Jeffrey (Howard) Archer Michael Mewshaw - Essay

Michael Mewshaw

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

After the enormous commercial success of his recent novels, "Kane and Abel" and "The Prodigal Daughter," one can easily understand why Jeffrey Archer and his publisher would bring out a collection of his short stories. But it is difficult to comprehend what conceivable enjoyment readers will derive from the sophomoric fictions in "A Quiver Full of Arrows," which suggest the author is unaware that the genre has made strides since the days of O. Henry.

In a prefatory note, Mr. Archer writes, "Of these eleven short stories, ten are based on known incidents…. Only one is totally the result of my own imagination. 'The Luncheon' was inspired by W. Somerset Maugham." While it is worth wondering who, if...

(The entire section is 461 words.)