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Twelve Red Herrings Hardcover – Feb 1 1995


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Hardcover, Feb 1 1995
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--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.



Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books Ltd; Large type edition edition (Feb. 1 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708988113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708988114
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 662 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Archer does a passable O. Henry in his third story collection (after A Twist in the Tale ), though without that master's depth of feeling or irony. Many of the 12 stories here, all of which feature false clues and twist endings, are based on "known" incidents; the fact that the weakest ones are not suggests that Archer's love of plot may exceed his unaided grasp. The leadoff yarn, "Trial and Error," for instance, an original but attenuated tale of a wronged man's thirst for revenge, kicks in only with its predictably wry twist. Also original but flaccid is the last story, which features four rather obvious alternative endings that the reader can tack onto an opening gambit about a man picking up a woman at the theater. The adaptive tales are generally stronger. "Chunnel Vision" offers a classic red herring by which Archer uses a jilted woman's revenge on her lover to divert our attention from the real threat to the lover's happiness. Similarly, the chilling "Never Stop on the Motorway" plays on our expectations about an endangered woman's plight. Written in strong, clean prose and ranging in tone from charming to achingly suspenseful, these tales, mostly entertaining but often slight, offer, like much of Archer's work, more craft than art. $365,000 ad/promo; audio rights to HarperAudio.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

There's probably not a red herring among these stories from master spy writer Archer.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 29 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jeffrey Archer's 'Twelve Red Herrings' are imaginative, well-written short stories. Archer (now Lord Archer, the variously popular-then-disgraced-then-popular-currently-disgraced Tory almost-leader) is better known for his novels, but has proven himself to be a good author of short stories as well.
Each of the twelve tales in the collection contains an unexpected twist in the character or outcome, something that Archer is good at providing in most plots he's written. Archer seems to have the knack of taking one idea and spinning it, like a spider's web coming from one small strand, into a very fine and very wide reaching net that catches you and keeps you involved until the end.
In 'Cheap at Half the Price' we are introduced to Consuela Rosenheim, a woman with expensive tastes which require both a wealthy husband and wealthy lover to satisfy, working in concert but each unwitting of the other. Her procurement of a necklace is a wonderful story.
In 'Trial and Error' we follow Cooper on an ingenious plot for revenge, to finally carry out the murder for which he has already been sentenced and convicted, knowing that due to the construct of the law, the murder cannot be punished (he has already been convicted and served his time).
The final story is my favourite, and of course you will, as I did, read all the endings: Archer provides a brief tale of desire-at-first-sight and the variations on the theme; how will it turn out? A question we often ask in life, and wonder will it end up well done or burnt to a crisp? Using this analogy, 'One Man's Meat...' follows a man who sees a beautiful woman while driving by, and stops to pursue her. What will happen? Is she single or married? Is HE single or married? Will she be flattered or offended?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Basically, some of the stories were great, and others were pretty awful. That's why this book only gets 3 stars.
The point of the book is that all the stories are supposed to have surprise endings, and some of them do. About 70% of the stories succeeded in keeping my interest and provided me with an unexpected ending. However, some of them left me wondering "well, what was the point of that?"
Another downside is that after so many 'surprise endings', you start to know what to expect, and you when you start looking for the clue about what's to come, you can usually figure out what the 'surprise' will be.
Overall, it's a good book to read if you want to be lightly entertained. You will be treated to some exceptional story telling, and some time wasting trash, which is certainly not the trademark of Jeffery Archer. I was happy with the book and you will be too, if you are willing to overlook the few bad parts and allow yourself to enjoy the rest.
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By A Customer on March 9 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'Twelve Red Herrings' bears the trademark of 'twist in the tale' and 'a quiver full of arrows'- common of Jeffrey Archer. But perhaps a little too much. 'one man's meat' was especially disappointing as nothing really comes out of the story, and in fact for all the twelve twisting herrings, nothing really came out of it at all, except for the fact that the reader would be ridiculed if he or she should try to predict the endings, some of which are totally unthinkable, and unthinkable indeed, because you would probably have to meditate over and over to get WHY or HOW it should happened. This book leaves too much for the reader to ponder. Not for those looking for before-bedtime entertainment. A practice of his personal style that is quite untunable to.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The term "Master Storyteller" is perhaps overused but in this case, Jeffrey Archer earns the moniker. Each of these stories I read between other people's novels, in order to space them out. It is a testament to the quality of these stories that I found myself wanting to get past the particular novel I was reading so I could get to the next Archer short story. Some of these stories have twists and some have irony, but they all have that exceptional phrasing that I have come to expect from Mr. Archer. I am suprised at some of the reviews below, giving this book lower marks, but I think if you are looking for a well-told tale, this is the book for you.
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By A Customer on Jan. 5 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jeffrey Archer is one of my favourite authors, so you
can imagine my disappointment with this book. A "red herring"
is supposed to surprise you; the ending of each story is
supposed to knock you off your feet and scream "Boomshakalaka!".
Unfortunately, Archer succeeded to (mildly) surprise me
with one story only - out of the twelve, and that, in my
book, reads "total failure". Archer should stick
to his one-story-per-book approach, and abandon these
forays into the short-story genre.
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By Jorge Frid on Dec 18 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Is the first book of stories that I really like, there is one finish that I didn't like at all, the story of the painter. Is also the first time that I can select what finish I like from a story, let me tell you that if I can change the end of some books I will.
All the stories are easy to read and have their own message (except the story of the painter, or maybe I didn't understood it.)
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