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  • Only Time Will Tell

  • The Clifton Chronicles, Book 1
  • Written by: Jeffrey Archer
  • Narrated by: Roger Allam, Emilia Fox
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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Only Time Will Tell cover art

Only Time Will Tell

Written by: Jeffrey Archer
Narrated by: Roger Allam,Emilia Fox
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Publisher's Summary

From the internationally bestselling author Jeffrey Archer comes Only Time Will Tell, the first in the ambitious Clifton Chronicles series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph.

The epic tale of Harry Clifton's life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war." A dock worker in Bristol, Harry never knew his father, but he learns about life on the docks from his uncle, who expects Harry to join him at the shipyard once he's left school. But then an unexpected gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys' school, and his life will never be the same again.

As he enters into adulthood, Harry finally learns how his father really died, but the awful truth only leads him to question, was he even his father? Is he the son of Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who spent his whole life on the docks, or the firstborn son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line?

This introductory novel in Archer's engrossing series The Clifton Chronicles includes a cast of colorful characters and takes us from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World War, when Harry must decide whether to take up a place at Oxford or join the navy and go to war with Hitler's Germany. From the docks of working-class England to the bustling streets of 1940 New York City, Only Time Will Tell takes listeners on a journey through to future volumes, which will bring to life one hundred years of recent history to reveal a family story that neither the listener nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.

©2011 Jeffrey Archer (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

“Archer delivers another page-turning, heart-stopping saga, with delightful twists, and a surprise ending… readers will surely wait for the next with bated breath.” —Publishers Weekly

“General readers as well as Archer fans will enjoy this unforgettable tale, which abounds with cliff-hangers that propel its intriguing and intricate plot.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“What appears at the outset to be a straightforward coming-of-age tale becomes, by the end, a saga of power, betrayal, and bitter hatred. The novel ends on a deliberately dark note, setting the stage for the sequel…An outstanding effort from a reliable veteran.” —Booklist (starred Review)

What listeners say about Only Time Will Tell

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  • JKL
  • 2020-04-22

Excellent - Recommend

Loved it but some sections seemed to be pushed along for expediency. Overall, excellent. Thank you.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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not great literature

not great literature but Jeffrey Archer is a good story teller. I don't think I could actually sit and read the book, but listening while doing something else is a great combination.

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Best entertainment while traveling

This is only my second audible experience, love love love audible . I’ve heard great things In the past but took a while to try it out, started to read the second book of this series and realized I needed to catch up with the first book of the story line , and audible was perfect for this book , lots of fun
#audible1

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Art Imitating Life..Great fun

I feel asleep a few times listening but made the effort to go back. I didn't want to miss the "surprise" parts of the story. I wasn't disappointed. I intend to finish the series unless they end up in New York again. The accents are jarring. The woman narrator reading New York cabbies and cops was particularly bizarre. Thoroughly modern Millie does Rocky. Oh well, the world is a complicated place these days and these books are simple and fun. The irony of the creation of bogus stories and false diaries was not lost on me. I appreciate the lemonade, Sir Jeffrey!

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