Short Story Review – A Wasted Hour

Title – A Wasted Hour

Author – Jeffrey Archer

Genre – Fiction


This story is one among the many shorts from “The Year Of Short Stories” – a collection of digital tales from various books of Jeffrey Archer, which Amazon came out with preceding the release of Archer’s “Tell Tale” . Numerous short stories were released as individual “books” , each with fascinating covers – as a prelude to “Tell Tale” which itself was a collection of short stories, “A Wasted Hour” being one among the compilation.

The story is about a young college student who hitches rides to and fro, in order to save money for higher studies. Kelley Ragland’s second reason for preferring to hitch hike is that she aims to be a writer once she graduates, and uses these short journeys to meet fascinating people and learn about their lives and the experiences they are willing to share – information she can use later while writing her own books. On one such day, an old man offers her a ride. Introducing himself as John, when he learns where Kelley’s destination is, what she is studying, and what she aspires to be, he proceeds with his own incredible life story. John is well acquainted with various works of literature and the duo launch into a bookish conversation. Is John actually an incredible person, or is there more to his story that he lets Kelley on?

The narration is ingenious and witty, keeping the reader hooked throughout, and hoping this was not a short story and could have carried on for longer. A delight not only to fans of Archer but to all readers, and only proves why the writer is considered as one of the greatest storytellers of our age. True to the adage, time needs to be used wisely – it never comes back, so use every minute well. A wonderful short read from the literary giant. The deducted point in the rating is because it was just too short for the delightful story that it was.

My rating – 4/5

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