sexta-feira, 26 de abril de 2013

Kane and Abel - Jefferey Archer

This is the my second "Jefferey Archer book" I read and it definitely beats the first one many times over. This story is built on two characters: "William Kane" and "Wladeck Abel". 
Kane comes from a very wealthy family made of of bankers; his father dies when he is just a boy and his mother follows trail a few years later in a difficult birth. His whole life he does all he can in his power to grow, gain power and achieve more and more.
Abel doesn't have as much luck. He is found by a lake and adopted into a poor family of already eleven children. He befriends his father's master's son and gladly studies and lives with him for many years. War comes upon them and he is sent to the dungeons for five dark years until finally released. When he thinks things cant go worse he discovers he is wrong and after a long train ride discovers he has been sent to a prisoners camp in Russia - his luck once again rescues him in the way of escape where he jumps from one place to the other until finally arriving in Turkey and from Turkey being sent to America to start out a new life. 
And that is when the story of these two hard headed men weave together into one of dramas, hate, schemes, law enforcement and constant want of revenge.
At the near end the book takes on a nice and surprising turn....but that is to be known only by the one who gets this book and reads it. 

Wikipedia on "Kane and Abel":

Kane and Abel is a 1979 novel by British author Jeffrey Archer. The title and story is a play on the Biblical brothers, Cain and Abel. Released in the United Kingdom in 1979 and in the United States in February 1980, the book was an international success. It reached No. 1 on the New York Timesbestseller list and in 1985 was made into a CBS television miniseries titled Kane & Abel starring Peter Strauss as Rosnovski and Sam Neill as Kane.
The sequel to Kane and Abel is The Prodigal Daughter with Florentyna Kane as the protagonist.
In 2003, Kane and Abel was listed at number 96 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.[1]
The book tells the stories of two men born worlds apart. They have nothing in common except the same date of birth (18 April 1906) and a zeal to succeed in life. William Lowell Kane is a wealthy and powerful Boston Brahmin while Abel Rosnovski (originally named Wladek Koskiewicz) is a Polewas born in a situation of great poverty and eventually emigrated to the United States.
William follows the steps of his father, Richard Kane, to become a successful banker. When William was still a child, Richard dies in the Titanicdisaster, leaving William fatherless and heir to the Kane & Cabot bank. William displays extraordinary discipline and intelligence as a young man atSt. Paul's School and later at Harvard. His mother marries Henry Osborne, who turns out to be interested in gambling and women. William hates Henry from the beginning and spends most of the time at Harvard and at his best friend Mathew Lester's home. William dreams of becoming the chairman of Lester's bank one day. Henry spends every last penny of Kane's mother's money on the pretext of speculation, while she dies in a miscarriage. Kane throws Henry out of his home.
Wladek Koskiewicz is born in a forest and raised by a trapper family. When he grows up and is found to have exceptional intelligence, Baron Rosnovski asks him to become a companion to his son Leon so Wladek might prove to be a competition to him. Wladek agrees to go to the Baron's castle on the condition that he can bring along his elder sister Florentyna. Soon afterwards, World War I breaks out. Germans attack Poland and capture the Baron, his staff and son in his castle. Leon dies by the hand of a soldier. Before dying, the Baron hands him his silver band of authority. Wladek realises that the Baron was his father when he finds that, like him, the Baron too had a missing nipple. Florentyna is also raped and killed in front of young Wladek by Russian soldiers.
Wladek was then moved to Siberia from where he manages to escape to Turkey after facing many hardships. There, he nearly loses his hand (a common punishment in the Middle East and in the Ottoman empire, predecessor of Turkey, before 20th century) for stealing food but is rescued by two British diplomats. They transfer him to the Polish consulate from where with their help, he migrates to America and assumes the name Abel Rosnovski.
He starts his life as a waiter in the Hotel Plaza, while taking night classes in business at Columbia University. While Abel is working there, Davis Leroy, owner of the Richmond group of hotels, is impressed by his work and appoints him manager of his flagship hotel. Abel converts the ill-managed hotel to a profit-making one and buys stock in the chain. During the Great Depression, the hotel needs a backer and Davis, unable to find one, commits suicide leaving the remaining shares in the Richmond Group to Abel. Before committing suicide, Davis mentions that Kane & Cabot was the bank that didn't support him. Abel thus plans for revenge and considers Kane his arch rival. The bank gets him an anonymous backer. Abel assumes it to be David Maxton, owner of Stevens' hotel. During this time, Abel befriends George and marries Zaphia, both Polish emigres.
Abel changes the name of the hotel from Richmond to Baron and builds up a successful hotel chain. By collaborating with Henry Osborne, who had by now entered politics, Abel plans to ruin Kane and his bank. Abel begets a daughter, named Florentyna in memory of his dead sister while Kane has a son, Richard. Abel during World War II would save Kane's life in France, unaware to each other. He divorces Zaphia when he returns home from the war.
Meanwhile Kane's bank and Lester's bank merge and a provision is made that anyone who has a share of 8% can summon board meetings. Abel tries desperately to obtain 8% of the bank's stock but Kane manages to thwart his attempts. They unknowingly meet each other many times throughout the novel.
Florentyna Rosnovski and Richard Kane happen to meet and fall in love without knowing about the rivalry between their fathers. They get married amid vehement protests from their fathers and start a chain of boutique stores named Florentyna's.
Finally, Abel manages to obtain enough shares of the bank and ousts Kane from power. Kane decides to forgive his son and daughter-in-law and expresses his wish to meet them. He dies before he is able to see them and his grandson William. Abel then comes to know that his backer was not David Maxton, but William Kane. Filled with remorse, he reconciles with his daughter and son-in-law. Abel dies soon after, and bequeathes everything to his daughter Florentyna, except his silver band of authority, which he leaves to his grandson, whom Florentyna and Richard have named "William Abel Kane".

