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Those Suits

Paul Foot, 7 September 1995

Jeffrey ArcherStranger than Fiction 
by Michael Crick.
Hamish Hamilton, 456 pp., £17.50, May 1995, 0 241 13360 2
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... journalistic failure. In the autumn of 1987, shortly after the famous libel action in which Jeffrey Archer successfully sued the Daily Star for suggesting he’d had sex with a prostitute, a curious document arrived at my office at the Daily Mirror, where I wrote a weekly investigative column. The document was a copy of a pro forma ...

Money Matter

Julian Critchley, 24 July 1986

A Matter of Honour 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 350 pp., £9.95, June 1986, 0 340 39365 3
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... Jeffrey Archer has taken to books as other men to property or publishing: as a way to get rich. As is well known, he wrote Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less in order to escape the coils of bankruptcy and to pay his debts. That he should have done so triumphantly is a measure of his guts and application. But courage in adversity is one thing, literary merit quite another ...

Raven’s Odyssey

D.A.N. Jones, 19 July 1984

Swallow 
by D.M. Thomas.
Gollancz, 312 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 0 575 03446 7
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First Among Equals 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 446 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 340 35266 3
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Morning Star 
by Simon Raven.
Blond and Briggs, 264 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 9780856341380
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... is described as ‘a half-caste tart in India’. In First Among Equals, Jeffrey Archer introduces a Labour MP who is likewise endangered by a young black girl ‘in a white leather mini skirt so short it might have been better described as a handkerchief’. But, unlike D.M. Thomas, both Raven and ...

You can’t put it down

Fintan O’Toole, 18 July 1996

The Fourth Estate 
by Jeffrey Archer.
HarperCollins, 550 pp., £16.99, May 1996, 0 00 225318 6
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Tickle the Public: One Hundred Years of the Popular Press 
by Matthew Engel.
Gollancz, 352 pp., £20, April 1996, 9780575061439
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Newspaper Power: The New National Press in Britain 
by Jeremy Tunstall.
Oxford, 441 pp., £35, March 1996, 0 19 871133 6
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... Lay aside for a moment your self-esteem and imagine that you are Jeffrey Archer. You are now a model citizen of the Post-Modern state of hyper-reality, a figure in whom actuality and invention, public fact and private fantasy, the business of government and the spinning of yarns have become utterly indistinguishable ...

Short Cuts

Mary-Kay Wilmers: Remembering Paul Foot, 19 August 2004

... said when their man Vanunu was kidnapped); and about common-or-garden bad manners (the case of Jeffrey Archer and the three lounge suits in the Toronto department store). He wrote about these things with a mixture of passion and care that made them clear to the most befuddled reader and sometimes with a feeling – or is it just my feeling? – that ...

Cheering us up

Ian Jack, 15 September 1988

In for a Penny: The Unauthorised Biography of Jeffrey Archer 
by Jonathan Mantle.
Hamish Hamilton, 264 pp., £11.95, July 1988, 0 241 12478 6
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... in your own eyes and leading to your advancement.’ There is no written evidence to suggest that Jeffrey Archer has ever read Thomas Mann. One of the many striking aspects of his career, however, is the way in which Felix Krull’s larger view of the world has advanced it. Many older men (and at least one older woman) have been beguiled by his ...

Prodigals

John Sutherland, 19 August 1982

A Prodigal Child 
by David Storey.
Cape, 319 pp., £7.50, June 1982, 0 224 02027 7
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The Prodigal Daughter 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 447 pp., £7.95, July 1982, 0 340 27687 8
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Ralph 
by John Stonehouse.
Cape, 318 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 224 02019 6
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The Man from St Petersburg 
by Ken Follett.
Hamish Hamilton, 292 pp., £7.95, May 1982, 0 241 10783 0
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The Patriot Game 
by George Higgins.
Secker, 237 pp., £7.50, July 1982, 0 436 19589 5
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... reading. Titles and general category apart, there is little to link A Prodigal Child with Jeffrey Archer’s blockbusting latest, The Prodigal Daughter (number 1 on the New York Times best-seller list as I write). Thematically, it carries on Archer’s fascinated depiction of success, as measured in ...

