Customer Reviews for

A Prisoner of Birth

Average Rating 4
( 148 )
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(71)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

entertaining modernization of the Dumas classic

Danny Cartwright proposes to his beloved Beth Wilson who accepts. The pair and her brother Bernie, who is also his best friend, celebrate. Four drunks (Spencer Craig, Lawrence Davenport, Gerald Payne, and Toby Mortimer), who call themselves the Musketeers insult the t...
Danny Cartwright proposes to his beloved Beth Wilson who accepts. The pair and her brother Bernie, who is also his best friend, celebrate. Four drunks (Spencer Craig, Lawrence Davenport, Gerald Payne, and Toby Mortimer), who call themselves the Musketeers insult the trio. A fight occurs and one of the quartet stabs Bernie killing him. The four Musketeers swear they witnessed Danny kill the man though he claims otherwise. Since they are elite Cambridge University graduates and successful professionals who speak and dress like aristocratic gentlemen while he is an illiterate slum scum, he is charged with the homicide as ┬┐clothing┬┐ makes the man. His attorney the best one he can obtain with little money is slaughtered by the prosecutor. Danny is convicted to serve twenty-two years at maximum-security Belmarsh Prison. --- In prison Danny shares a cell with Nicholas Moncrieff, who teaches him to read Dumas. When someone kills Moncrieff, Danny pretends to be Nicholas and escapes his incarceration. His goals are to destroy the Musketeers and prove his innocence. --- The fun in this crime thriller is finding the numerous references to The Count of Monte Cristo as Jeffrey Archer pays homage to Alexander Dumas. The story line is fast-paced from the moment of the first confrontation and never slows down as Danny works his revenge. Although the key players including the hero are never fully developed beyond their link to the original novel, readers will enjoy this entertaining modernization of the Dumas classic. --- Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

A Prisoner of Birth

Jeffrey Archer's latest novel is essentially a modern remake of Alexandre Dumas' The Count Of Monte Cristo. While the latter's tale was set in 18th-century France at the time when a certain Napoleon Bonaparte was in exile, Prisoner Of Birth takes place in modernday Lond...
Jeffrey Archer's latest novel is essentially a modern remake of Alexandre Dumas' The Count Of Monte Cristo. While the latter's tale was set in 18th-century France at the time when a certain Napoleon Bonaparte was in exile, Prisoner Of Birth takes place in modernday London. Apart from the difference of some 200 years, the plots of the two novels barely differ. In this book, a young man by the name of Danny Cartwright, who was about to marry his childhood sweetheart, suddenly finds himself accused of a crime he did not commit. He is then put behind bars where he receives some education from a cellmate. Danny finds a way to escape. He then amasses a huge fortune, and a title to boot, and plots revenge against those who brought about his earlier downfall. The fast-moving plot and simple language make the novel a definite pageturner. But despite Archer's attempts to adapt his story to modern times, some parts of the plot might seem rather far-etched and unbelievable, especially the prison escape. Archer manages to inject some originality only towards the later part of the story, choosing to digress from Dumas' tragic end for the Count of Monte Cristo. Those who have not read the original classic may appreciate this. But fans of the original may find that this copycat modern version is just not up to par.

posted by Anonymous on May 23, 2008

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 148 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    entertaining modernization of the Dumas classic

    Danny Cartwright proposes to his beloved Beth Wilson who accepts. The pair and her brother Bernie, who is also his best friend, celebrate. Four drunks (Spencer Craig, Lawrence Davenport, Gerald Payne, and Toby Mortimer), who call themselves the Musketeers insult the trio. A fight occurs and one of the quartet stabs Bernie killing him. The four Musketeers swear they witnessed Danny kill the man though he claims otherwise. Since they are elite Cambridge University graduates and successful professionals who speak and dress like aristocratic gentlemen while he is an illiterate slum scum, he is charged with the homicide as ¿clothing¿ makes the man. His attorney the best one he can obtain with little money is slaughtered by the prosecutor. Danny is convicted to serve twenty-two years at maximum-security Belmarsh Prison. --- In prison Danny shares a cell with Nicholas Moncrieff, who teaches him to read Dumas. When someone kills Moncrieff, Danny pretends to be Nicholas and escapes his incarceration. His goals are to destroy the Musketeers and prove his innocence. --- The fun in this crime thriller is finding the numerous references to The Count of Monte Cristo as Jeffrey Archer pays homage to Alexander Dumas. The story line is fast-paced from the moment of the first confrontation and never slows down as Danny works his revenge. Although the key players including the hero are never fully developed beyond their link to the original novel, readers will enjoy this entertaining modernization of the Dumas classic. --- Harriet Klausner

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 3, 2009

    A GREAT BOOK!!

