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The Lawless (The Kent Family Chronicles Book 7) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ€TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The Lawless Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1989

61 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, March 1, 1989
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Editorial Reviews


A master of the ancient art of storytelling. -- New York Times Book Review

The best historical novelist of our time. -- Patricia Cornwell --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

15 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Jove (November 15, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0515091588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515091588
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 1.4 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,146,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Jakes (b. 1932), the author of more than a dozen novels, is regarded as one of today's most distinguished writers of historical fiction. His work includes the highly acclaimed Kent Family Chronicles series and the North and South Trilogy. Jakes's commitment to historical accuracy and evocative storytelling earned him the title of "the godfather of historical novelists" from the Los Angeles Times and led to a streak of sixteen consecutive New York Times bestsellers. Jakes has received several awards for his work and is a member of the Authors Guild and the PEN American Center. He and his wife, Rachel, live on the west coast of Florida.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By BARBARA G. ELLIS on April 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Lawless by John Jakes is an excellant book. First for it's faithfulnes to history and second for the ingenious way that Jakes is able to weave a fictional plot into a factual accounting. Reading any of the "Kent Family Chronicles" is like attending the most entertaining American History class ever created. I highly recommend. this title. A reader would be well advised to start at the beginning of the series to avoid missing any of the family sub-plots that keep this book, and the series, so enjoyable. When I was done reading the book I felt that the Kents had become people that I knew and I was sad that I could not continue along with them in their lives.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By UncleCliffy on March 4, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the more successful Kent books. The sons of Jephtha Kent -- who is conveniently (and oh too quickly) killed off -- reap what they have sown. The lawless Kent of the title is Jeremiah, the gunslinger-gambler. Jakes cleverly manipulates other members of his cast to come in contact with Jeremiah without knowing who he is; first Julia on her suffragist tour of the Wild West, and then brother Gideon, with tragic results. The travails of Matthew Kent allow Jakes to explore nineteenth-century Paris, but the author is more successful detailing the great Chicago Fire of 1871 and early union uprisings than the Parisian bohemian art world. Gideon Kent's story takes up the bulk of the book: his wife's madness (which I have trouble buying, even though her father was a drunk and alcoholism is supposed to be hereditary), his affair with Julia, his estrangement from his children, his pro-union sympathies, and his conflict with the railroad giant Courtleigh. Gideon's descent into conservatism is less abrupt than Philip Kent's in The Seekers, and therefore more realistic, but equally annoying. The abrupt about-face by Dolly when she decides to leave Matthew seems out of character: I feel like Jakes is setting up her son Thomas to take part in raj activities in India for a future book never written. Eleanor the budding actress is also a believable character, but her last-minute reconciliation with Gideon is even less convincing. The Lawless has less in the way of canvas and sprawl than The Warriors (for instance), and Jakes seems to be truly interested in character development over episode, perhaps for the first time in the series. Unfortunately, none of the characters is as compelling as Amanda Kent in The Furies --and Jakes chooses to relegate the women to a secondary position.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tahoe USA on November 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is book seven of the Kent Family Chronicles - I read all of Jakes' books when they were published originally and have bought and am re-reading his entire body of work on my Kindle. John Jakes is without peer in the genre of historical fiction.

I am a student of American history, and I have found his tales, while fictional, to be meticulously researched and historically accurate. Period insights abound especially in the attitudes of the characters in the pre-and post 13th Amendment period. It's hard to believe that we are but 150 years from the Civil war - and the views of that period exist even today, although somewhat masked by time and education.

Jakes is a premier American author and belongs on every avid reader's bookshelf. I can recommend his all of works without hesitation - if you were only going to read a portion of the author's publications, I'd have to suggest the Kent Family Chronicles.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Beverley Strong on April 22, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Matthew Kent, son of Jephtha Kent, is in Paris, happily pursuing the life of one of the new "bohemian" artists and befriending many of the new and promising artists of the time-Cezanne, Manet etc. and rather daringly having a live-in mistress.He becomes involved with a sadistic and violent agent of Bismarck (chancellor of Germany)and is forced to flee the country. Dolly, his mistress, becomes pregnant and insists that they marry to avoid the stigma of bastardy for their child.Their marriage doesn't survive so Dolly takes their son Thomas with her to India where she is employed as an English teacher.Matt returns to America briefly but decides that his future lies in Europe. Gideon makes an implacable enemy of millionaire businessman, Thomas Courtleigh who does all he can to destroy Gideon and his business by attacking his family, causing the death of his wife Margaret. On the same night, Gideon's daughter Eleanor is pack raped , causing irreparable damage to her self esteem. Eleanor leaves home at an early age, joining an acting troupe,and therebye relinquishing respectability as it was known in that era.After Margarets death Gideon is able to marry his longtime mistress, Julia Kent, widow of his cousin Louis and takes on the responsibility of her son Carter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brett Norton on June 24, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Lawless is the 7th of the 8 books of the Kent Family Chronicles. If you have read Jakes before, you would know how standard this book is of his. All the people are either completely good, or completely evil. Love at first site is really the only type of love he writes about. Some historical people mixed in with the fictional ones; and a look at the Americas of the 1850's to 1900, mostly.

The only noteworthy part of this book, is the overall uninteresting characters. None of them really come alive, and one is never in tune with any member of the family (though the book is mostly about Gideon, with a little of Matt, and less of Jeremiah). Overall a decent book, if only to have a glimpse at America just prior to the age of Unionization.
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