Delivering the Leadership

Nick Cohen: Get Mandy, 4 March 1999

Mandy: The Authorised Biography of Peter Mandelson 
by Paul Routledge.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 9780684851754
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... In his realist classic of 1984, First among Equals, Jeffrey Archer has a Labour minister from a Northern constituency disappearing with a prostitute for five minutes or so. She recognises Raymond Gould and turns to blackmail once the business is done. Gould refuses to deal and she takes her tale to Mike Molloy, a Mirror reporter ...

Her Boy

R.W. Johnson: Mark Thatcher, 16 November 2006

Thatcher’s Fortunes: The Life and Times of Mark Thatcher 
by Mark Hollingsworth and Paul Halloran.
Mainstream, 415 pp., £7.99, July 2006, 1 84596 118 8
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The Wonga Coup: The British Mercenary Plot to Seize Oil Billions in Africa 
by Adam Roberts.
Profile, 304 pp., £9.99, June 2006, 1 86197 934 7
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... about Mark is so rebarbative that it seems only natural that he would count Jonathan Aitken and Jeffrey Archer among his closer associates and that even those invited to his house found his rudeness to servants – and to his wife – so repellent, verging on outright cruelty, that they often took an instant and lasting dislike to him. ‘Don’t you ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Politicians v. the press, 22 July 2004

... would sue him and win.’) In two of the most memorable libel cases of the last twenty years, Jeffrey Archer v. ‘Daily Star’ and Jonathan Aitken v. ‘Guardian’ and Granada, both politicians committed perjury, Aitken even cajoling his 17-year-old daughter to perjure herself, too. Characteristically, Lloyd reinterprets two famous cases of ...

Bunfights

Paul Foot, 7 March 1991

Memoirs of a Libel Lawyer 
by Peter Carter Ruck.
Weidenfeld, 293 pp., £20, November 1990, 0 297 81022 7
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... which is the British libel law stems exclusively from this obsession with money compensation. Jeffrey Archer, at the time deputy chairman of the Tory Party, admitted that he’d paid £2000 to a prostitute but denied he’d had sex with her. The jury believed him and awarded him half a million pounds in damages against the Star, which had dared to ...

Wolfish

John Sutherland: The pushiness of young men in a hurry, 5 May 2005

Publisher 
by Tom Maschler.
Picador, 294 pp., £20, March 2005, 0 330 48420 6
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British Book Publishing as a Business since the 1960s 
by Eric de Bellaigue.
British Library, 238 pp., £19.95, January 2004, 0 7123 4836 0
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Penguin Special: The Life and Times of Allen Lane 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Viking, 484 pp., £25, May 2005, 0 670 91485 1
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... Amis, Barnes, Rushdie, Vonnegut, Chatwin, Fowles, Deighton and, Maschler does not fear to admit, Jeffrey Archer. The title he was most excited to publish was Catch 22, a novel he took on after more myopic others had turned it down. Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children is, he judges, the greatest work of literature he was responsible for, though there are ...

Emotional Sushi

Ian Sansom: Tony, Nick and Simon, 9 August 2001

One for My Baby 
by Tony Parsons.
HarperCollins, 330 pp., £15.99, July 2001, 0 00 226182 0
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How to Be Good 
by Nick Hornby.
Viking, 256 pp., £16.99, May 2001, 0 670 88823 0
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Little Green Man 
by Simon Armitage.
Viking, 246 pp., £12.99, August 2001, 0 670 89442 7
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... Lennon, Robbie Williams, Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis, Evelyn Waugh, Auberon Waugh, Salman Rushdie, Jeffrey Archer, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, William Shakespeare (although to be fair they despise the comedies and some of the history plays only). ‘It is easier, in fact,’ notes Katie, ‘to write down the people in world history that they both like: Bob ...

Shuddering Organisms

Jonathan Coe, 12 May 1994

Betrayals 
by Charles Palliser.
Cape, 308 pp., £14.99, March 1994, 0 224 02919 3
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... earned themselves vast fortunes and wide readerships. Palliser may think that he can write like Jeffrey Archer, for instance, and his portrayal of a self-important politician-turned-bestseller might have a degree of rough comic vigour, but when he makes a cursory attempt at Archer’s style – in which willing ...

Vote for the Beast!

Ian Gilmour: The Tory Leadership, 20 October 2005

... the party had committed another act of stupidity. Hague ushered through a scheme, of which Jeffrey Archer was one of the begetters, to enable Hague’s leadership to survive his expected defeat and thus to keep out Clarke. Under this procedure, MPs balloted to choose the two top candidates, then the final say as to who should be leader was given ...

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