    This is the first book I ever read by Jeffrey Archer and it was great. A real page turner and hard to put down. I would highly recommend reading this. I plan on reading all his books.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    A Prisoner of Birth

    Jeffrey Archer's latest novel is essentially a modern remake of Alexandre Dumas' The Count Of Monte Cristo. While the latter's tale was set in 18th-century France at the time when a certain Napoleon Bonaparte was in exile, Prisoner Of Birth takes place in modernday London. Apart from the difference of some 200 years, the plots of the two novels barely differ. In this book, a young man by the name of Danny Cartwright, who was about to marry his childhood sweetheart, suddenly finds himself accused of a crime he did not commit. He is then put behind bars where he receives some education from a cellmate. Danny finds a way to escape. He then amasses a huge fortune, and a title to boot, and plots revenge against those who brought about his earlier downfall. The fast-moving plot and simple language make the novel a definite pageturner. But despite Archer's attempts to adapt his story to modern times, some parts of the plot might seem rather far-etched and unbelievable, especially the prison escape. Archer manages to inject some originality only towards the later part of the story, choosing to digress from Dumas' tragic end for the Count of Monte Cristo. Those who have not read the original classic may appreciate this. But fans of the original may find that this copycat modern version is just not up to par.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A very good read

    Despite of the fact that you have the idea that how it is going to end, this is a real page turner....I just could not put it down.....i loved it, and one of those books which i never wanted to end...

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2008

    welcome back

    We've been awaiting Archer's true return for a long, long time! Grisham creates characters which lock you in within the first 10 pages, but Archer did it way before Grisham. Great characterization and a good storyline are the makings of a truly good read. You won't be able to put this work down. Read and enjoy and then pass it along to a friend.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2008

    Lots of interesting views

    Not Since Cane and Able have I read such a style. If you enjoyed Cane and Able you must read A Prisoner of Birth. With the story line much similar to that of The Count of Monte Cristo with the switching of identity and such, you find yourself looking forward to Danny's just revenge. This is a fast page turner.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    Great Book!!!

    This was a great book. Flowed really well

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2011

    Great Read

    Typical of Jeffrey Archer, keeps you trying to out guess him. Nice twists and turns in the plot.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2013

    Captivating

    Another gripping tale! Read it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    Another winner

    I have yet to be disappointed in one of Archer's books!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2014

    Very enjoyable - particularly the audio version

    This is a very enjoyable book. Nicely drawn characters, good plot, interesting twists, but the audio version read by Roger Allam elevates it to another level. As many have said before Roger Allam could read the phone book and keep you captivated. He has enormous talent for not only accents and dialects, but he acts the parts, he doesn't just read them. Given that he is a great actor that comes as no surprise, but it makes listening to the book all the more enjoyable for the audience. He clearly distinguishes between each character and gives them life.

    I would also recommend Jeffrey Archer's Only Time Will Tell (the first of the Clifton Chronicles) which is a great story . . . but get the audio version read by Roger Allam!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Definitely one of Archer's best!

    If you are a fan of Jeffrey Archer, you don't want to miss this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2014

    Could not put this book down

    Excellant

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  • Posted December 15, 2012

    Highly recommend it

    Wow. What a gripping story. Kept me reading straight through. Made me buy more books by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    A Must Read

    Jeffrey Archer knows so well how to engage the reader. It's almost as if you personally know the characters. From beginning to end, I couldn't wait to get back to a private place to finish this book. Great read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    The book was interesting but not how i expected it to be

    The only thing i didnt like about was that rhe favt the author didnt use very descriptive words like for instance instead of saying i had a fine day i either had an awesome day or a horrible day because ok says nothing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Don't hesitate, read this book.

    I had read the overview of this book online several times and put off purchasing. Glad I finally bought it on Nook! A truly original and engrossing tale.

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  • Posted December 8, 2011

    Highly recommended

    I stopped reading Jeffery Archer many years ago on principle, but having run out of my favourite authors recently I went back to him and realised what I have been missing. A prisoner of birth was excellent like always you never know the plot and so you keep on reading until the book is finished.
    without his Bellmarsh experience I am sure it would not have been as good. Looking forward to his next book.

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  • Posted December 2, 2011

    Read it!

    Excellent story,excellent writing,read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    Fantastic

    This was such a grest book. Unlike anything i have ever read

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