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Kane and Abel (1979)

by Jeffrey Archer

Series: Kane & Abel (1)

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3,363653,321 (3.93)67
William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski, one the son of a Boston millionaire, the other a penniless Polish immigrant, are brought together by fate and the quest of a dream. Two ambitious men are locked in a relentless struggle to build an empire, fueled by their all-consuming hatred. Over sixty years and three generations, through war, marriage, fortune, and disaster, Kane and Abel battle for the success and triumph that only one man can have.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
This is a book written in 1979, republished as paperback in 2009 by St Martin's press.
The author makes a an allegorical tale of the biblical story of Cain and Abel.
The characters are Abel, a rags-to-riches boy, and William kane, a rich to further riches boy, who are both born on the day of the San Francisco earthquake in April of 1906. I didn't really care about the characters.
The first part of the book was interesting for what the rags-to-riches Abel went through in the White Russian prison camps, then his journey as he struggled to reach the United states.
Meanwhile, Kane is growing up, assured of every privilege.
By serendipitous events, the two men become lifelong enemies, involving everyone around them in the feud. ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
My first book by Jeffrey Archer, and I enjoyed it a lot. Unfortunately, I've read that the 2nd book of the series isn't as good, but I may read it one day. It's not exactly a continuation, and it summarizes a lot of the first book anyway.

Overall, the book was kind of sad, and got sadder as it continued. Two boys who are very different, one a banker's son in the US, the other one from a very poor family in Poland who is taken in by a count, but has very bad luck when the Russians take over and kill most of the people from the palace, including the boy's sister; the rest are imprisoned in such bad conditions that they mostly die, including the count.

The boy finally makes it to the US, and is eventually mortally offended by the banker, who he believes to be a spoiled, privileged son of a banker who caused the death of his mentor by calling in his loan during lean times, and broke up his own mother's marriage leading to her death. His hatred leads him to acts of hatred against his enemy, and it all escalates until both of them have their lives and families spoiled. And all over nothing, really. They should have been friends, and would have been had they gotten together when they had a chance.

I wanted to like the poor one from Poland who raised himself so high from so low, but he really wasn't a very honorable man in a lot of ways, although largely due to ignorance of our ways, I think. The rich banker's son seemed to be more honorable in most ways, and tried to avoid the other's hatred for as long as he could.

It was all very tragic, but a fine story with a good glimpse into life before and after WWII.

And by the way, the audiobook version was excellent, I thought. Very well done. ( )
  MartyFried | Oct 9, 2022 |
Imagine dois homens poderosos que nutrem, entre eles, um ódio mortal. Mas um ódio sem limites, capaz levar ambos a destruir-se mutuamente sem medir nenhuma conseqüência. Pois é, assim é a saga de Abel Rosnovski, polonês, filho ilegítimo, e de William Kane, americano, de uma tradicional família de banqueiros de Boston.
Depois de sobreviver aos horrores da guerra, Abel emigra para os Estados Unidos, onde faz fortuna e torna-se proprietário de uma poderosa cadeia de hotéis. Kane, por sua vez, herda do pai a fortuna e a presidência do banco, e procura fazer dele uma das mais fortes instituições financeiras do país. Após uma sucessão de acontecimentos – muito bem engendrados por Archer – os dois homens encontram-se finalmente para se transformarem em obcecados inimigos, cada qual decidido a destruir o outro.
  bibliotecapresmil | Sep 5, 2022 |
William Kane is born into wealth in the U.S. in the early 1900's. Abel Rosnovski is born on the same day in Poland, though under very different circumstances, anything but wealthy. Their paths later cross repeatedly, their relationship developing into a competition to outwit and destroy each other.

This was an abridged story (3 CDs), which made for a quick read on a short commute. Nice enough for a short time in the car, but nothing very deep or remarkable in this one. There really wasn't much of a climax and the plot felt very predictable. I doubt that this will stick with me for very long. ( )
  indygo88 | Jul 22, 2021 |
Simply put it was unputdownable.read it at a stretch, ( )
  deepatarak | Jun 29, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
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To Michael and Jane
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April 18, 1906
Slonim, Poland

She only stopped screaming when she died.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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ISBN 1851522603 is for Kane and Abel; The Prodigal Daughter; and Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less.
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William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski, one the son of a Boston millionaire, the other a penniless Polish immigrant, are brought together by fate and the quest of a dream. Two ambitious men are locked in a relentless struggle to build an empire, fueled by their all-consuming hatred. Over sixty years and three generations, through war, marriage, fortune, and disaster, Kane and Abel battle for the success and triumph that only one man can have.

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