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Indecent Proposal [Kindle Edition]

Jack Engelhard
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.95
Kindle Price: $4.95
You Save: $13.00 (72%)

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Book Description

Reviewers have called it "powerful" and "brilliant." Newly released for its 25th anniversary edition, Jack Engelhard's novel Indecent Proposal has found its place alongside such classics as Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Indecent Proposal remains one of the most widely-read and discussed novels around the world, due to the strong writing and riches that include a moral dilemma for the ages. The novel was translated into more than 22 languages, and Hollywood produced a mega-hit movie based on this book starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. The novel stands as a remarkable achievement from a great and legendary novelist.

Though Hollywood only skimmed the surface of Engelhard's masterpiece, the theme is eternal, even biblical - temptation! The plot has riveted the world's readers and moviegoers. A destitute couple tries their luck in an Atlantic City casino. The wife, Joan, is utterly gorgeous. She attracts the attention of an oil rich sultan who can buy anything he sets his eyes on. Can he buy people? Can he "buy" Joan? What would you do for a million dollars?

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Arab billionaire Ibrahim Hassan offers Joshua Cantor $1 million if he will allow Hassan to sleep with his beautiful blond wife, Joan. But this ostensibly "indecent proposal" has darker overtones for Cantor, whose parents survived the Holocaust. He's a corporate speech writer with an average salary and he's "tired of being poor." He's also afraid of losing his well-bred wife. Joan has never complained about their financial situation, but now Joshua's whining drives her to consider Hassan's offer. Cantor, of course, is against it; but he's too simplistic in his outlook for a reader to share in his vaguely Faustian plight. In the end, Joshua does emerge as a likable and even memorable character, but along the way, repetitive monologue and frequently trite dialogue bogs down what is not an uninspired idea. Engelhard wrote The Horseman.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Precise, almost clinical this book fun to read? You betcha!"
- The New York Times

"The prose is vivid, cool and muscular, the story is great. In all, the fine tension between desire and high moral principal make Indecent Proposal a well-crafted book...well-wrought characters, exhilarating's beautifully written." - The Philadelphia Inquirer

"A gut-wrenching study on love, money and trust." - National Public Radio (NPR)

"Written with the sparseness of Hemingway but the moral intensity of I.B. Singer." - Michael Foster, author of Three in Love (HarperCollins)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1108 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1771430877
  • Publisher: DayRay Literary Press (September 29, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FJEB50Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,029 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GEM! March 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I often do with novels I enjoy, I have now read “Indecent Proposal” several times. For me each reading further reveals the skill with which Jack Engelhard developed the plot, subplots, subtexts, themes and characters. The book isn’t “Love Story” with a twist. It’s much more in tune with novels like “The Postman Always Rings Twice” and “Double Indemnity,” complex and dark. It is comparable to some  of the finest works by such under-appreciated contemporary authors as James Salter (“Light Years”) and John Yates (“Revolutionary Road) as well as the more well-known hard-hitting American authors whose entire oeuvres I have also read (Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Bellow, Updike, Roth, DeLillo, McCarthy, and others).  

