Thursday, March 13, 2008

Archer on Top Again

Now that England has become a vassal state of Scotland, it is time for English schoolchildren to do a bit of revisionist history. For years, the Scottish King Bruce (not to be confused with the Australian Bruce) has been held up as a shining example of determination against all odds and as an object lesson to those suffering from Arachnophobia.
But now, the English have a worthy hero of their own. Once again, Jeffery Archer has triumphed against all odds, including that of not being an outstanding novelist, and got a best-seller on his hands.
Whatever your feelings concerning his private life and apparent moral turpitude, you have to give it to him, this man's a trier. His first novel saved him from bankruptcy and his latest draws heavily upon his experiences in prison.
And, for this reason alone, may be his best yet. Here he has drawn on the events that shaped the lives of his fellow inmates which gives an air of authenticity no imagination can surpass.
Writers are at their best when dealing with environments they are familiar with. Dickens tended to flounder once he left the environs of his home town, London.
But it's Archer's sheer tenacity and Lazarus like determination not to be buried that arouses my admiration.
I understand that he is an enthusiastic cricketer. Perhaps he might consider a trip to New Zealand to show the overpaid, decorated professionals there a thing or two.


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