Following revelations that Jane Austen was a near illiterate whose prose style was the work of editors, a new scandal has hit the world of books. Jeffrey Archer has long been mocked for his clumsy style, but his recently discovered private papers reveal a talent quite at odds with that of his best-selling novels.
‘The reputation of no other English novelist rests so firmly on lack of style and sparkling dialogue,’ explained Professor Keith Sutherland. ‘But in the manuscript of ‘Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less’, the incomparable Archer rubbish is absent. Words tumble delightfully from the page. Whoever edited Archer’s works was responsible for transforming literary genius into dross.’
But Archer’s many fans are opposed to his new literary status. ‘We like the novels as they are,’ said Fay Nolan, an avid reader. ‘And we don’t want the likes of Professor Sutherland turning Jeffrey into another fucking James Joyce.’