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Without sex, violence or curses: writer Jeffrey Archer is surprised by his own success - Walla! culture


Jeffrey Archer, one of the most popular writers in the world, in an interview with Walla! Culture makes a distinction between award-winning and memorable winners and insists that his criminal charges did not affect his books

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Without sex, violence or cursing: writer Jeffrey Archer is surprised by his own success

Jeffrey Archer, one of the world's most beloved writers, returns with a new book in his detective series, which was generally treated as a character by another character from a different number.

In an interview with Walla!

Culture He reveals what is planned for the protagonist, makes a distinction between award-winning and memorable winners and insists that his criminal charges did not affect his books


  • Jeffrey Archer

Oren Nahari

Sunday, May 16, 2021, 00:00

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(Photo: GettyImages, Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images)

Jeffrey Archer: "Storytellers do not win literary awards - but survive longer. Think about it: writers like Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas, Victor Hugo - they survive for the long term, which they continue to read for many years after their deaths."

"On Sunday, September 5, 1982, five to three in the afternoon, stabilized William at the Academy discussed North London. He enjoyed almost every minute of the course, the oath of allegiance to the Queen to march extensions for sixteen weeks.

The next day he received a blue uniform, helmet and are not He was tempted to peek at his reflection reflected in every window he passed "

(from" Only the Dare ", by Jeffrey Archer. Translation: Kinneret Higgins Davidi, Modan Publishing).

Meet William Warrick, the new protagonist of best-selling author Jeffrey Archer. Sorry - Baron Archer from Weston-Super-Meyer. William Warrick's birth circumstances are special: We know number one literary heroes who were given a life of their own and were heroes in another book, even of another writer. Porphyry Petrovich, the brilliant investigator from St. Petersburg who solved the murder in which student Raskolnikov was involved in Dostoevsky's masterpiece "Sin and Punishment," reappears and solves another mystery in Morris' book The Delicate Ax. Sherlock Holmes appears again and again - for example "Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula" by Estelman, or in the story "Prisoner of the Tower" by Boris Akunin, where three marvelous literary heroes face each other: Arsene Lufen of France, Sherlock Holmes of England and Arst Pandorin of Russia. But William Warrick is different from all of these: This is the first time - or at least the first time ArchR. or I know - where an imaginary hero in a book was born from the mind of another imaginary hero in another book, actually a series of books.

"I got a lot of responses from readers who read the Clifton series who were happy to read Warrick's books," Archer says in a special interview with Walla!

Culture, "and I decided to write the series."

Archer wrote "Chronicles of Clifton", a series of books translated into Hebrew that includes seven books that tell the stories of the Clifton-Barrington families, their lovers and haters, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the end.

The protagonist, Harry Clifton is a writer, the alter ego of Archer, whose protagonist of the books is Detective William Warrick.

In the Clifton series, Detective is something like Hercule Poirot, the immortal hero of Agatha Christie who solves "Who committed the murder" mysteries in the noble estates when the body is discovered in a locked room from the inside - you know the style.

Now Clifton, sorry, Archer, has moved his protagonist to the modern world, Britain of the 1980s - that is, the 1980s and beyond - and he begins his climb up the ladder of ranks and deciphering crimes.

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"I'm first and foremost a storyteller."

Jeffrey Archer (Photo: Modan Publishing)

"So you passed the sergeant test or were you sentenced to be a detective for the rest of your life?"

Asked his father.

William's expression did not reveal anything, as if he were sitting on the witness stand in front of the well-known lawyer.

"One day your son will be commissioner," Beth said, smiling warmly at her future breadwinner

(from "Hidden to the Eye of All" by Jeffrey Archer, published by Modan, published this month in Hebrew)

so don't be surprised, in the first book, William Warrick, Ben Tovim, with a sense of justice, educated, an idealist starts as a monkey cop, and in the last, future book, Archer reveals to us in an interview, he will be a commissioner - the police commissioner. In between he will deal with crooks, criminals, police corruption and everything else.

In the Clifton series, in the Warrick series, in the "Cain and Abel" series, which has two books, and in fact in all of Archer's writing there are recurring motifs, known to all - and successful.

First of all, the hero or heroine is not just good - they are perfect: idealistic, honest, smart, talented.

They find true love at a young age and preserve it forever.

They fight against their evil seekers, and the bad guys have temporary victories but at the end of the series they will be defeated.

"Is there such a thing as the Archer Method?" I ask the author, one of the most successful in the world - more than three hundred million books sold in dozens of languages?


Archer immediately replies.

"I'm first and foremost a storyteller. If there was one method, one template everyone could do it. A storytelling story is a gift, like playing the violin, like a ballet dance. In that sense I am very lucky."

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Despite his imprisonment, he strongly believes in the British legal system.

