Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer
(The Clifton Chronicles)

70%

24 Critic Reviews

Only Time Will tell is a cracking good read...a multiple narrative allows Harry’s story to unfold on a variety of levels giving impetus to the plot as well as extra depth and insight into the characters.
-Guardian

Synopsis

From the internationally bestselling author of Kane and Abel and A Prisoner of Birth comes Only Time Will Tell, the first in an ambitious new series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph.

The epic tale of Harry Clifton's life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war." A dock worker in Bristol, Harry never knew his father, but he learns about life on the docks from his uncle, who expects Harry to join him at the shipyard once he's left school. But then an unexpected gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys' school, and his life will never be the same again.

As he enters into adulthood, Harry finally learns how his father really died, but the awful truth only leads him to question, was he even his father? Is he the son of Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who spent his whole life on the docks, or the firstborn son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line?

This introductory novel in Archer's ambitious series The Clifton Chronicles includes a cast of colorful characters and takes us from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World War, when Harry must decide whether to take up a place at Oxford or join the navy and go to war with Hitler's Germany. From the docks of working-class England to the bustling streets of 1940 New York City, Only Time Will Tell takes readers on a journey through to future volumes, which will bring to life one hundred years of recent history to reveal a family story that neither the reader nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.

 

About Jeffrey Archer

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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 Sins of the Father, And Thereby Hangs a Tale, A Prisoner of Birth, and Kane & Abel-have been international bestsellers. Archer is married with two sons and lives in London and Cambridge.
 
Published August 30, 2011 by St. Martin's Press. 399 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History, Horror, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Arts & Photography. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Feb 16 2014
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Only Time Will Tell
All: 24 | Positive: 17 | Negative: 7

Kirkus

Below average
on Jul 31 2011

As they stand before the rector, a guest stands and halts the proceedings. The revelation that follows will elicit few gasps from those who weren’t there that day. For all its considerable girth, remarkably thin.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Jane Housham on Oct 18 2011

It's good to test a cliché with the litmus paper of experience. Here the cliché is that Jeffrey Archer writes terrible novels...I find him guilty as charged: this is a truly terrible novel.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Jane Housham on Oct 18 2011

Revisiting the same events from the viewpoint of different characters makes for a repetitive plot, while its suffocatingly neat coincidences deprive the book of air.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Aug 01 2011

...Archer (Honor Among Thieves) delivers another page-turning, heart-stopping saga, with delightful twists, and a surprise ending.

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on Dec 08 2011

Fascinated by the elaborate plotting of ONLY TIME WILL TELL, I am eager to open the pages of Archer’s continuing story.

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The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Diana Gabaldon on Sep 08 2011

The pace and interest pick up once Harry gets out of school, but this is not the sort of historical fiction that immerses readers and gives them a feeling of being there.

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The Telegraph

Above average
Reviewed by Toby Clements on May 25 2011

...despite the better part of you knowing this is an over-egged farrago of corny nonsense, he pins you down like an ultimate fighter.

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Look At OKC

Above average
Reviewed by Betty Lytle on Sep 04 2011

Archer also is the author of “Kane and Abel” and “A Prisoner of Birth.” I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

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Historical Novel Society

Good
Reviewed by Jeanne Greene on Feb 08 2014

Be prepared for surprising developments that upend all your expectations and keep you guessing...Readers will be eager for Volume 2 of Harry’s intriguing story.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Pam Norfolk on Jun 16 2011

Only Time Will tell is a cracking good read...a multiple narrative allows Harry’s story to unfold on a variety of levels giving impetus to the plot as well as extra depth and insight into the characters.

Read Full Review of Only Time Will Tell (The Clif... | See more reviews from Guardian

NJ.com

Below average
Reviewed by Tom De Poto on Aug 28 2011

Harry is a caricature in a cast straight from central casting. Despite his ghetto background, everything Harry touches turns to gold. Even when he learns his mother is turning tricks to pay for his education, he loves her even more.

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Lesa's Book Critiques

Good
Reviewed by Lesa on Sep 03 2011

Maybe people will find Harry too perfect, but he's the perfect hero to launch a family saga. There are so many wonderful characters, as well as the appropriate villain. Archer is a master at creating characters.

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Literate Housewife

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer on Feb 20 2012

I very much enjoyed jumping back into Jeffrey Archer’s writing. Only Time Will Tell was everything that I’d hoped it would be.

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Bookfan

Good
Reviewed by Mary on Aug 24 2011

Archer filled the book with heroes and villains (interesting characters all)...I enjoyed Only Time Will Tell and, after the cliffhanger ending, look forward to the next book in The Clifton Chronicles.

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Diary of an Eccentric

Above average
Reviewed by Anna on Sep 19 2011

Only Time Will Tell is a tad predictable in spots, but that didn’t prevent me from enjoying it; in fact, I couldn’t read it fast enough and stayed up well past my bedtime because I needed to know what happened.

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Lovely Treez Reads

Above average
on Apr 09 2014

...it was sheer mindless entertainment, extremely readable and filled with ridiculous plot twists and fortuitous events – ideal for your sick bed or sun lounger.

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Live Your Dream

Good
Reviewed by sayedkhadri on Jun 22 2011

The character development in this book is brilliant, plot is interesting and brilliantly expressed...Overall a very interesting and good read for all fiction fans.

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Publisher's Weekly

Good
on Feb 08 2014

...this is a powerful journey that will bring to life one hundred years of history to reveal a family story that neither the reader nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.

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My Bookshelf

Excellent
Reviewed by Shirley on Sep 24 2011

Jeffrey Archer has a knack for storytelling that pulls you in, with plot twists, which reveal only a little at a time, so at the very end the reader sits back with a gasp, realizing how magnificent a tale they have just had the pleasure of exploring.

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Choose and Books

Good
on Jun 17 2011

In Jeffrey Archer's masterful hands, you will be taken on a journey that you won't want to end, even after you've turned the last page of this unforgettable yarn, because then you will be faced with a dilemma that neither you nor Harry Clifton could ever have anticipated.

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Reading With Mo

Good
Reviewed by Mo on Feb 08 2014

There is enough closure to the main plot in this novel to satisfy me. I viewed the very last section of the book as more of a preview of what would be coming in book two of the Harry Clifton Chronicles.

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Books and Movies Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Roberto Mattos on Oct 03 2011

The plot is quite interesting and will keep you entertained and paying close attention till the end.

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Florence Newspaper

Good
Reviewed by Sirpa Salenius on May 21 2011

Only Time Will Tell is a thrilling story about determination, growing up, the fight between good and evil. Those who liked the Forsyte Saga or Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy’s Fall of Giantswill no doubt enjoy Only Time Will Tell. An excellently written, fascinating, can’t-put-down novel.

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http://leserglede.com

Good
on Feb 08 2014

The story moves at a more than sufficient speed and I had a hard time putting Only Time Will Tell down. A great and fun read!

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Reader Rating for Only Time Will Tell
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 4969 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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