segunda-feira, 1 de abril de 2013

Nights in Rodanthe - Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks is the kind of writer that can create magic out of anywhere - with a good scenery, a boy and a girl - pling! - a beautiful love story is created! 

Nights in Rodanthe is the lovely story of a divorced doctor who is in bad terms with his son and decides to start all over again - from base one! Adrienne is a beautiful woman whose husband leaves her for a woman ten years younger than her and is left with three teenagers and an elderly father to care for. These two people find themselves in Rodanthe at a quiet and rustic beach hotel left to themselves, their past and their feelings. 
Reading this story makes you see how love has no age, no time and no place. How even when many of our past relationships have gone wrong and we think that we are a lost and hopeless case for love to ever enter again... bam! we are caught by surprise and find the true power of love.
The scenery, the deep and ingrained hurts of the past, the tranquility and speed of passion - all these elements put together are what make this boo

k another incredible, sweet and tender romance that has become famous all over the world and continues to touch many hearts. 

Book Review:

Nights in Rodanthe is a novel by American writer Nicholas Sparks in September 2002.
Set in Rodanthe, North Carolina, the story follows the romance of a divorced mother, Adrienne Willis, and a divorced father and surgeon, Paul Flanner. The novel's two main protagonists meet in an inn in Rodanthe and fall in love; however, fate falls upon them when they realize that leaving Rodanthe would mean going back to their separate lives.
Sparks based parts of his story on his own life's events, particularly his courting of the woman he married, Cathy Cote. Themes of love and sacrifice are incorporated in the novel. Nights in Rodanthe was adapted into a 2008 film of the same name.

Plot summary

The story begins in 2002 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Adrienne Willis, a part-time librarian and divorced mother of three, is helping her daughter, Amanda, cope with depression. Adrienne is having problems coping with the loss of her husband and is having difficulties raising her two children. In an effort to show that life goes on despite trying times, Adrienne tells her daughter the story of her relationship with Paul Flanner, whom she met in 1988.
Adrienne was abandoned for a younger woman by her husband. She parented their children alone and took care of her sick father. This had worn her down. So when an opportunity comes along to tend an inn in the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina for a friend, Adrienne decides to do it. As soon as she arrives, a major storm is forecast. Meanwhile, Paul, a fifty-four-year-old father, arrives in Rodanthe. He has sold his home and practice, and now wishes to travel to an isolated place where he can seek relief from his shattered life. A successful surgeon, he has recently divorced from his wife, and has had a patient die.
While the storm looms, the two characters, the only people at the inn, find compassion in one another and fall in love. After a few days, Adrienne and Paul slowly realize that once they leave, they must return to their separate lives. Paul explains a promise to join his estranged son in a medical clinic in Ecuador; eventually, he and Adrienne part. Adrienne returns to Rocky Mount. Paul heads for Ecuador. They communicate through letters, further fortifying their love. Paul, however, dies in Ecuador.


