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The Carpetbaggers Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


"Robbins dialogue is moving . . . his people have the warmth of life."--The New York Times
"Robbins's books are packed with action, sustained by a strong narrative drive, and are given vitality by his own colorful life."  The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Born in New York City, HAROLD ROBBINS is one of the world's bestselling authors, writing novels that often mirrored his own experiences and that were peopled by charcacters he had met.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765351463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765351463
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Bryan A. Pfleeger VINE VOICE on November 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Harold Robbins, love him or hate him you cannot deny that he was a master storyteller. While The Carpetbaggers may not be great literature it is a great read. This book along with Puzo's The Godfather are great examples of the American power story.
The book gives us a twenty year glimpse into the life of Jonas Cord. Cord turns everything he touches into money while his own life is falling apart. The interesting thing about this novel is not really the story it tells but the way in which the story is told.
Told through the lives of the people Cord comes into contact with, Robbins gives us enough material for five novels let alone one. Here we have the history of the early twentieth century through the lives of a ex-gunfighter, a Hollywood actress, a movie company executive, and the proverbial prostitute with the heart of gold.
Robbins research into his time period was exhaustive and his storytelling ability is flawless. If there is a problem with the novel it is that it tends to go a little too deep for a little too long. No one character can be so much a part of the times that he is involved in so many historical events.
Part of the fun of any novel of this type is discovering who the major characters were based on. Cord is a clear pictue of Howard Hughes while Rina Marlow seems to be loosely based on Jean Harlow.
The reader needs to become immersed in this novel. One does not so much as read it but lives the lives of these characters if only for a little while. You let this one take you away and you embark on one hell of a ride.
Pop fiction like this is like candy. It does not stimulate great or exciting thought but it sure is fun. Isn't that the reason for reading in the first place?
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Shea HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written in 1961, The Carpetbaggers is really a tale like "The Aviator" - about a manly rich airplane flyer and maker who gets involved with Hollywood. The references to real life people are so thinly veiled that you sometimes forget that he is pretending to have made up the situations. But then you're jarred back into the fiction, because part of how Harold keeps you hooked is by throwing in gratuitous sex scenes ... constantly.

One of the very first references is when Jonas Cord is landing his plane - the landing field is apparently like a female naked body. In a short period of time, Jonas' father dies, and he is immediately raping his step-mom, Rina. He then sleeps his way across the US. He's got a naked daughter upstairs while he negotiates business with the father downstairs. You learn that Rina had slept with her adopted brother for many years as a teen, even becoming pregnant. Rina then made advances on her adopted father, which he rejects in horror. She becomes a bi-sexual for a while, living with her lesbian female teacher in France while also being mistress to an older man.

While most of these things might seem ho-hum in modern times, to the 1961 audience, it was incredibly shocking. It would have been enough to put in one such item in the book and to give it meaning - but the situations were just piled one on top of the other in order to keep further shocking the reader. Jennie is drugged and raped! Then she goes to work for an abortionist! Then she has an affair with him, even though he was married! Then she becomes a high-paid whore! There's little chance to develop the character in here, except as the repeated victim of horror after horror.

I'm not saying the book is not engrossing. It's 679 pages, and I read it in a single night.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By kartik matmari on December 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
No doubt, one of the greatest books writen in this century. Every man and woman in this world have a Jonas Cord and a Rina Marlowe somewhere in them. Jonas Cord, a legend in pulp-fiction, has become an epitome of ruthlessness, shrewdness and extreme romaticism. The other characters like Nevada Smith and Jenny Denton reflect the various perspectives in the life of every man and woman. From the gripping beginning to the extraordinary ending Mr.Robbins has made and attempt to touch the souls of all the readers across the globe Mr.Robbins you will be remembered forever for giving us Jonas Cord
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rina Jenkins on January 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Until I read Hollywoodland Kingpin, I thought this was the most profane book of them all and my favorite. The Jonas Cord/ Howard Hughes character is one we grudgingly respect because their accomplishments are so vast. The multi-stories that merge weave an exciting tapestry and must have been difficult to put together even for the talented Mr. Robbins--- Hollywood Babylon meets Zane Gray. It is too bad that none of the several movies that have been extrapolated from this book have ever captured the glory that was written. This is a book that sooner or later everyone should read. It represents the change in the literary paradigm that has given the paperback world its direction for the last 40 years.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Amspacher on July 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're not a Robbins reader this would be a great place to start. It's pure entertainment, with a page-flipping pace and an excellent story. This was a monster bestseller in the early 1960s and you'll see why after Robbins hooks you on page one. Tremendous fun in the vein of Sheldon's "Master of the Game" or Archer's "Kane and Abel," but there's a lot more sex, violence and language in this one. Guaranteed to please.
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