Engelhard’s well-crafted plot, exposition and dialogue - as well as the protagonist’s internal monologue - make Josh Kane, Joan Kane and Ibrahim Hassan (the couple and the rich guy in the book) as memorable and fully realized characters as any I have encountered in contemporary literature. Josh is a flawed “hero,” heroic only in battle, driven by an obsession to erase his memories of immigrant childhood poverty. Ibrahim is an Arab prince, bored with his unlimited wealth, a Machiavellian character with a soul as black as his hair and mustache.  Joan is a stunningly-beautiful woman from a wealthy Philadelphia Main Line family who is happy and satisfied with her middle-class life as Josh’s wife, but she finds herself trapped in a world of two macho men with a deep cultural hatred of each other battling for her “love.” She is the conscience of the story, the "truth-teller," fighting to maintain her individuality but recognizing she must sacrifice some of her basic beliefs and risk her marriage to help her husband resolve his obsession with money.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We're just talking price May 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Where to start with this book? There was much to enjoy about it--I liked how the author used the protagonist's heritage and experiences to inform his struggle. It wasn't just man against man, it was history against history. But although I started out understanding and sympathizing with the hero, somewhere along the way, I decided that I hated him. Josh is essentially a weak character who stands up for himself only when it doesn't matter, and doesn't take a stand when it does (when it comes to pimping out his wife, for instance). The wife is game for the idea from the very beginning, claiming that it is only sex, etc., but as I was reading I couldn't help wondering why it never occurred to her that Ibrahim's idea of a night of sex might not be the same as hers. How did she know she could trust him? I suppose that was minor consideration when the husband wanted the money and the wife wanted the experience. Anyway, by the end I found all the characters loathsome and thought they deserved every bad thing that happened to them. With that said, the book is absorbing, and I'm sure it is light years better than the pretty-people-in-trouble movie version. The Kindle edition of the book needs better formatting and has several grammatical and spelling errors sprinkled throughout, but since it was free, I can't complain too much.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was fascinating April 28, 2012
By Diane
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I almost didn't download this because the movie was "meh" in my opinion. The book is a hundred times better. The characters are much more complex and sympathetic. Now I'd like to read everything he's written (thanks for making them free on Kindle!).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition Fixed and Corrected...Great Novel! May 16, 2012
I heard there was a problem with typos and formulating in the Kindel edition of Indecent Proposal by Jack Engelhard, but the new edition is fully corrected and, of course, as stimulating as ever. I read this novel about sex, money and morals when it first came out in paperback and I had to read it again, this time in Kindle. Engelhard's command of dialogue is exceptional! I think I'll read it again.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is about the kindle edition, not the story. April 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am not writing a review about the story. I am only writing this review to hopefully let the publishers know, or at least warn other readers that there are several spelling, editing, and formatting mistakes that almost made me not want to finish the story. But that's the thing, the story was intriguing enough to make me ignore the mistakes. But I had to come post this review about the editing in the hopes that it will be corrected.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very different from the movie June 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As the title of my review implies, this book is very different from the movie as is often the case. I saw the movie as teenager, and didn't even realize it was based on a book. Typically I read a book before watching the movie. This book really makes you think about the issue of sex for money and delves into psyche of the main character. I like romances and happily ever after, and this book doesn't give you that. However, it does really make you think, and for that reason I'd recommend it.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
"After too many years looking for an answer, a man marries the most beutiful woman in the world, with her, he's got most of the things he's ever wanted in life. Except money"... Josh and Joan, a happily married couple, decided to take a week of and fly to Las Vegas. There, they met Ibraham, an Arab billionaire, which proposed Joan to spend a night with him, in exchange of a million dollars. Joan and Josh felt desperate and empty, they did not know what to do. Finally they both decided to accept the proposal. After that night, Josh and Joan werent the same, everything seemed to go wrong. They decided to separate, and Joan left with Ibraham.Later on, she realizes that the only man she belonged to was Josh,she discoverd how deeply in love she was with him, and returned to Josh. This novel shows how ambition can destroy your life. It taught me that everyone should be happy with what they have, and try to make the best out of it. Who cares if you have all the money in the world, all the cars you've ever wanted if you dont have love.Love is life, and it's free.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by susan
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book. Well written and very interesting and complex...
This is a great book. Well written and very interesting and complex characters. Not like the movie which I also loved. Darker.
Published 3 months ago by Eli Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This book kept my interest from start to finish
Published 3 months ago by Santacruzali
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down!
Keeps you going to the pointy you don't want to put it down! I ended up finishing the same day!
Published 3 months ago by Doreen
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 5 months ago by Nancy
5.0 out of 5 stars The book is always better than the movie.
Oh my, the angst. I just really needed to know how it turned out. I saw the movie decades ago, and so glad I forgot the details so I read this timeless book.
Published 6 months ago by J. Leblanc
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Nothing special.
Published 6 months ago by Arlene D. Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars It was better then the movie
It was better then the movie!!!! It was symbolic to have the husband is Jewish and the billionaire is Arab, the wife is just right. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amy Diaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story, faultlessly written
A classic! Excellent story, faultlessly written. Far better than the movie, more depth and intensity. Highly recommend if you haven't already ready it.
Published 8 months ago by smdev
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fast read. Personal verbal interaction between main character and his wife.....more realistic than in my house! Surprising ending.
Published 8 months ago by Karl Egerman
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More About the Author

Novelist Jack Engelhard wrote the international bestseller "Indecent Proposal" that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. His latest novel, "The Girls of Cincinnati," a suspenseful love story, is now available in paperback on Amazon (along with five star reviews). Engelhard's themes have been called "powerfully seductive" by The New York Times and his writing style has been acclaimed as "vivid, cool and muscular" by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Writer/critic Michael Foster has cited Engelhard's writing as embracing "the sparseness of Hemingway but the moral intensity of I.B. Singer." An award-winning memoirist and journalist, Engelhard's internationally syndicated commentaries (blogs) can be found on Amazon, his personal website and elsewhere.

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