Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Pleasant Surprise

And Thereby Hangs a Tale
By Jeffrey Archer

Short stories are very dear to me - I myself have written several and have read many times more but each new book of short stories excites me. There are the standard writers like O Henry, whose works have a certain method behind them that few others have been able to copy. Jeffrey Archer is not an author I would associate with in the world of short stories but And Thereby Hangs a Tale did surprise me with the sheer breadth of its stories and the use of surprise and irony in them.

What differentiates Archer from the likes of O Henry is the British-tone to his stories. And true to any Brit, he had to include a story about a high-flying Indian Maharaja's son - somehow, the British seem entirely unable to forget their former colony or its stereotypes. Nonetheless, the book covers a variety of topics and characters with stories that sometimes look to surprise and sometimes to inspire - certainly an excellent combination in one collection. 

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