Book Reviews of Kane & Abel

Kane & Abel
Kane Abel
Author: Jeffrey Archer
ISBN-13: 9780061007125
ISBN-10: 0061007129
Publication Date: 8/1/1993
Pages: 592
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.

4.3 stars, based on 51 ratings
Publisher: HarperTorch
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

24 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Kane & Abel on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I loved this book so much I read in twice over a period of two years. I enjoyed it the second time as much as the first time. Very inspiring story. I found myself taking sides and hoping that the lead characters would get the breaks they deserved.
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Helpful Score: 1
Probably one of the (if not the) best book I have ever read. Fabulous from beginning to end.
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Great book - not my normal read, but it has made my favorite list! I love how the two mens lives intertwine.
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I came across this book by accident and thank goodness I did - it's an incredible story. The characters are very vivid and multilayered. The story is a family saga spanning several decades, yet the plot was excellent and kept me engaged (riveted!) throughout. I never found that it lagged or bogged down. And the ending was one that I kept thinking about long after I finished the book.
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This book held my interest until I was able to finish it. It is wonderfully written.
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Two boys, sharing the same birthday, one born into prosperity and the other into hardship and struggle. Their lives are shaped by their upbringings and eventually they become adversaries with only one winner.
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If you like Jeffrey Archer, you'll find this to be one of his best. A real page-turner!
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Not his best work, but interesting.
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One of my favorite books, but it has been a long time since I have read it. I do remember that it held my interest from the first line!
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The story spans sixty years of two men and their families, linked by hatred and passion. One is a Polish immagrant and the other a son of a Bofton mllionaire
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Really enjoyed listening to this book!
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An epic novel of power, jealousy, ambition and terrible revenge. Rich with memorable characters and a marvelous sense of the tims and places in which they lived....
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There's always a line beyond which an abridgment is more aptly called a short story. This production unfortunately crosses that line. This variation on the biblical story is thoroughly entertaining, and Jeff Harding's reading adds to the experience. Harding has a lively style that fits the novel, and he uses different accents effectively. The problem is that by reducing a 592-page book to a three-hour recording, too much is left out. By the end, the listener wants to know so much more about the characters, particularly Abel Rosnovski, who, both on the printed page and in Harding's performance, epitomizes the immigrant struggles and successes that define the American dream.
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Jeffery Archer is a great story teller. This is a page turner.
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A good story of power, jealousy, anmbition and revenge. The print in this book is small.
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Wonderfully richly written story of two boys who are born on the same day, years apart. They cross paths many times through their growing years and as adults are intertwined in life.

Loved this epic novel of two very different families...
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Reminding me of Ken Follett, this is a page turner, with a perfectly woven story. I could not put it down. All 600+ pages devoured in 2 sittings! I love a story written with such care and grace that you know the characters, care deeply about them and feel their emotions throughout the entire story, never giving up on even a one of them. This book had that all. Do not be scared off by date on the cover, this book is highly relevant today and its age is never seen as a hindrance.
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I get copies of this novel frequently. I give them to "readers".
This book got me hooked on Jeffrey Archer. Highly recommended read.
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Jeffrey Archer is one of the greatest storytellers ever. This book held my interest throughout and I can't wait to read the next installment about these two families.

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

If you like family sagas, I would highly recommened this series.
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very good!
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Story Overview

Two menâWilliam Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovskiâare born on the same day in 1906. However, their births could not be more different. Abel is a penniless orphan who is adopted by a poor Polish woodcutter's family after his mother is found dying by the road. Kane is born into a life of privilegeâthe only son of a powerful Boston banking millionaire.

The book chronicles the parallel lives of the two men. Abel endures hardship, tragedy and oppression but manages to immigrate to America and build a successful hotel chain. Kane takes full advantage of his birthright and receives the finest education money can buy and becomes the leader of one of America's oldest and most powerful banksâyet suffers a series of tragedies of his own that make him wary of trusting people.

Although their lives run parallel as they establish their careers, there are moments when their lives intersect. Eventually, they confront each other in a business situation that ends up affecting both their lives forever and leading to a game of one-upsmanship that affects not only their individual businesses but the U.S. financial community. As the conflict unfolds between them for the bulk of their adult lives, both are stunned to find that the biggest price ends up being paid by those they love the most.

My Thoughts

I'm going to say this upfront: I didn't like this book. I forced myself to finish reading itâhoping it might get better. It didn't. Once I was 200 pages in, I felt I needed to just go ahead and slog on through.

I had high hopes going in because I'd seen a few bloggers raving about Jeffrey Archer and his booksâespecially Kane & Abel. But whatever they might have seen in this book eluded me because it left me cold.

My first problem is with the writing style. I found the writing to be very choppy. The entire book is written in a kind of rat-a-tat-tat style that I found off-putting. The majority of the narration and dialogue simply exists to move the story along; there isn't a lot of introspection, character development or extraneous description. I kept thinking: "This book seems so masculine. So abrupt and cold." I don't know if this is typical of Jeffrey Archer, but I don't plan on finding out. Characters are introduced and then dispatched with cold abandon. Perhaps this is meant to mirror the characters themselvesâboth of whom are somewhat unlikable and ruthlessâbut I feel it doesn't allow the reader to get a toehold into the story.

My next problem was with the amazing coincidences that keep bringing these two together. I guess I should have expected that from the very beginning when Archer chose to have them born on the same day. However, it began to annoy the heck out of me when they kept having run-ins that were really unbelievable. I mean, in all of the insanity of World War II, the fact that Abel (who mostly stays behind battle lines managing the food prep) ventures into "combat" exactly one time and manages to heroically save one person and it ends up being Kane was just too much for me.

Another coincidence that drove me up the wall was when these menâwho end up being the bitterest enemies bent on mutual destruction for almost the entire bookâboth have one person they love more than anyone in the worldâtheir children. I'll give you one guess who ends up falling in love. Yes....their children. Doesn't that just beat all? I mean it isn't like they live in a small town or anything where the choices are limited. No, they "find" each other in the podunk town of New York City. Oh, did I spoil the book for you? Well, you should have seen it coming a mile offâI know I did and I'm terrible at that kind of stuff.

But perhaps the biggest reason I didn't like the book was that I didn't like Kane or Abel. I just didn't give a darn what happened to either one of them. Both are obsessed with money and power and have few "real" human relationships. So once you factor in unlikable characters, add in a writing style that didn't grab me, and multiply by plot turns that seem unbelievably contrived, I ended up giving this book two stars (and that is being generous).

My Final Recommendation

I don't recommend this book at all. I didn't enjoy it in the least. So, I guess I've defying Otto Preminger, who has a blurb on the back of my book that reads: "I defy anyone not to enjoy this book, which is one of the best novels I have ever read." Well, Mr. Preminger: I didn't enjoy it. What are you going to do about it?

But I have to tell you, I seem to be alone in my assessment of this book from what I can tell. There are tons of 5 star reviews on Amazon, and the book jacket itself is just loaded with glowing praise. So, even though it wasn't my type of book, it might still have merit for you.
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Great author that doesn't disappoint.
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New condition~