Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer

Heads You Win

Leningrad, Russia, 1968. 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 t...

Details Heads You Win

TitleHeads You Win
Release DateNov 6th, 2018
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Audiobook, Thriller, Cultural, Russia, Mystery, Adult, Drama, Novels

Reviews Heads You Win

  • Maureen
    ** 4.5 Stars * Wow! The last sentence in ‘Heads You Win’ was akin to a slap across the face - a kind of “that’s what you get for not being perceptive enough to recognise what was right in front of you the whole time”!1968 Leningrad, Russia, and teenager Alexander Karpenko and his mother Elena are about to flee their homeland with the help of his uncle, who has bribed the Captain of a cargo ship. Alexander’s father has been assassinate...
  • Matt
    Lord Jeffrey Archer remains one of the eminent writers of my time, able to craft brilliant novels that can be enjoyed years after the ink dries on their publication. Archer develops his books with pages of captivating text and believable dialogue. On the docks of Leningrad in 1968, Alexander Karpenko lives under the iron fist of the Soviet regime. No choice or decision goes unwatched by the KGB and punishment is usually brutal. When Alexander’s...
  • Diane S ☔
    I read very few political thrillers, but for Archer I make an exception. From the beginning one is aware that they are in the hands of a author who has perfected his craft, has a firm grasp of his characters and the plot. His prose is written with clarity, his storyline flows seamlessly. What an unusual but perceptive, history in the making, storyline this turned out to be.Russia, Alexander's father, a dockworker, secret orginizer of those in opp...
  • TL
    *some edits*Loved it but umm... The ending and the last few pages, anyone else confused?What I thought was gonna be mind blowing wasn't explored to completion and what I guess was the big surprise seemed like a non-ending (to me). Maybe because I was expecting something else but I was left with "Umm, that's all?"Doesn't dampen my enjoyment of the rest of the story but it did cause me to knock off that one star.My one friend suggested maybe its a ...
  • Ron Hartley
    I enjoy Archers books and have read them all.However, if you don't read this book, you are doing yourself a favor.Yes Clifton and Barrington were mentioned, which was nice.The usual suicide of disgrace showed up... Not incest for a change. In fact, no incest in this book.The two versions of the main character were great, until they started crossing paths in various manners. This created some confusion.Were the mom's twins? Nope.The final ending w...
  • Patrice Hoffman
    In the interest of full disclosure, I have been a fan of Jeffrey Archer's since I found Kane and Abel in the clearance bin at my local used book store. I was urged by my insanely smart brother to pick a book by its cover and so... that's what I chose. Suffice it to say, I was hooked to Archer's uncomplicated style of writing. His delivery can be described as hearing a story from that human fixture in your local bar or fellow commuter. He writes a...
  • Barbara
    Perhaps if one doesn't usually read great writing, poor writing doesn't scream out. Archer's writing just screamed at me -bad, bad, bad. Sometimes I find it easier to describe what good writing is than what is lacking in poor writing. Poor character development, predictability, cliches - just a few things that drove me crazy in this book.I would have given the book 1 star, but since I kept turning the pages and wanted to know how it ended, I figu...
  • Gary
    Another great piece of storytelling by top author Jeffrey Archer. Rarely disappointed by his books and this latest novel is another excellent story. The more I read of this novel the bigger my appetite to find out more. Well written, good characters and a plot expertly crafted for maximum enjoyment.Alexander Karpenko is a child in Leningrad, Russia, 1968 and he is easily identifiable as a leader in the making. But his future plans take a sudden t...
  • Lou
    Heads You Win is one of critically-acclaimed, bestselling author Jeffrey Archer's most imaginative novel to date and takes advantage of the sliding doors theme whereby the outcomes of two separate paths that a character could take are shown. Here, it manifests itself as a life-changing moment in which young Alexander Karpenko and his mother flip a coin on the docks to decide whether they board a boat and emigrate to Great Britain or the United St...
  • Paul
    Archer has other works that are definitely worth a read if you enjoy this genre, but Heads You Win is not one I would recommend.For my full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2018/10/10/he...For all my reviews: https://paulspicks.blog Archer has other works that are definitely worth a read if you enjoy this genre, but Heads You Win is not one I would recommend.For my full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2018/10/10/he...For all my reviews: https://...
  • Natalie
    HEADS YOU WIN is Jeffrey Archer’s attempt to write a novel about a single character and the two paths that bifurcated his life. Alexander and his morher must leave Russia, after their lives are endangered by the perfidy of friend, Vladimir. There are 2 ships they can take, one going to England and the other to the USA. Here Archer follows the life that Alex/Sasha would have followed on each of the different paths. The unbelievable success that ...
  • Andrea Betting
    Worst book by this author. I am a big Jeffrey archer fan, however this was the worst book he’s ever written! The book never explains how a Russian mother and her 16-year-old son are given the choice between stowing away in a packing crate heading for either England or America. They choose one of the crates and after climbing in the crate is Nailed shut. Some how or another, which is never explained, two crates on two different ships are opened ...
  • Susan
    I have been reading Jeffrey Archer books for years so I know when I pick one up it's going to be an entertaining and fast read and this lived up to my expectations. Alexander Karpenko has to flee Russia in 1968 after his father was assassinated by the KGB for trying to form a labor union. Alexander and his mother manage to get aboard a cargo ship to escape. Here the story takes a definite turn following two different scenarios on what happens to ...
  • Laura Danks
