Heads You Win

Heads You Win

A Novel

Book - 2018
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Alexander Karpenko is no ordinary child, and from an early age, it is clear he is destined to lead his countrymen. But when his father is assassinated by the KGB for defying the state, he and his mother will have to escape from Russia if they hope to survive. At the docks, they are confronted with an irreversible choice: should they board a container ship bound for America, or Great Britain? Alexander leaves that choice to the toss of a coin. In a single moment, a double twist decides Alexander's future. During an epic tale of fate and fortune, spanning two continents and thirty years, we follow his triumphs and defeats as he struggles as an immigrant to conquer his new world. As this unique story unfolds, Alexander comes to realize where his destiny lies, and accepts that he must face the past he left behind in Russia.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250214225
Branch Call Number: ARCH
Characteristics: 437 pages ; 25 cm


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A bit difficult to get into the plot. Interesting middle bits but really short changed us with the ending.

Apr 08, 2019

Idiotic plot with a predictable ending. Mr Archer is well past his sell by date.

Mar 17, 2019

I was never a fan of English authors until my first Jeffrey Archer book. I wasn't sure of what to make of Heads You Win when I first started it, but it didn't take me long to stop caring because it is THAT GOOD.

I found the ending a bit confusing even knowing that the book chapters alternated between the outcomes that could/would have been when that coin was tossed and I was a bit disappointed after the inside cover flap claim of

With a final twist that will shock even most ardent fans.

in as much as anyone with a modicum of interest in current events could and would have figured that out.

I enjoyed the references to The Clifton Chronicles and although I hope this would be the start of a new series, but because of the fact that it, like The Clifton Chronicles is historically based, I believe that history might be much too current to have too many more books to follow Heads You Win.

Note: I was only able to finish Heads You Win in a day because we were stuck in a 34 hour power outage!

Feb 27, 2019

Very similar to the Clifton Chronicles. Just so so.

Feb 21, 2019

Loved the ending - the whole book was amazing!

Alexander and his mother Elena escape communist Russia hidden in a case of vodka smuggled into the hold of one of two ships sailing out of Leningrad. One ship heads to England while the other ship heads to America.

The story splits into two parallel lives: Sasha & Elena arrive in London while Alex & Elena arrive in New York City. Each of their lives over the next thirty years are told of the milestones in their lives as the chapters change between Sasha & Alex.

I won't spoil the plot by saying any more about this wonderfully ingenious plot.

Feb 11, 2019

I read this book, every page in a day and a half. Thoroughly enjoyed it, the twist at the end certainly surprised me, another triumph for Jeffrey Archer. I have read almost all of his previous books and never been disappointed.

Feb 02, 2019

This book is a total waste of time! I was looking forward to a new book by this author then I started reading it and thought wait a minute, this is ridiculous!
He basically wrote two short stories, the same people in each one except one takes place in England and the other New York. And the supposed surprise twist ending about as surprising as “duh... did you not notice the name at the beginning of the novel and the aspiration”. So disappointed.
My 1/2 star is actually generous considering what a stupid book this was.

Jan 27, 2019

Confusing! Not even a good try from an otherwise good writer.

Jan 14, 2019

When Jeffrey Archer writes a new book, you know it will be good. This one is exceptional. The story starts out in Leningrad with an honest man's murder and his wife and son's escape. So far so good. What happens next is that we're led to believe the mother and son will escape to either England or America based on which crate they will be smuggled out in on the toss of a coin. After this excitement starts in two strands one in New York and one in London. The success stories in these two Metros make for gripping reading and head for a climax which is as good as it is unexpected. I won't say more since I don't want to be a spoiler.

Dec 26, 2018

A fantastic book. You may get a bit confused at the beginning but then you will catch on quickly. This book shows how we all wonder if our lives had gone on in another direction. I strongly suggest that you read this book.

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