As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer

As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer
publisher: HarperPaperbacks 1991

Now this was one delightful book to read. The story follows the fictional life of Charlie Trumper. From his early childhood (1900) until his retirement (1970). The story begins with him as a child at his grandfather’s barrow in the Whitechapel district of London. These were flat carts, waist high, on wheels with some shelves that would hold produce: potatoes, celery, apples, oranges, etc. They would take up some space along a sidewalk and the owners of the barrow would start their sales pitch. There the story starts and winds its way through seven decades.

The book is broken up into 13 different sections. Each section is narrated from the point of view of one of the characters in the book. Some characters, like Charlie, have more than one section. The sections, time lines, overlap so that what appears as a mystery in one section gets its answer in another section. Far from it being repetitive, the stories of each character are entertaining and augment each other.

At nearly 800 pages in the paperback the story flies. Charlie’s life in the great war, the start of his store to become a small empire, the second world war and onward keeps the material fresh. Of course what would a story be without a protagonist? We have the Trentham’s. From the son to his mother you will shake your head. There are a lot of surprises along the way.

Linda recommends this book. She thoroughly enjoyed it. I will admit that I also enjoyed the book as well and recommend it. I have found that many copies are available on Ebay. I am certain that it is still in print.

10 Responses to “As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer”

  1. Sheepdog says:

    That sounds like a really neat format and an illustration of how no one person and no single person’s experience will give us all of the answers.

    That book sounds interesting. Would it be in the library or is it new?

  2. patti says:

    Ooohhh, that DOES sound interesting. I like a book that involves history and different points of view.

    Sheepdog, let me know if you track it down in the library!

  3. Joe says:

    If you both would like to read the book I can lend it out to you… one at a time of course. Patti, I know we have a small bookcase at church where people can leave behind a book. Is the bookcase only for Christian books?

    Sheepdog, since the book was written in 1991 the question would be is it still at a local library?

  4. Sheepdog says:

    The library does have it. There’s one available at Central library, Ancaster and Mount Hope.

    I want to read it but should probably finish the ones I’m still reading – I’ve currently got 5 on the go and planning to skim through a 6th.

  5. Dougie_G says:

    The story is fictional, but are the places and times and events historcally accurate or are they fictional too? Sounds like an interesting book. 800 pages ? wow. That would be a holiday project for me. Sounds like it could be made into a good movie too.

  6. patti says:

    Joe, I would love to borrow it, but the pile of books waiting to be read on my shelf say otherwise….

    Thanks though!

  7. Joe says:

    hmmm… Who would read a book report? Why people who read books of course. Not surprising then that your queue of books are long. I know I have a couple of boxes to get through yet I am always picking up one here and one there. Might not be so bad if I could read above 250 words a minute. Better still if I can could read for more than thirty minutes. As a reader I am glacial.

  8. Joe says:

    Doug, I am not certain that the events are historically accurate beyond the fact that there were two wars, London was bombed, there was a depression and certainly labour strikes after ww2. The story weaves in and out of these events.

  9. Sheepdog says:


    I just wanted to come on here and publicly say that I appreciate you. I learn a lot from you and I respect you.

    Thank you for being who you are.

  10. Joe says:

    Head bowed, cowboy hat in hands hanging down, the toe of one cowboy boot scraping the ground back and forth… Aw shucks ma’m, I’m just doin what I can.