Jeffrey Archer (Photo: GettyImages, Tim Whitby / Getty Images)

In a recent interview here with another Archer contemporary British writer, Ken Polt, he said similar things - adding with a sting about the Nobel Prizes that the esteemed Swedish Academy is looking for standards.

I, said Polt, am looking for a good story - they are not.

Archer agrees and adds an interesting insight: "Storytellers do not win literary awards - but survive longer. Think about it: writers like Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas, Victor Hugo - they survive long-term, they continue to read for many years after their deaths." .

Apparently Archer books are not supposed to be successful today. He writes family sagas, plots most of which take place in Britain, spanning generations - it was supposed to be old-fashioned in the 21st century, let’s say on the shelves next to Gulsworthy’s “Haggadah to the House of Forsyth,” to remember the book series, or perhaps most importantly the TV series. "Even myself it's surprising why this formula works today," Archer says. "There are no descriptions of sex, no violence, no insults - and people continue to buy, read and enjoy."

There is nothing else in Archer's books, and perhaps that is another reason why they are successful: they are not cynical. There is no sarcasm in them. They do not have a cruel look at the decline of Britain, they are not pessimistic. They are the complete opposite of the books of his contemporaries, the great spy writers John Le Carre and Len Dayton, documenting the sinking Britain where intelligence services are a mirror that reflects the evil and pettiness in man.

"The books are optimistic, right. Some would say naive.But I prefer naivety to cynicism, "says Archer.

Britain in the Archer books is not perfect, for sure, but it is a country where a young person can grow up in abject poverty, and by the power of his skills, wisdom and social abilities to reach the top of the political, economic or both.

This is also when the beginning of the road is at the beginning of the twentieth century, before the First World War, when Britain resembled the "Downton Estate" - both in the lives of the nobles, and, it is worth remembering, in the lives of the servants.

But Lord Archer writes of himself, his experiences: "I am not a privilege. I was not born into the aristocracy. Although I have been a lord for 25 years, I was born into a poor family, and I am completely immediately perverted."

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Books without cynicism.

Jeffrey Archer (Photo: GettyImages, Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images)

Archer is one of the few writers to be honestly told whose real life is as fascinating as the fictional life he writes about. In fact, there is considerable overlap between the two: his first book, Dean Penny, was written by Archer after he was deceived by an investment scam. The book tells the story of four people who discover that all their money has gone down the drain in fraud and they are trying to recoup the stolen investment, cheating the fraudster. The book was successful, and Archer turned to a writing career.

Or rather part-time - when the scam story that almost caused him bankruptcy happened, Archer was already a member of the British Parliament on behalf of the Conservative Party. Both then and now he was at the more moderate, tolerant end of the party, and of course was a celeb - a best-selling writer, MP, deputy chairman of the party under Thatcher, and Baron - an aristocratic degree he later received. He was even nominated for mayor of London, and would probably have won if not the affair. Think of it as a Boris Johnson version ahead of its time. Then the scandal exploded. In the AH the knowledge. Even before that there were suspicions about chapters in his life about which, as it is said gently, there is ambiguity.

But now something completely different is happening - a sex scandal of the kind that the British seem to specialize in, that will haunt him for many years. Archer sued the Daily Star newspaper in 1987 after the paper claimed Archer had sex with a prostitute. Archer won, receiving half a million pounds sterling as compensation. Justice won? Maybe. Because new evidence surfaced, and two Archer associates claimed his alibi was fake, and in 2000 he was prosecuted for perjury and forgery. He was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison, and ran part of his sentence.

The British government announced reforms that would prevent convicted nobles from sitting in the House of Lords, but then it became clear how many there were. Reform by the hour is stuck, and Archer is still serving in the House of Lords. Of course, confidence in Archer's innocence in the original trial, as the saying goes, is not high.

The issue is sensitive, obviously, so I ask Archer his opinion on the British legal and media system. His answer is the symbol of diplomacy: "We have the justice system which is one of the best in the world. The media in crisis - I recently read that Mail on Sunday boasts a circulation of 789,000 - I remember the times that sold 2.5 million, and of course this crisis exists in all media, press to TV and digital." . Beyond that he does not respond.

But perhaps clues can be found to his views, I wonder in front of him, in the fact that in very many of his books there is a solution to a mystery - of course in favor of the protagonist - in a dramatic moment in court. There the events are whitewashed and the truth is revealed. For example in the book "Prisoner by Birth" which is a modern adaptation of the famous story of injustice and revenge "The Count of Monte Cristo". "No," says Archer, "the use of court drama in my book is not because of my personal history, it's simply because it's a good drama, a drama that works in terms of the story."

"The Perfect Woman." Chemist Mary Archer, wife of Jeffrey Archer (Photo: Evening Standard / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

And as for the heroes, honest, talented, who find their love at the age of 11 - in the Harry Clifton series, there are no such people in reality. "But there is!" Says Archer. "My wife, Mary, to whom I have been married for 55 years. She is the perfect man, the perfect woman."

