Customer Reviews for

A Prisoner of Birth

Average Rating 4
( 148 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 12 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

6 out of 6 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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  • 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

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