Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kane and Abel

Kane and Abel (Kane and Abel, #1)Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer
Evan’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Erin’s ESS =  out of 10
Content = R (Adult Content, Violence, Sexual Content, Misinformation, Bankers)

Why: With such a clear allusion to the dysfunctional brothers in Genesis, we were intrigued.  Would the Able character in Jeffrey Archer’s novel suffer a cruel fate at the hands of his brother?  Does the title even refer to a pair of brothers?  Does the title even refer to people?  Is Jeffery Archer even a real person?  These questions plagued us for several months, until finally, we decided to pursue the sensible option and just read the book.

William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski are not brothers.  In fact they aren’t even related.  Kane was the son of a rich banker while Able was born penniless and parentless (and with only one nipple).  Kane was offered every advantage in life while Able was thrown into a Russian labor camp at a young age.  Still, it doesn’t take long before the similarities start to bubble to the surface.  Driven to build their financial empires, fate soon has both characters set on a collision course that will have you humming (get ready for our big musical number)....

It's a world of laughter, a world of tears.
Its a world of hopes, its a world of fear.
There’s so much that we share,
that its time we're aware.
Its a small world after all

Kane and Abel was all about the two main characters.  They were arrogant, stubborn, greedy, unforgiving, and... real.  As a result, they were incredibly interesting.  The entire novel was devoted to their lives and while Kane and Abel possess plenty of good traits, it was those listed above that had us clenching our fists and wanting to smite both of them.  One chapter you’re rooting for Kane and then the next you’re rooting for Abel.  And then the next you’re rooting for neither...

The historical aspects of the novel were also very intriguing.  The sinking of the Titanic, WWII, and the US stock market collapse in 1929 all had a profound impact on the character’s lives.  Even events like the commercial release of Gone with the Wind and McCarthyism were woven into the story, yet the narrative stayed focused and never bogged down.  By the end, we had a deep appreciation for the characters and were sad finish the last page.  Then we stumbled across the sequel... bring it on!  

Editor’s Note: Hopefully it’s not too obvious that our main goal of this post is to have It’s a Small World stuck in your head for the rest of the day...   

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