Indeed, Dame Mary Archer is a renowned scientist (the two met at Oxford University where they studied), who did a doctorate in physical chemistry, an expert in solar energy, engaged in extensive public activities including chairing hospitals, leading the National Energy Foundation, chairing Buckingham University and currently chairing The Museums of Science. An impressive career on any scale. And yes, to the readers of the Clifton House series it is quite clear that Emma Clifton's character is Mary Archer.

And that means that indeed, Harry Clifton, her mother's husband who comes from a poor background and deserves to be a bestselling writer, is based on Jeffrey Archer. The clues are very, very clear. For example work habits:

"Every first morning of writing a new book, Harry asked himself why. Why not go back to sleep instead of getting back into the demanding routine that would last at least a year, and might end in failure? Still, he's past the age where most people get a gold watch and retire. For retirement, to enjoy the golden years, as insurance companies call this age. And God knows he does not need money "

(from" It Was a Man, "Clifton Series, Modan Publishing).

Compare to: "I continue at a work pace of three shifts a day, two hours each: I wake up at five-thirty, take a cold shower, write at 6 to 8, rest, write between 10-12, rest, eat, write between 4 and 4 p.m. "In the afternoon and goes to bed early. Torture. Apprenticeship." Says Archer, who is now 81 years old, and as he said - he does not need money.

At forty-five he tossed the quilt over him and placed his feet resolutely on the carpet. He mumbled aloud the words he said every morning before going to the library. "Please I can do it again." He knew well, painfully, that his ability to tell stories was a gift he had won and to He took it for granted. He prayed that like his protagonist, Dickens, he too would die in the middle of a sentence "

(from" It Was a Man ").

If that's not enough - in the book, after the Warrick series, the fiction writer writes his masterpiece.

The book is one written by the real writer Archer - "Tree or Fly" which was also published in Hebrew by Modan, and in which the fictional writer Lipton, and hence the real writer Archer, sees his highlight.

Thanks to readers in Israel.

Jeffrey Archer (Photo: GettyImages, Ben A. Pruchnie / Getty Images)

Archer's heroes are usually white, which quite reflects the British of the first half of the twentieth century. He himself is very proud of being color-blind: "When I ran for mayor of London there were six on my team who later had cabinet members from the Conservative Party of course - one of them a white man, the rest men and women from India, Pakistan, Ghana and more."

And for those who are wondering - yes, there are quite a few Jews in his books. All of them we can be proud of: honest and excellent financiers, honest and talented publishers, genius scientists. Compare the greedy Jews, who are pushed beyond their rightful status, in Agatha Christie's library, for example. Archer, for example, describes: "The young Daniel Horowitz fled Germany with his parents in 1937. They settled in the Queens borough of New York, and his father became a pawnbroker. Daniel left New York at the age of seventeen and began studying at Yale University for a degree in physics. When he graduated he was still He was not old enough to vote in the election, he went on to the MIT, where he completed a doctorate ... In 1974 he was awarded the Congress of Science, the fourteenth person to receive this honor in the history of the nation ... The professor rose from his chair, Which is not higher than the members of the committee sitting. It was only when the professor opened his mouth that the members of the committee realized that they were facing a giant "

(from" When the Time Comes ").

Does the writer have a fear of a far-right, anti-Semitic rise in Europe in general, and Britain in particular? "I am not afraid of the rise of an extreme right-wing party. But I see that the situation of anti-Semitism is bad. Anti-Semitism today is severe and unpleasant, just as it was in the worst times of the past."

Longing for politics? Definately not. And there is a certain paradox - Archer is a conservative, was a senior member of the Thatcher administration - but in his books the heroes support Labor, and in one of them the good end is that the Labor man defeats the Conservative and becomes the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. "I'm a middle-aged man," he says. "I believe in free enterprise, I opposed Brexit (in his books politicians are very pro-European, not obvious, then or today, given that Thatcher opposed the EU. AN) and my wife was in favor of Brexit."

"The truth is, now, in light of the EU fiasco in Corona, I have another thought. Britain is in excellent shape, second only to Israel on vaccines: 60% vaccinated in Britain - in France only 15%. I can not catch it. I admire Angela Merkel and fail Understand what happened, "says Archer.

I have an explanation: statesmen, even the greatest of them, have a tendency to stay in office for at least one term, at least, too much. Certainly in the parliamentary system. Think of Merkel, Kohl, Churchill, Thatcher, Ben-Gurion. And there are more examples, of course.

A word to end from one of the most popular authors, sold in the world, on the occasion of the publication in Israel of another book from his books?

"I was recently in Germany, and I saw that Der Spiegel's bestseller list includes three books from the Clifton series - at the same time," says Archer.

"I feel grateful to be read. I thank the readers in Israel, and it touches my heart that in the State of Israel, in other countries in the world, people read my spray, enjoy them. I am surprised, and I am happy.

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Source: walla

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