Sunday evening was spent rather delightfully, listening to Jeffrey Archer speak. He was at Landmark to promote his new book, a re-write of his top seller, Kane and Abel.
The man is a genius when it came to handling the crowd – he had them eating out of his hand within the first few minutes – he spoke about what a great place India is, and Sachin’s brilliant century in the previous day’s game. It was easy to see how he would have swayed his constituents who sent him to the House of commons.
Here are bits of what he spoke about, as I remember them. Any omissions / distortions are mine, and I absolutely refuse to stand by anything here under oath!
He began by reading out a really short short story that he said was perhaps the best example of short story writing.
Then he spoke about the new Kane and Abel and how it came about. Having sat down to read the original work 30 years after it was first published, he found himself making corrections here and there. These became bigger and bigger, and he found himself rewriting whole sections. Finally, at the end of about 500 hours of work over a 9-month period, the new version was ready. He’s written over 50,000 new words, and the new work is about 7,000 words shorter – which seems to suggest that about 57,000 words from the old version have been jettisoned.