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The Rich are Different Hardcover – March 15, 1977


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 15, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067122669X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671226695
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,376,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

One of the most original novelists writing today. --Cosmopolitan --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

About the Author

Susan Howatch was born in Surrey. After taking a degree in law, she emigrated to America where she married, had a daughter and embarked on a career as a writer. When she eventually left the States, she lived in the Republic of Ireland for four years before returning to England. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Fascinating characters, great plot.
Karen Beacon
I read this book over 30 years ago and with re-reading it I understood why it was worth reading a second time.
cindy
I think our closest modern writer to the great Anthony Trollope is Susan Howatch.
trainreader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Howatch puzzles me, her novels look like run of the mill pulp fiction best sellers to judge by the covers but once you start to read them you discover a formidable intelligance. Why doesn't this author have the reputation her skills entitle her to, she is easly up there with Drabble, Murdoch and other Doyens of the British novel.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By G. Schudel on May 30, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was recommended to me by a friend. It took me a while to actually pick it up and start reading it, but three pages in, I knew I was hooked.

Other reviews mention that this book is a modern re-telling of the story of Cleopatra's affairs with Caesar and Antony, so I won't go into that too much here, except to add that it's a neat conceit, and Howatch works these plot details into the novel flawlessly. There were several moments when I smiled or chuckled to myself when I noticed something I remembered from I, Claudius or The Lives of the Caesars.

However, even if you don't know or don't care about ancient history, this is a gripping, surprisingly fast-paced, incredibly well-written novel. Dinah Slade is a fascinating woman in her own right, rather than a mere shadow of one of history's most infamous characters. Ditto Paul Van Zale, Steve Sullivan, and Cornelius, all of whom leap off the page and seem right at home in the America and England of the early 20th century. The men and women who populate the world of the novel are driven by the same things that drive us: greed, pride, love, lust, ambition, the need for security, and the hope of a better life for their children.

To me, the most fascinating aspect of the book, and the one that might have been the easiest thing for Howatch to mess up, is the fact that the story is divided into six sections, each narrated by a different character (Dinah Slade gets two.) The varying personalities all come to life, giving us sometimes overlapping accounts of the plot line, all of which add up to one heck of a great story.

I just read that the saga continues in The Sins of the Fathers, which I'm going to purchase right now.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Small on May 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've ready this book about 6 times for the past 10 years and it always delights. It didn't hit me, until I started studying ancient Rome that it is the very story of Caesar and Cleopatra, but set in Wall Street, New York (as powerful as ancient Rome!) The story begins identical to the first meeting of Caesar and Cleopatra...just as Cleopatra was brought to Caesar rolled in a carpet and carried by her faithful servant...so is Diana Slade brought to Paul Van Zale concealed in a cart and rolled in by her trusty Geoffry. Paul's wife is barren, just as history says that Caesar's wife Calpurnia was barren. Guess what else? Paul has epilepsy - who else can you think of that historians believe ALSO had epilepsy? Paul's right-hand man Steve is described exactly as Marc Antony...burly, surly and with dynamic charm - guess what? Diana and Steve find an even greater love than Diana and Caesar...oops I mean Paul Van Zale...Paul is assasinated by the son of his ex-mistress (If you know your history...you know that Brutus is the son of Caesar's ex-mistress Servilia...) Paul leaves his fortune to his cunning, clever, sickly nephew Cornelius. Who also mirrors Octavian (Augustus Caesar in later years) Octavian becomes Diana's bitter enemy and vows to take from her the one thing that she holds most dear...Mallingham her ancestral home... Just as Octavian vowed to take Egypt from Cleopatra. Steve is hounded by Cornelius much as Antony was hounded by Octavian and finally dies a virtual suicidal death...When Cornelius tries to take Diana back to New York (mmmh, seems to me that Octavian wanted to bring Cleo to Rome...) Diana gets the last laugh. Paul's son also dies in his early years just as Caesarian did...I can go on and on, but you get the picture.Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've ready this book about 6 times for the past 10 years and it always delights. It didn't hit me, until I started studying ancient Rome that it is the very story of Caesar and Cleopatra, but set in Wall Street, New York (as powerful as ancient Rome!) The story begins identical to the first meeting of Caesar and Cleopatra...just as Cleopatra was brought to Caesar rolled in a carpet and carried by her faithful servant...so is Diana Slade brought to Paul Van Zale concealed in a cart and rolled in by her trusty Geoffry. Paul's wife is barren, just as history says that Caesar's wife Calpurnia was barren. Guess what else? Paul has epilepsy - who else can you think of that historians believe ALSO had epilepsy? Paul's right-hand man Steve is described exactly as Marc Antony...burly, surly and with dynamic charm - guess what? Diana and Steve find an even greater love than Diana and Caesar...oops I mean Paul Van Zale...Paul is assasinated by the son of his ex-mistress (If you know your history...you know that Brutus is the son of Caesar's ex-mistress Servilia...) Paul leaves his fortune to his cunning, clever, sickly nephew Cornelius. Who also mirrors Octavian (Augustus Caesar in later years) Octavian becomes Diana's bitter enemy and vows to take from her the one thing that she holds most dear...Mallingham her ancestral home... Just as Octavian vowed to take Egypt from Cleopatra. Steve is hounded by Cornelius much as Antony was hounded by Octavian and finally dies a virtual suicidal death...When Cornelius tries to take Diana back to New York (mmmh, seems to me that Octavian wanted to bring Cleo to Rome...) Diana gets the last laugh. Paul's son also dies in his early years just as Caesarian did.Read more ›
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