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Riders Paperback – Import, 1986


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 919 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Adult; New Ed edition (1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552124869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552124867
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 4.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,499,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

The characters are well developed, as is the story.
chick lit lover 54
This book is much better than Cooper's "Players," mostly because it has a plot and some hysterical scenes (designed to appeal to the reader's inner seventh grader).
E.M. Bristol
I read this book for the first time over 10 years ago and have just re-read it.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Martin on April 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
Almost as soon as you open the book you'll be able to tell that "Riders" was written in the 80's - it's the type of melodramatic, trashy novel that was very popular during that decade. But don't let that put you off. Behind the clichés is a book with an amazing plot and likeable characters.

The book focuses on three men, all connected through the exciting sport of show jumping, and the women who love (or hate) them.

Rupert Campbell Black is rich, mean, and ruthless. He treats his horses badly and his women worse. His wife, Helen, is a young, respectable American, who finds herself unable to deal with Rupert's sex drive and infidelity.

Rupert's best friend, Billy, is the nice guy of the show-jumping world. He loves his horses, and treats them like friends. Most people seem to feel that he doesn't have the drive to win that can propel him to true greatness.

Jake, an orphan gypsy, is Rupert's polar opposite, or at least he seems to be. He treats his horses like people, and loves them more than anything, even his poor wife, Tory, who he only married for her money.

The paths of these men cross again and again as they compete against each other, sometimes with disastrous results. The book has its share of tragedy, although the incredible triumphs make up for any sadness the characters have to deal with. It covers an incredibly long period of time, which means you get to see characters grow up and change, something that makes the reader very attached to them.

Some of the writing, especially in regards to sex, is very crude. Readers used to the more flowery writing of today may not like it very much. But the wonderful plot made up for any flaws in the writing. This is the first book of Jilly Cooper's wonderful series, and an excellent introduction to her writing.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Anne Cahill on March 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
My Mom bought me this book on a trip to England back in the mid-1980's when it was published. All she knew was that it was "horsey", and I was a horse-crazy teen. I have thanked her ever since for bringing Jilly Cooper into my life! Perhaps because it was the first, "Riders" is still my favorite, although I love her subsequent tales as well -- even the non-"horsey" ones. The characters are so well-developed, that there are so many people to love and hate -- and hate to love! Rupert should not be a sympathetic character, yet who doesn't root for him in the final Olympic test of his heart and strength? Jake is moody, broody, and takes Tory for granted -- yet OF COURSE you want things to wind up well for him. And even though Fen takes a detour into bratty self-obsession, you have to hope that she and Dino will get it together in the end. I go back and re-read this book every year or two, and EVERY TIME I hate to put it down, and I'm depressed when I reach the end. I hope Jilly Cooper continues writing about the antics of these fabulous characters. I'd hate to think "Score" was her last tale about this group! There are so many stories left to tell. Read this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Catherine on December 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Riders" was the first Jilly Cooper I read and after that I was hooked. You become caught up in the lives of the characters, who come to life through Jilly's sparkling writing. After reading this book I became fascinated with upper-class English life, and I found the show-jumping theme really interesting even though I am not a horsey person. The best thing is that all the main characters appear again in at least some of the five sequels, with "Rivals" having a great love story involving Rupert Campbell-Black. Jilly Cooper is the best in her genre, and "Riders" is one of her best.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Yes, Riders is good, but I have to say it had the nastiest streak of all Jilly's Rutshire books in the bitter, never-let-up rivalry between glamorous Rupert Campbell-Black and gypsy Jake Lovell. But it's like an excellent cup of coffee in its bitterness--you want to drink it anyway. It's also her least funny of the Rutshire books--which doesn't mean it isn't laden with her wry British humor, just that the darkish story tones it down a bit. At the same time--even though it's not my favorite--I reread it compulsively, enjoying the human and animal characters, the comical and poignant encounters, the way we get to see that romance-novel romances don't always end happily ever after. And Jilly's writing style, funny, evocative, based on the rhythm of life, and all delivered with a happy ease, is pure pleasure to read. She's spoiled me for Judith Krantz forever, and Danielle Steel was never in the running. If you're ready for a beach book that manages to be both lightweight and challenging, Riders would be good.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chris on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Jilly Cooper is skilled at outlining the psychology of her characters, and having such a long novel where you can follow the growth of the characters over years was nice. However, the downside to following the same characters for so long, is that by page 400, you get really sick of a few of them.

Anyone picking up this book thinking there's any real information about horses or show jumping in it will be sadly disappointed. As the Thornbirds, the rickety plot simply sets the stage for continual sexual depravity - on all sides. I'm in no way a prude or naive, but it annoys me when people talk about having affairs as though it's to be expected, as if most people cheat on their spouses. I realize that this is an 80's trash novel, but still. There's even a horrible scene of group rape (which involves a character who was very likable up to that point), without any consequences for anyone!

I did find it hard to put down, but by the end of the book - a very haphazard and abrupt ending at that - I was so fed up with Jake, Rupert, Helen and Janey that I received no satisfaction or sense of closure whatsoever. There was no real revelation, no hope, no revenge - nothing to make for a fitting conclusion.
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