Cat O'Nine Tales: And Other Stories

( 6 )

Overview

Cat O’Nine Tales is the fifth collection of irresistible short stories from the master storyteller. Ingeniously plotted, with richly drawn characters and Jeffrey Archer’s trademark of deliciously unexpected conclusions, some of these thirteen stories were inspired by the two years Jeffrey Archer spent in prison, including the story of a company chairman who tries to poison his wife while on a trip to St Petersburg—with unexpected consequences. The Red King is a tale about a con man who discovers that an English ...
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Overview

Cat O’Nine Tales is the fifth collection of irresistible short stories from the master storyteller. Ingeniously plotted, with richly drawn characters and Jeffrey Archer’s trademark of deliciously unexpected conclusions, some of these thirteen stories were inspired by the two years Jeffrey Archer spent in prison, including the story of a company chairman who tries to poison his wife while on a trip to St Petersburg—with unexpected consequences. The Red King is a tale about a con man who discovers that an English Lord requires one more chess piece to complete a set that would be worth a fortune. In another tale of deception, The Commissioner, a Bombay con artist ends up in the morgue, after he uses the police chief as bait in his latest scam. The Perfect Murder reveals how a convict manages to remove an old enemy while he’s locked up in jail, and then set up two prison officers as his alibi. In Charity Begins at Home, an accountant realizes he has achieved nothing in his life, and sets out to make a fortune before he retires.
 
And then there is Archer’s favorite, In the Eye of the Beholder, where a handsome star athlete falls in love with a three-hundred-pound woman...who happens to be the ninth richest woman in Italy.  Jeffrey Archer is the only author to have topped international bestseller lists with his fiction, non-fiction, and his short stories. Cat O’Nine Tales is Archer at his best: witty, sad, surprising, and unforgettable.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"One of the top ten storytellers in the world." - Los Angeles Times
Larry King

There isn't a better story-teller alive.
The Boston Globe

Archer plots with skill, and keeps you turning the pages.
The New York Times

Cunning plots, silken style…. Archer plays a cat-and-mouse game with the reader.
Time

Archer is a master entertainer.
The Washington Post

A storyteller in the class of Alexandre Dumas…unsurpassed skill…making the reader wonder intensely what will happen next.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641558832
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/12/2007
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain's House of Commons and fourteen years in the House of Lords. All of his novels and short story collections--including And Thereby Hangs a Tale, Kane and Abel, Paths of Glory and False Impression--have been international bestselling books. Archer is married with two sons and lives in London and Cambridge.

Biography

Few contemporary writers can lay claim to as many career highs and lows as Jeffrey Archer -- bestselling novelist, disgraced politician, British peer, convicted perjurer, and former jailbird. And whether you view his misfortunes as bad luck or well-deserved comeuppance depends largely on how you feel about this gregarious, fast-talking force of nature.

Born in London and raised in Somerset, Archer attended Wellington School and worked at a succession of jobs before being hired to teach Physical Education at Dover College. He gained admission to Brasenose College at Oxford, where he distinguished himself as a first-class sprinter and a tireless promoter, famously inveigling the Beatles into supporting a fundraising drive he spearheaded on behalf of the then-obscure charity Oxfam.

After leaving Oxford, Archer continued work as a fundraiser and ran successfully for political office. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1969 but was forced to step down in 1974 when he lost his fortune in a fraudulent investment scheme. He turned to writing in order to stave off bankruptcy. His first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, was published in 1976 and became an instant hit. It was followed, in quick succession, by a string of bestsellers, including his most famous novel, Kane and Abel (1979), which was subsequently turned into a blockbuster CBS-TV miniseries.

On the strength of his literary celebrity, Archer revived his political career in 1985, serving as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The following year he was forced to resign over a scandal involving payment to a London prostitute. (He admitted paying the money, but denied vehemently that it was for sex.) In 1987, he sued a British tabloid for libel and was awarded damages in the amount of 500,000 pounds.

Despite the adverse publicity, Queen Elizabeth (acting on the advice of Prime Minister John Major) awarded Archer a life peerage in 1992. The Conservative Party selected him to run for Mayor of London in the 2000 election, but he withdrew from the race when perjury charges were brought against him in the matter of the 1987 libel trial. In 2001, he was convicted and served half of a four-year prison term. (He turned the experience into three bestselling volumes of memoir!) Since his release, Lord Archer has expressed no interest in returning to public office, choosing instead to concentrate on charity work and on his writing career.

Controversy has dogged Archer most of his adult life. Claims still circulate that he falsified his paperwork to gain entrance to Oxford; and, at various other times, he has been accused of shoplifting, padding expenses, insider trading, misappropriation of funds, and financing a failed coup d'état against a foreign government. Needless to say, all this has kept him squarely in the sights of the British tabloids.

Yet, for all the salacious headlines and in spite of lukewarm reviews, Archer remains one of Britain's most popular novelists. His books will never be classified as great literature, but his writing is workmanlike and he has never lost his flair for storytelling. In addition to his novels, he has also written short stories and plays. Clearly, in "art," as in life, Jeffrey Archer has proved himself an affable survivor.

Good To Know

Archer was once a competitive runner and represented Great Britain in international competition.

Regarding the sex scandal that ultimately landed her husband in prison, Lady Mary Archer, the author's wife of 35 years, told reporters that she was "cross" with her husband but that "we are all human and Jeffrey manages to be more human than most. I believe his virtues and talents are also on a larger scale."

The prison where Archer was transferred for carrying out his perjury sentence in October 2001 is a "low security" jail on the Lincolnshire coast, a facility known for raising high-quality pork. According to one authority, "It is considered to be a cushy little place."

After his "fall from grace," Archer counted former Conservative PMs Margaret Thatcher and John Major among his many loyal supporters.

In the 1980s, Archer and his wife, Mary, purchased the Old Vicarage, Grantchester, a house associated with the poet Rupert Brooke.
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    1. Hometown:
      London and the Old Vicarage, Grantchester
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 15, 1940
    1. Education:
      Attended Brasenose College, Oxford, 1963-66. Received a diploma in sports education from Oxford Institute

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Captivating, "real world" short stories.

    Each of the twelve stories stands alone, all proved of interest to me. "The Man Who Robbed His Own Post Office" is a nicely woven adventure involving two very hard working people. "The Red King" involves a chess piece and it's "movement" towards marketability.
    The final story, "In the Eye of the Beholder", is a "weighty matter" that is a marvelous play on perception.
    Each of the stories involve value systems and while your perception of them may differ from mine, I feel that the author's experiences, the interwoven humor, the sense of justice served will all lead to each reader's complete enjoyment.

    I now look forward to reading Archer's "Paths of Glory", a novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 20, 2010

    For a Quick Archer Read

    When you need to read Jeffrey Archer but don't have time for a novel, "Cat O'Nine Tales" is just the book. These short stories are based on those Archer heard from fellow inmates while serving time in prison, which adds to the authenticity of these for-real bizarre and crazy crimes; otherwise, one would simply be amazed at Archer's writing craft. But, once you start reading, bet you won't be able to stop at just one tale!

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

    Posted September 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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