The tale of two men - one the son of a Boston millionaire, the other of a penniless Polish immigrant, born on the same day on opposite sides of the world - tells of fortune and disaster.
It took him 500 hours over nine months to rewrite the text.
"I just decided, having reread it, that I could improve it. I did not think it would take much," the Telegraph quoted Archer as saying.
"But, in fact, I added some 24,700 words to the original manuscript. But the final copy ended up 7,000 words shorter than the first edition. So I think it's better crafted now after 30 years of writing. But the plot remains the same," he added.