Cars, computers, economic cycles – everything's faster these days, so perhaps it's inevitable that Jeffrey Archer has rewritten his 1970s thriller Kane and Abel for the instant gratification generation.
The rewrite, which took Archer nine months – he says that he handwrites everything – saw him slashing around 40,000 words from the original novel, and putting back in around 27,000, leaving himself with a leaner, shorter novel in which the pace increases from breakneck to warp speed.
The revised version – which will be published in mid-October to mark the book's 30th anniversary – doesn't change the plot, just the style. "Jeffrey reread it a couple of years ago and felt he could do it much better now," said Trevathan. "I was perhaps sceptical about what he could do in that I couldn't work out how he could do this without changing the plot, but I'm now won over … One of the things Jeffrey said to me was that it's as if he sat down and wrote it now, rather than 30 years ago. We were going to call it 'Kane and Abel for a new generation'. It doesn't feel dated, whereas the old edition feels dated."