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Archer’s Last Laugh

by | 20th, November 2006

Jeffrey Archer’s fragrant sailor 

THE MAN WHO HAS NO SHAME,” says the Express in a headline.

“He’s a convicted liar and cheat who spent two years in prison,” it says. “Yet Jeffrey Archer has just secured his biggest every payday. How does he do it?”

Before readers can answer, they should consider Archer’s life story, laid out over two of the paper’s pages. And they may like to dwell on the bit about Archer’s relationship with the Daily Star, sister paper to the Express.

In 1987, Archer won £500,000 damages when he successfully sued the paper over the story that he’d paid prostitute Monica Coghlan £2,000 to keep quiet about certain matters.

In July 2001, Archer was found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice and jailed for four years.

Perhaps now readers can better answer the question as to how Jeffery has signed a 12million book deal. And note that Archer’s first book – he has signed up to write three novels and a collection of short stories – is about a man who believes he has been wrongly convicted and seeks revenge. The Express wonders: “Life imitating art – or vice versa?”

The Mail tells us that the book is about a young sailor falsely accused of treason and murder who is imprisoned on an island fortress.

Is this Archer drawing from his own life experiences? We know all about the Olympian athlete and so forth, but until now even Michael Crick, Archer’s foremost chronicler, has made mention of the storyteller’s heroic life on the ocean waves.

And then there is Archer’s second novel; the Mail says it is likely to be based on George Mallory’s 1924 ill-fated attempt to scale Mount Everest.

Archer was born in 1940. But strange things do happen in fiction…



Posted: 20th, November 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink