Martin Levin

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 147

["Kane and Abel"] is a family saga that is overweight but undernourished. Jeffrey Archer, a former British M.P., is a writer unskilled at showing you how things are. He merely tells you what they are. (Florentyna "put on the prettiest dress." Anne Kane "enjoyed a light lunch.") Descriptions that don't describe contribute an air of staleness to the atmosphere. In this thin climate, Abel crosses the sea to America and becomes a hotel baron. (He names each hotel The Baron because his father was one.) Kane takes over the family bank and has occasion to incur Abel's enmity. It's really a big misunderstanding, but there isn't enough life in either of these parties to make you care if they ever make up. (pp. 9, 15)

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Martin Levin, "Five Novels," in The New York Times Book Review (copyright © 1980 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), July 6, 1980, pp. 9, 15.∗

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