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Almost Paradise Mass Market Paperback – October 3, 2000

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch (October 3, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061014656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061014659
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 4.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A novel that has everything...Susan Isaacs is a witty, insightful, and elegant writer." -- --Mademoiselle

"Grand entertainment." -- --Newsday

"Simply wonderful." -- --Cosmopolitan.

From the Publisher

As a publisher, one of the things I hate the most is when big screen movies and made-for-TV movies take really well written, interesting stores and make horrible movies out of them And in doing so turn thousands of people away from a truly enjoyable reading experiences. Sadly, such is the case for both ALMOST PARADISE and SHINING THROUGH.

Do yourself a big favor and beware the screen. Both of these books are marvelous romances, and it took me a long time to get around to reading them, for I was a snob, and didn't 'read romances'. The joke was on me however, where these two novels are concerned, for they have great characters and such stories of love! SHINING THROUGH is also a W.W.II thriller, with the heroine infiltrating the house of a Nazi official. The love of nation and of freedom is also accented. In ALMOST PARADISE, the romance of Jane and Nicky begins before they were born, and the book takes us through their lifetimes... It made me laugh out loud on one page then had me in tears a few pages later. You will need several kleenex to get through the last few pages, trust me. The trick in both books is that Susan Isaacs makes us care passionately about her characters.

Both books are equally hard to put down once you start, but what do you care? It's not like you have a movie to watch.

-Alice Kesterson, Regional Sales Manager --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

First, here's what the critics say::

AFiction done well and done with a difference...A sophisticated storyteller, with a wry view of the world.@ - Washington Post

AJane Austen brought up to date...Highly amusing.@ - Atlantic Monthly

ASusan Isaacs is a witty, wry observer of the contemporary scene.@ - New York Times Book Review

ASardonic humor and dead-on commentary.@ - Houston Chronicle

ASusan Isaacs knows the art of dialogue the way J.S. Bach knew the art of the fugue.@ - Seattle Times

Blockbuster writers tend to be no more than terrific storytellers. Susan Isaacs=s talents go far beyond that. She is a witty, insightful, and elegant writer.@ - Mademoiselle

AI can think of no other novelist--popular or highbrow--who consistently celebrates female gutsiness, brains and sexuality. She=s Jane Austen with a schmear.@ Maureen Corrigan- National Public Radio Fresh Air

AWho....., is our best popular novelist? The nominee for this quarter is Susan Isaacs....[She] is a comic realist, an astute chronicler of contemporary life in the tradition of....Anthony Trollope.@ - Sun Sentinel

Susan's biography

Susan Isaacs, novelist, essayist and screenwriter, was born in Brooklyn and educated at Queens College. She worked as an editorial assistant at Seventeen magazine writing everything from book reviews to advice to the lovelorn. In 1968, Susan married Elkan Abramowitz, then a federal prosecutor. She became a senior editor but left Seventeen in 1970 to stay home with her newborn son, Andrew. Three years later, she gave birth to Elizabeth. During this time she freelanced, writing political speeches as well as magazine articles.

In the mid-seventies, Susan got the urge to write a novel. A year later she began Compromising Positions, a whodunit set on suburban Long Island. It was published in. Her second novel, Close Relations, a love story set against a background of ethnic, sexual and New York Democratic politics (thus a comedy), was published in. Her third, Almost Paradise, was published in 1984. All of Susan's novels have been New York Times bestsellers. Her fiction has been translated into thirty languages.

In 1985, she wrote the screenplay for Paramount's Compromising Positions, which starred Susan Sarandon and Raul Julia. She also wrote and co-produced Disney's Hello Again. The 1987 comedy starred Shelley Long and Gabriel Byrne.

Her fourth novel, Shining Through, set during World War II, was published in 1988. The film adaptation starred Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith. Then came Magic Hour January 1991, After All These Years in 1993. Lily White in 1996 and Red, White and Blue in 1998. In 1999, Susan came out with her first work of nonfiction, Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women Are Really Doing on Page and Screen. During 2000, she wrote a series of columns on the presidential campaign for Newsday. Long Time No See, a sequel to Compromising Positions, came out in September 2001. Anyplace I Hang My Hat, was published in 2004. Past Perfect is her eleventh novel.

Susan Isaacs is a recipient of the Writers for Writers Award and the John Steinbeck Award. She serves as chairman of the board of Poets & Writers and is a past president of Mystery Writers of America. She is also a member of the National Book Critics Circle, The Creative Coalition, PEN, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the International Association of Crime Writers, and the Adams Round Table. Besides writing innumerable book reviews, Susan has also written about politics, film and First Amendment issues. She lives on Long Island with her husband.

