vintage Archer, but there seems to be something lacking in the end. A magnificently written saga, this book will be etched in the minds of the readers forever for its variety of style. Archer has perhaps created the best characters after his epic Kane and Abel. Even though we are not left much to guess and the suspense isn’t that extreme, but still the book is a work of art that only a master artist can hope to create.
Archer has yet again given us something to cheer about, and I recommend this book as the best way to put your idle mind at rest this holiday season.

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