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The Wentworths [Kindle Edition]

Katie Arnoldi
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.01 (29%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

The extraordinary national bestseller, finally in paperback

Katie Arnoldi's critically acclaimed debut novel Chemical Pink launched her onto the bestseller lists and so burrowed itself into the public's consciousness that its title was the answer to a Double Jeopardy! question. Now, seven years later, her second novel, The Wentworths, gives her readers a fascinating, erotic, dark, and savagely funny page-turner that will both thrill her fans and appeal to new readers of all stripes.

Arnoldi's searing portrait of a wealthy Westside, Los Angeles family, is a true binge read-boldly dramatizing the disfunctionality of the modern American family as it examines how people get so screwed up. Comic and horrifying, sadistic and hilarious, tragic and funny all at the same time, The Wentworths is a shocking, yet redemptive tale that will have fans cheering.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With a wry touch, Arnoldi draws a mocking portrait of a powerful Southern California family that, while not the worst family on record, is remarkably warped by wealth and power. The Wentworths' individual faults play off the milieu of familial grotesques: mother Judith's a dieting narcissist who abuses the servants, while patriarch Gus's compulsive philandering has been inherited and surpassed by his sexually deviant son Conrad, defense lawyer to the scummy stars. Conrad's sister, Becky, is the only offspring with a family of her own, and their problems (kleptomaniac son, depressed teenage daughter) hover closer to the edge of normalcy. The final family member, gay Norman, lives in a fantasy world in the pool house and offers analyses of his kin's foibles. The Wentworths' fortress of supposed superiority is threatened by two women: Angela, a conniving ex of Conrad's, and Honey, Gus's naïve paramour. As the family closes ranks, comedy and tragedy ensue. A page-turner both for its well-paced intrigue and for its witty, sordid description of just how awful these people can get, the book's coup isn't the skewering Arnoldi (Chemical Pink) gives her overprivileged clan; it's the redemption they find after they're served twisted justice. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"The #1 beach read of the summer" -The Malibu Times

"Too funny, too true, too sad, and too short." -David Mamet

"Savagely funny... You''ll be hooked." -Marie Claire

"While tales of dysfunctional families abound, this one separates itself from the pack with concise prose, escalating tension, and wry humor." -Elle

Product Details

  • File Size: 643 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook (March 31, 2009)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0045JJZVW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,320 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT SATIRE March 13, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Readers of best-selling fiction will delight in the deliciously vicarious insights into the lives of the very rich and very badly behaved. Readers of artistic literary fiction will enjoy the subtleties that lie below the dark comic surface--not the least of which is an innovation in character perspective and multiple narration that will establish Arnoldi as a major stylist. Having achieved a reputation for black humor and weird sex, Arnoldi has come along way since the success of Chemical Pink. The Wentworths demonstrates a mature novelist making a significant new contribution to the rich tradition of the Comedy of Manners and the American Family novel. Expect this to be short-listed for many awards.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ouch, that's funny March 18, 2008
It's been way too long since Katie Arnoldi gave us "Chemical Pink," but I have to say it was worth the wait. With "The Wentworths," Arnoldi widens her lens to take in much more of contemporary LA than in her first novel (and just for a little extra fun, drags along the odious Charles Worthington - apparently recovered from his inglorious fate at the end of "Chemical Pink" - and gives him a cameo). We get to peek into lots of (totally) dark and (wildly) hilarious corners of SoCal, thanks to the wanderings of the vast and depraved Wentworth family. (What do they have? Everything!! What do they want? More!!) If you've lived here long enough - and I'm just a tad ashamed to admit that I have - you're bound to know people who remind you of each member of the cast. But I doubt that you've imagined them as fully or as sharply as Arnoldi has, or could tell their stories with as much wicked delight. I've just finished "The Wentworths" - in one extended sitting - and would like to write a much longer and more laudatory review, but instead I must one-click a copy of "America's 50 Greatest Small Towns," then phone the movers. Bravo, Katie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deadly clever March 18, 2008
Are you familiar with that cable television show "The Real Housewives of Orange County"? The one that encourages viewers to vicariously celebrate its subjects' fabulously luxurious lifestyles even as they secretly revel in the rich suburbanites' secret problems, crises and failures? Well, Katie Arnoldi's new book is kind of like that. Except without the celebrating part. In THE WENTWORTHS, her second novel following her surprise bestseller CHEMICAL PINK, Arnoldi gleefully skewers the self-absorbed, self-deluded members of one of Los Angeles's foremost families.

