SONS OF FORTUNE by Jeffrey Archer


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Twins separated at birth are reunited decades later after many, many twists of fate.

The Oxford-educated Archer (The Eleventh Commandment, 1998, etc.) has deposited yet another pile of pages upon us but will likely escape prosecution for the crime. This time, he gives us a pair of twins born in 1950s Connecticut. Through a chain of obtusely convoluted events, the boys are mixed up at the hospital and raised by separate parents, never knowing of their siblinghood. It’s a long, long road until they meet again. One, Nat, is a smart but headstrong lad who could have gotten out of Vietnam but feels honor-bound to go, returns a celebrated hero after helping rescue some trapped soldiers, and goes into banking. The other, Fletcher, equally smart and headstrong, becomes a lawyer. Each marries a gorgeous, smart woman and starts riding a rocket to the top. Pretty much the only difference between the two is that Nat has a nemesis from school, Roger Elliot, a cartoonishly rotten brat who always plays dirty. Elliot is an archetype of archetypes who pops up occasionally just to inflict a wrong upon saintly Nat. The 1970s grumble on with only the occasional nod to the passage of time, and eventually the twins are both running for governor of Connecticut—Nat a Republican, Fletcher Democrat—and a final dirty trick by Elliot brings them together in a courtroom where Fletcher defends Nat against a murder charge—while the election is still going on. Most distressing about this dreary business is not that Archer’s plot points are so ridiculous or contrived, but that he fails to make it at all entertaining.

Flat, bland, covered in wastelands of cliché.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-312-31319-5
Page count: 528pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2002


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