Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jeffrey Archer - As the Crow Flies

When Charlie Trumper inherits his grandfather's fruit and vegetable barrow, he inherits as well his enterprising spirit, which quickly lifts him out of poverty in London's East End. Success, however, does not come easily or quickly, particularly when World War I sends Charlie into combat and into an ongoing struggle with a vengeful enemy who will not rest until Charlie is destroyed. Charlie Trumper's epic journey carries him across three continents and through the triumphs and disasters of the twentieth century, all leading toward the fulfillment of his greatest dream.

Comment: I was given this book in my birthday last year. As this happened in September the book wasn't in the to read pile for that long. When I first read the blurb it didn't seem that interesting but I have to admit it, the friend who gave it to me knew what she was doing...

The book is all about Charlie and his humble origins. He was very poor as a child and worshiped his grandfather, an honest fruit and vegetables seller in Whitechapel. Then Charlie went to the great war and started a business after the end of it, he kept on until he reached success, he married and increased his profits. His life was surrounded by people and their actions and the book also shows us how his wife and employees and everyone around him would be part of his dreams and hopes.

While reading this book, Colleen McCullough immediately came to mind because I thought this book was so similar to her way of writing, especially the division to time lines and the focus on one main character at a time. Plus, the story also had some similarities to her almost fateful destinies motto. At least it sounded like it in her books I've read.
Anyway, this book tells Charlie's story and how he grew up from a poor nobody to a millionaire. The best thing and I mean it, about this book is how Charlie wasn't stupid, he was ambitious yes, but he NEVER lost his goodness, he never stopped being humble and caring. I loved this because it proves for someone to change it doesn't mean your personality has to.
Charlie's live had many setbacks. He was a giving person and tried to help several people and there were times that, indirectly, those good actions would have consequences, although never anything bad. Still, I wish there wasn't as many angst as that, but I have to say that there were many victories too and I loved ending a chapter where Charlie would have the upper hand.
Some things happen, in terms of fate, that left me sad. I guess that's to be expected, after all in such a long book about someone's whole life that has to mean some heartbreak as well as good things, but what I meant about fate is that one or two things were to much of a coincidence to be realistic. Of course, this is fiction, and sometimes strange things happen to people, but I thought it was a bit too much...
Still, it was a great read. I've learned quite much about some subjects and the writing never seemed dull to me. By the end, things happens real quickly and I found myself in a frenzy to know if the good guys would reach it and the way they did was to great to be missed. 
I recommend this book to everyone who likes fiction. It has many things to think about but the style and the way the story is told is mostly fiction oriented so anyone would like it.
I got quite happy to have read it. I just don't think it's perfect over two things or three, things pertinent in the storyline but overall, not that bad to ruin the book. I never guessed this gem was hidden there because I haven't read anything else by the author and I believe most his works are in the suspense area? So, a hug to my friend and hopefully someone out there might want to read it too.

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