A Quiver Full of Arrows

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Overview

Two friends fall under the spell of a New York beauty, with unexpected results. An offhand remark is taken seriously by a Chinese sculptor, and a British diplomat becomes the owner of a priceless work of art. These are among the stories in this Jeffrey Archer collection.
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A Quiver Full of Arrows

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Overview

Two friends fall under the spell of a New York beauty, with unexpected results. An offhand remark is taken seriously by a Chinese sculptor, and a British diplomat becomes the owner of a priceless work of art. These are among the stories in this Jeffrey Archer collection.
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Editorial Reviews

Michael Mewshaw
It is difficult to comprehend what conceivable enjoyment readers will derive from the sophomoric fictions in ''A Quiver Full of Arrows,'' which suggest the author is unaware that the genre has made strides since the days of O. Henry....They all display the same slack language and slick, manipulative style....Although the settings range from New York to Nigeria and from London to Mexico, Mr. Archer makes no effort to distinguish one place from another. Similarly, he shows little interest in giving his characters distinctive qualities. Instead he recycles the same tired material....This collection collapses as Jeffrey Archer tries to wrestle each story toward a trick ending or punch line. -- New York Times
From the Publisher
"A master at mixing power, politics, and profit into fiction"

Entertainment Weekly

"One of the top ten storytellers in the world"

Los Angeles Times

"A storyteller in the class of Alexander Dumas...Unsurpassed skill...making the reader wonder intensely what will happen next."

Washington Post

"Archer...has an extraordinary talent for turning notoriety into gold, and telling fast-moving stories."

Philadelphia Inquirer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061007156
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/1/1993
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 202
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.62 (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 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Short stories for a trip on a plane to keep you entertained.

    This book of short stories was entertaining but nothing compared to his usual novels. The book is a good read on a plane ride to your destination.
    It provides escapism on a rainy day but is not something I would keep in my permanent library.
    Some of the stories were better than others. Some were quite mundane and boring. Some had surprise endings while others were predictable.
    I don't think I enjoyed this book as much as his longer novels full of suspense and great characterizations.
    I think I liked his book cover presentation more than I liked reading his book.
    I just purchased this book based on my love of this author. It was not up to the usual standards of his writings. Perhaps, since they were short stories, he could not go into depth of his plots and characters.

    Cherry Blossom

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    TERRIFIC NARRATIVE PERFORMANCE

    Versatile, popular, and appealing British actor Marvin Jarvis has produced and narrated a number of books in the U.K. Recently, he came across the pond to narrate audiobooks - it's about time! His reading of 'A Quiver Full of Arrows' is on point. Of course, you need a bit of a British accent, which he has as well as the ability to deliver Archer's absorbing plots with style and skill. Long recognized for his theatre and film work, he has also been dubbed a Golden Voice by Audio File Magazine. Jarvis is a boon companion for these stories that take us throughout the world - London, China, New York, Nigeria. Listeners may be reminded of Archer's 'A Twist in the Tale,' as this, too, is a collection of short tales running the gamut from suspense to romance to skullduggery to financial power. We find ourselves at Sotheby's where bidders are shown an ancient ivory Chinese statue. What secrets it holds! One cannot the effect this has on the lives of a young couple. With the speed of light we're transported to a lavish New York apartment and a festive party with A-List guests who are surprised by those they meet again. Ever the clever storyteller, Archer's settings play a large part in his scenarios. 'A Quiver Full of Arrows' is especially rich with mysterious places in far-off lands. Enjoy the journeys! - Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2001

    This is a wonderful book!

    This short story collection is my favorite from Jeffrey Archer. The NY Times critic doesn't know what he's talking about when he says that the collection collapses. In reality, each story is better than the one before. My favorite short story (the name of which escapes me at the moment) is in this book. Everyone should read these stories.

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    Posted October 25, 2010

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    Posted September 12, 2010

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    Posted December 25, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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