Customer Reviews

I found the characters in this story just too cute to be believable.
T. mcgeehan
This is the second book I've read by Isaacs and I highly recommend this one.
Busy Mom
Susan Isaacs writes a great story and she can write 'funny", a rare skill.
Glae R. Egoville

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am an ardent fan of Susan Isaacs, but I must say that as far as characters go, this one is by far the best. Tracing the two main characters back to their great-grandparents, Susan Isaacs creates a love story about two real and painfully human beings. I came to love these characters. I simply couldn't put the book down; it became an obsession.
Be prepared to lose yourself in this novel. Also be prepared to laugh aloud, to feel your heart soar and your heart ache, and definitely bring a hankie.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My mom read this book around 15 years ago, absolutely loved it, and handed it down to me. I have read it almost every year since then, probably ten times. I am 31 now, and it is still my favorite book after all these years (and I read alot!). I don't make a habit of re-reading books, but every year or so, when I can't find a book that interests me, I pick up my dog-eared copy. Every time I begin reading it again, my husband says to me "How can you read that book again and again, year after year???" I'll tell you how: this book is so rich, so full of life, that every time I read it I am just as entertained as I was the first time I picked it up. The characters are so vividly detailed, the story so well told, it's just enchanting. In fact, I recommended this book to a coworker, and when she didn't like it, my mom and I joked that she wasn't worth keeping as a friend! Seriously, I just adore this book. Another reviewer referred to it as a love story, which is misleading - it is so much more than that. This is no supermarket romance novel; it spans 300 years in the life of two compelling, wonderful, dysfunctional families. It's funny, sad, even heartbreaking at times. Issacs weaves a tapestry so colorful and detailed, it's impossible to put down, whether you are reading it for the first or the fifteenth time. It's characters and details haunt you. You will remember it long after you've read it. By the way, I tried to read Susan Issacs other books and I was disapointed in them all, not because they aren't good books, but because they are not like Almost Paradise. I think I was spoiled on her other books because I read the "best" one first, and no other can compare to it, in my mind. It is by far her best, her "Sgt. Pepper", so to speak, and sadly, she never wrote another like it. I highly, highly recommend it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my favorite book of all time. I reread it at least once a year and the feeling I have is the same one I had when I read it the first time. Hold the people you love close and remember what's really important in life.
I admired Susan Issacs for not taking the easy way out. The fact that Nick is a Robert Redford caliber movie star would have made an interesting story in itself. But it's just his job and the real story is the marriage and families of Nick and Jane.
And, as usual, the secondary characters are so interesting it made me want to know more about them. Although with this book, their stories are told in almost as much detail as Nick and Jane's stories. There is someone to love and hate on every page. Jane's wonderful mother and her horrible dad; Dorothy, the really evil stepmother, her brother Rhodes, Nick's parents and grandparents and a whole slew of people in between. In particular, I loved her brother Rhodes. He is not portrayed as a sterotypical homosexual, but as a kind, loving man that cares deeply for his sister and her family and he just happens to be gay. And the fact that his life runs on more or less the same course with Jane's only makes the story more interesting. And he really made me laugh. In general, I like anyone that makes me laugh.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. The only warning I would issue is to be prepared to devote a major block of time on this read, because once you start, you won't want to put it down.
As mentioned earlier, I read this book at least once a year. And as I reach the part where Nick and Jane's marriage begins to unravel, I always feel the same way. It makes me hold my husband close and remember to appreciate each day.
After all, no one's life is paradise, but it can be almost paradise.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Fort Worth Reader on October 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book over twenty years ago. Found it on a back shelf during a recent move. Reread it and love it every bit as much now as I did then. Yes, the ending is heart-breaking, but the characters are intriguing and the sex is scintillating. This may be an atypical Isaacs book, but it's in my top 3 favorites!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Penola on December 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With astounding detail and even more potent wit, Susan Issacs creates the worlds of Jane and Nicholas so completely that you are immersed into it willingly. I have read this book twice -- a glutton for sentiment and melancholy -- and loved it equally both times. I always wondered why a big Hollywood movie was not made from it -- it seems like a natural, though of course a movie version would change the twist-in-your-heart ending, which on the page resonates with power and emotion. I loved this book and love this characters still.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cassandra on May 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Almost Paradise was the reason I became a fan of Susan Isaacs. It's a completely different book than her later ones- the books Isaacs wrote after this were all very good, funny and suspensful, and quick paced. But Almost Paradise is special for me, maybe because when I read it I had no idea what to expect: and what I discovered was a talented, funny, intelligent writer who decided to write a love story in her own unconventional way: and what a love story it is!
The story of two people (Jane and Nicholas) who seem to belong in the real world, who seem to share problems with the majority of people, and yet...the characters that Susan Isaacs creates become something different, they become people that'll stick in your mind, people that you'll think about long after you close the book. An emotional, deep and at the same time down-to-earth and funny love story- what else can you ask for?
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