A Prisoner of Birth

Jeffrey Archer, Author, Roger Allam, Read by , read by Roger Allam. Macmillan Audio $44.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-4272-0283-3

Though Archer's new novel is a porridge that mushes The Count of Monte Cristo together with The Prince and the Pauper , Roger Allam gives an award-worthy performance in this crisply paced production. Most challenging is that the main character thinks like East Ender Danny, but often speaks like the nobleman Nick. Allam slides gracefully between the two accents. He also performs the many voices of an unwieldy cast of lawyers, judges, Swiss bankers, guards, police officers, a bartender, a house cleaner and a soap star actor. Sometimes, Allam takes some shortcuts, such as giving all the judges sniffy voices, but he delights in individualizing the better drawn minor characters like Big Al, a former Scottish soldier, and Larry Hunsucker, a Texas oilman and philatelist. A bonus interview reveals little about Archer, except for his spending 300 hours on a draft. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 14). (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 04/28/2008
Release date: 03/01/2008
Hardcover - 530 pages - 978-0-230-53142-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-1752-3
Compact Disc - 5 pages - 978-1-4272-0305-2
Library Binding - 687 pages - 978-1-60285-167-2
Hardcover - 501 pages - 978-0-312-37929-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 618 pages
Open Ebook - 512 pages - 978-1-4299-3449-7
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-230-71374-1
Paperback - 978-0-312-94264-9
Compact Disc - 6 pages - 978-0-230-70139-7
Paperback - 615 pages - 978-0-330-46406-2
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-986-6488-78-8
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4272-2832-1
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-230-71222-5
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-230-70700-9
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