Ok, first things first. Just finished the book today morning at 4:30 a.m. , so I must confess that the storyline is very, very gripping. Looks much like a plot for a huge movie. The main characters were very very well portrayed. And I must admit that if the author took to poetry he would have been quite successful. The man has a way with words, you have to give him that. The plot of the story at times takes you quite much by surprise but then sometimes, it disappoints by agreeing with what you had in mind. The final revelation was something that I had guessed from long back and that turned out to be a big turn-off. But sure I can't blame the author for my intelligence :D.

Now, let's see. The strong points :  beautiful plot, excellent character portrayal, brilliant choice of words and brilliantly framed sentences (one example: [spoiler warning !!] "Both lay motionless, Wladek because of the blow and the weight of Leon on his body and Leon, because he was dead."), very nicely created environments (infact, you travel through the entire 20th century and through almost all the famous countries), very well handled issues like power and fame and greed.

Now, the negative points. I felt that the author was too commercial in his approach, as though he wanted to sell the book. I know I am sounding crazy, but there were no "inner emotions" of the author that you could grasp. Also, emotions like Love, Friendship, Relations weren't handled very well, though death was well-handled.
Also, there were many instances of unwanted things just thrown into the story for I don't know what.
The last thing, because of which I didn't give Kane And Abel the 4th star was the way he handled the fairer sex. Horrible. Very bad treatment. I don't know why, maybe because he wanted to capture the early days, heck, I don't know what. But not one female character in the story was given proper treatment and time. It was a male-dominated story and the author didn't hide this fact at all, ruthlessly crushing most of the female characters. There might be a reason, but as a reader, I didn't find any obvious ones.

Overall, nice read and you will definitely enjoy the strong storyline and the powerful characters, but you will feel that a little more emotion, in the right places, would have done the book a lot of good.

By: Jeffrey Archer
Essence: life, success, defeat, money, greed, power, business, war, hierarchy, inspirational.