    I really wanted to love this book because I loved The Clifton Chronicles Series, but unfortunately, I didn't enjoy as much as I hoped.To me, it felt as if the structure of The Clifton Chronicles had been copied and paste into Russian settings. I don't want to give away any spoilers, especially for readers who have not read Archer before but I found the whole thing a little too predictable following a formula that I've seen before.I think I would ...
  • Jim
    An interesting story. Have you ever wondered what would have happened if you had made a different choice at some point in your life? This novel explores that idea.The story opens in 1968 in Leningrad, Russia. Alexander Karpenko is a very intelligent youth. He dreams of becoming the first democratically elected president of Russia. Alexander's father is a foreman on the docks who is attempting to unionize his co-workers on the docks. That effort t...
  • Lisa
    Ok, WOWWWWW.Let me say first and foremost that I won an ARC of this book for my review from St. Martin’s Press~ THANK YOU!!!! Second, this is ONE of my favorite authors as he never disappoints in writing about good and evil in politics as in life in general.This book however, HEADS YOU WIN, is as it says on the cover...one man, two lives. And how is that? That is the question. Amazingly, Mr. Archer writes a little bit different from his past no...
  • Chhavi
    I am utterly confused. Throughout the book, and in the premise, the impression is that it is the same person whose story is written from 2 different perspective. How then do people who know one come across the other? They are supposed to be same person Life1 and Life2...then how can they also exist simultaneously....? I am only left with this one headbanging confusion in the end ....
  • Carolyn
    Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this book which shows the author’s skill for great story telling. I found the structure of the book a little confusing at first. I have never been able to fathom the British Parliamentary system and I tried not to zone out during those sections. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the changes in Russia (and lack of them) over the years and the excursions into the art world. There were times whil...
  • Andrea
    I still don't understand that ending, and I don't think I ever will. And as for the oh so shocking bit twist the blurb promises? I laughed so hard. Honestly… Other than that, this book mostly bore me to tears. Excellent narration aside (it IS read by the wonderful Richard Armitage, after all - the only reason I picked this up), I just couldn't possibly care less. Also, if you're going to explore two lives, is it two much to ask to NOT hear basi...
  • Donna
    Jeffrey Archer is my 9th most read author....well actually he is tied with Brandon Sanderson. This is the 16th book by him that I've read. He is a master story teller. He does place, plot, and especially characters well. I loved the relationships. He adds rich detail to his characters....even when it comes to the mean ones because I feel like I understand them. I loved the fork in the road with this one regarding the crates. That was a nice littl...
  • Bill
    Having read many of Archer's earlier offerings, the characters, plot, and events were recycled, especially from the Clifton Chronicles. Luckily it was a quick read.
  • Nelson
    What a garbage book this is. It seems you lose whether you are heads or tails.
  • Di Paterson
    What a disappointment. I've read most of Jeffrey Archer's books, and I think he should stick to short stories now. His sagas, like this one, are becoming formulaic, and his characters, while being well-written, lead such charmed lives, and seldom have character flaws, as is the case in this book. The beginning, with the split lives, was definitely intriguing, but ultimately the story went nowhere, with a totally disappointing ending. I'm not sure...
  • Angela Oatham
    Never let it be said that Jeffrey Archer doesn't tell a good story. This is another very readable novel from him, there's nothing new or groundbreaking and yes you will get slight deja vu if you've read all his previous novels but so what? Sometimes I just want to turn my brain off and delve into a good story. If I was Mr Archer I wouldn't be holidaying in Russia anytime soon though!
  • Deyanne
    Just "hit the spot" for exactly what I needed in the hospital following surgery. I was surprised. Not having read an Archer book since a life-time ago with Kane and AbelI had forgotten what an amazing storyteller can do. I was definitely caught-up in this uniquely formatted story. It took me back many, many years when our children were enamored with Choose Your Own Adventure books. This book has similarities. The story is told from two different ...
  • Jane
    Thanks to St. Martin's Press for this ARC.I haven't read this author's books in 30+ years and wasn't sure if I would like this book since it's not a book I would read but I needed something different and this was it. I've read a lot of books in my lifetime and have never read a book like this and it's not your typical book. It was interesting between Alex/Sasha in London/New York/Russia and what it would be like if he went to London or New York i...
  • Linda Hart
    Epic Mystery with a clever unexpected twist I didn't see coming. I always enjoy reading Archer.
  • Diane Lynn
    Jeffrey Archer has certainly mastered story telling! I was immediately pulled into the adventures of Alexander as he and his mother escape from Russia. They hop into a crate on a ship headed to England, or is it America? A flip of a coin will tell, and what an interesting way to tell a story. I really enjoyed the technique used here but, for me at least, the final twist was too obvious.
  • James
    I was fortunate to be one of 500 readers around the world selected to read a free pre-publication serialisation of 'Heads You Win' on The Pigeonhole. I first read Jeffrey Archer years ago, when I picked up 'As The Crow Flies' at the suggestion of a friend who loved Archer's stories. I found it an honest, enjoyable, decently crafted page-turner, your typical rags to riches tale. To be honest it did smack a little bit of formula, so I desisted from...
  • Roma Sharma
    Jeffrey Archer is called a master story teller for a reason. His books are captivating and spellbinding. This one is no exception. I enjoy thrillers and I usually don’t like to read historical books or overly political books, but when it comes to Archer, the genre becomes irrelevant and the story is all that matters. I have devoured every novel and short story he’s ever published and never have I been disappointed. This book held my attention...