As the Crow Flies


There is a bit of an Archer reread going on. At least I’ve just finished As the Crow Flies for, I think, the fourth time, and I think I will probably start on First Among Equals pretty soon. As the Crow Flies is possibly my favourite Archer book. It’s the poor boy done good motif, of course, as Charlie Trumper makes his way from working at his grandfather’s barrow in the Whitechapel market to retiring as chairman of «the biggest barrow in the world», a Harrods-like department store in Chelsea as the reader shouts «Good for you!». However, it’s also Archer’s customary ability to make the wheelings and dealings of business’ and politics’ tactics seem fascinating.

I might have mentioned before the complete suspension of disbelief that goes with loving to reread books. It is this quality which makes it possible to find Pride & Prejudice exciting at the 20th rereading («Will they really get it together this time, too?»), and it’s an ability I’d be loath to lose. However, in some cases it’s more of a curse, as with As the Crow Flies where, no matter how well I remember the details, there is one death in the novel which is equally devastating at every reading. In fact, it gets worse once you know it’s coming, as you feel there ought to be some way for you to prevent it – a timely phone call to one of the main characters, for example.

Consider yourself warned. Don’t let it stop you reading the book, however, as it really is very good.