Sparks developed the rudiments of Nights in Rodanthe while he was writing his fourth novel, The Rescue. He said that he contemplated writing "another short love story ... that harkens back to poignant emotional intensity of The Notebook", his first published novel.[1] Unlike his other works,Nights in Rodanthe was not inspired by a specific person who was involved in Sparks' life; the story drew upon an incident when his mother-in-law requested as a Christmas present that her name and that of her husband, Paul, would appear in a Sparks novel. So Sparks worked on a story that his in-laws would "not only enjoy, but not offend them as well".[2]
Sparks encountered difficulties; it "just didn't seem to come together".[1] For Sparks, there should be an "element that [would keep] the characters apart in order to have drama".[1] Throughout Sparks' career, he has attempted to not use the same element twice, so it had become harder for him to write each new novel. He comments, "If I don't have the 'conflict', I don't have the story, and for the life of me, I couldn't come up with something new to keep the characters apart. ... I also wanted to write a story using older characters, again because it's something I haven't done (with the exception of The Notebook, in which they're elderly, not middle-aged)."[1]
Sparks diverted his attention by working on A Bend in the Road, his fifth novel, and the first draft of The Guardian, which succeeded the release of Nights in Rodanthe. However, The Guardianimposed a "tremendous challenge" to Sparks, and he reckoned it would require a "great deal of re-writing". He was tired of writing the novel and needed a break from it.[1]
So Sparks returned to Nights in Rodanthe: "My mind then returned to the story I'd been thinking about, and suddenly everything began to click. Within days, I suddenly knew exactly how to tell the story. I knew the characters, the setting, and especially and most importantly, the 'conflict' that would keep the characters apart."[1] Sparks started writing the novel in December 2001. He finished the draft in February 2002, and editing continued until April of the same year.[3]

[edit]Style and themes

Sparks set the novel in Rodanthe, a small town in the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina.[3] He chose Rodanthe because, according to him, it "looks wonderful on the page, and the name itself conjures up a mixture of mystery and sensuality", adding he had wished to write a novel about the place.[4] In an interview, Sparks said, "In Nights in Rodanthe, I needed a sense of isolation. Find another area of coastline in the U.S. that isn't developed where that could happen."[5] The inn, where the majority of the events in the novel happened, is fictitious. According to Sparks, there are a number of bed and breakfasts in other Outer Banks towns that are similar to his description of the inn in the novel, but he chose to create it for the story.[4]
Sparks based parts of the story from his real life events, though less so compared to his previous novels. These events were given twists to "make the story as interesting as possible".[4] The story parallels Sparks' relationship with his wife, Cathy Cote. In his speech in 2002 for the Friends of the Library in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Sparks cited several similarities of the story with his own life. Sparks and his wife, in their senior years, met in a small coastal town where they traveled to in hopes of respite. He recalls, "I sensed something kind and wonderful about Cathy almost immediately, though Cathy (like Adrienne) was a little bit more hesitant in her feelings for me."[4]
The prose of the novel is written in third person.[3] The main body of the novel consists of Adrienne's flashback about her love affair with Paul. Sparks incorporated the themes of love and sacrifice into the story. Adrienne and Paul parted ways for the sake of their children. Sparks comments, "I think that sacrifice is inherent to good parenting. Both Paul and Adrienne loved their children, and the sacrifices they were willing to make made them nobler as characters."[4]
According to some critics, Sparks was inspired by the 1992 best-selling novel The Bridges of Madison County in writing Nights in Rodanthe.[4][6] The Bridges of Madison County has a few similarities to Nights in Rodanthe: the characters are roughly of the same age and their relationships had ended. Sparks, said he was more guided by his novel The Notebook than The Bridges. He explained that the latter is a story of adultery while his is not. The main male character of The Bridges was a loner without children, while Paul has children. In his official website, Sparks writes, "The list [of the disparity of the two novels] could go on and on, but I think you get the point."[4]

[edit]Release and reception

Nights in Rodanthe was published in September 2002 by Warner Books to commercial success. It was Sparks' first novel to debut at number one on the best-sellers chart.[7] On July 1, 2003,Grand Central Publishing republished the novel in paperback.[8] Nights in Rodanthe was republished in July 2007 by Hachette Book Group, and the novel's cover features the promotional photo for its film adaptation.[9] An unabridged audio version of the novel was published by Hachette Book Group in August 2008. The audio is narrated by American actress JoBeth Williams, and it spans five hours and 30 minutes.[10] Scarce copies of the first printing of the novel's hardcover edition are sold; the cover bears an autograph by Sparks.[11]
Nights in Rodanthe received mixed reviews. Sheri Melnick of Book Reviews complimented the novel for its "emotional depth", adding, "No doubt bookstores should sell this tearjerker with a box of tissues, as even the most unemotional of readers will be hard pressed not to cry."[12] Karen Valby of Entertainment Weekly magazine gave the book a "C" and notes, "Sparks, no slouch when it comes to a sales hook, employs many of the same elements of Robert James Waller's weepie in his Outer Banks romance."[13] Trisha Finster of Lakeland Mirror complimented Sparks, saying "Sparks has a unique way of going about writing romance in his novels."[14]
The novel was adapted into a film of the same name, released on September 26, 2008, in the United States.[15] Sparks sold the film rights to Warner Bros.[4] American film producer Denise Di Novi produced the film, directed by George C. Wolfe from a screenplay by Ann Peacock and John Romano. Nights in Rodanthe stars American actor Richard Gere as Paul and actress Diane Lane as Adrienne. The movie has received generally negative reviews.[16]