Nary a member of the extended Wentworth clan escapes Arnoldi's wickedly funny poison pen. There's big game hunter, compulsive womanizer and closet alcoholic Augustus, the patriarch of the family, and his wife Judith, a woman who will defend her family to the death --- at least to outsiders. One on one, though, Judith is a force to reckon with, as she cleverly and maliciously exploits each of her children's weaknesses to get what she wants (in this case, a set of valuable sugar tongs, whose disappearance precipitates one of the novel's central crises).

Judith's grown children have not fared well under the combination of a dictatorial mother, a distant father and way too much money. Conrad, the eldest, is a lawyer successful at representing some of the most despicable and notorious clients in Los Angeles. He's clearly hung up on his mother, as his string of short-term girlfriends bear a suspicious resemblance to a young Judith. In between girlfriends, Conrad keeps himself busy with a variety of questionable sexual exploits, including some with very young girls.

Becky, the middle child, idolizes her mother, starving herself to maintain the kind of perfect body her mother has always possessed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good summer holiday read May 20, 2008
The Wentworth's is a great book for lying on the beach and passing the time. It has short chapters, so you can just take a few moments and enjoy a quick passage and not get interrupted in the middle. It is a little too short and ends abruptly. I was left wanting to hear the next chapter in the Wentworth's lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Definite MUST for your Book List! June 19, 2008
By MLRapp
Even though I finished reading "The Wentworths," I'm still laughing! Kate Arnoldi's creative, well-written satire is a brilliant insider's peek at the lives of the extremely wealthy and depraved.

While each of the characters has his/her own quirks - Mr. Wentworth's philandering with women more than half his age and alcoholism; Mrs. Wentworth's narcissism and innocence-in-bliss naievete; Conrad Wentworth's misogyny and potential murderous rage coupled with his superiority complex; Becca Wentworth's drug use, anorexia and control complex from failing to live up to her mother's expectations; her husband Paul's passiveness; Little Joey's Kleptomania; Monica's drug use and hatred towards her mother; and Norman Wentworth's Peter Pan Syndrome, drug use, and oddball behavior - they are incredibly life-like and it is easy to feel empathy, especially since each of their stories are autobiographical at times.

The book is written from varying perspectives which enables the author to show-off her ability to write from many different "voices" -she is truly a gifted novelist. Additionally, the author teeters the fine line between the downright funny and the depressingly sad in such a way that the result is uplifting and the reader laughs at the family, while managing to feel empathetic towards them, which is an incredibly difficult result to achieve.

I am looking forward to readiner more from this highly talented writer and recommend this book for everyone!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I was expecting a lot more from this novel based on the reviews. The writing was cliched and unoriginal, the characters were uniformly loathsome and dull in their motivations, and... Read more
Published on September 28, 2012 by Laura A. Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
This book was a real surprise. Yes, it's about rich, vile people. But that stuff never bothers me. It's hilarious! Read more
Published on July 28, 2011 by Gentle Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down
If a really good looking person were torn apart by gorgeous Siberian wolves, then the result would be a good analogy for this book. Read more
Published on February 2, 2011 by Alison Deluca
4.0 out of 5 stars It Sucks You In
I was pleasantly surprised by how good this book was. I bought it looking for a "beach read," and ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would. Read more
Published on August 25, 2010 by HMR
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny. . .
The Wentworths by Katie Arnoldi is amazing. Arnoldi has a great way of telling the reader the story without using "fluff" or unnecessary details. Read more
Published on August 27, 2008 by Clark
1.0 out of 5 stars Where is the "brilliance?"
This book was not the scathing portayel of dysfunction I was hoping for. It was like someone read The Corrections, and decided to dumb it down considerably. Read more
Published on August 18, 2008 by Kathryn Duncan
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time
If you like books that are a quick read, the characters are highly stereotyped and boring, the ending predictable and ties up all loose ends like a sitcom, then this is the book... Read more
Published on August 15, 2008 by Jennifer
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved it
I have just finished the book and I want to pick it up and start all over again. Great plot, great characters and so funny. I look forward to reading Chemical Pink next.
Published on August 15, 2008 by S. Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better than Chemical Pink
Katie Arnoldi is one of my favorite writers. In "The Wentworths" she tops her impressive debut with an even better, more complex and more deftly handled narrative (and this is... Read more
Published on May 22, 2008 by rob roberge
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick, funny and so L.A.!
A well written story weaving the voices (and craziness) of many different characters.Fun and weird at the same time. Read more
Published on March 18, 2008 by Carole Rosner
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More About the Author

Katie Arnoldi's literary debut Chemical Pink, set in the competitive world of female bodybuilding, became a surprise bestseller, winning Arnoldi praise from critics and readers alike, The Wentworths too graced the bestseller list. She lives in Southern California with her husband, the painter Charles Arnoldi, and their two children.

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