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Tycoon Paperback – November 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; First Edition edition (November 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671872958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671872953
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 3.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #789,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The enduring Robbins's 23rd novel chronicles the obsessively lustful life and times of a mythical cavalier of radio and TV in an impish, sometimes romanticized history of American broadcasting. Newly graduated with honors from Harvard in 1931, Jack Lear marries the snobby debutante daughter of a prominent Boston arms manufacturer. Grandson of a Jewish intellectual who fled Prussian oppression and made a fortune as a California junkman, Jack resists his boorish father's demand that he work in the family business and returns to Boston to buy a pioneer radio station, bolstered by his grandparents' gift of a cool $1 million. The narrative traces Lear's entrepreneurial career over 60-odd intrepid years during which, flying by the seat of his pants, he builds a dominant TV network. In trademark Robbins fashion, the plot unfolds in a constant parade of freewheeling adultery, sibling incest, sadomasochism and bondage. Recounted in his flat narrative style, Robbins's litany of erotic exercises quickly becomes boring. Nevertheless, the complex cast of charismatic characters is well-calculated to spark speculation in the posh power rooms and boardrooms of New York, Boston and Hollywood over "who's actually who." Wooden prose notwithstanding, the intricate blend of corporate intrigue and carnal gymnastics makes this a highly seductive read.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Jack Lear, son of a wealthy but ruthless and vulgar self-made man, eschews his background by marrying a seemingly proper young Bostonian woman whose father sets Jack up in the radio business. Jack uses his father's techniques to catapult one radio station into a multimillion-dollar broadcasting network. The novel opens in the 1930s and moves briskly through the war years, ending in the 1970s, telling an interesting tale of the beginning of an industry that has shaped and defined, as well as reported, our culture. But make no mistake, Robbins's reputation doesn't rest merely on character, plot, or historical detail; he writes sex, and there is plenty of it in this offering. Every conceivable manner of sexuality is described except couplings between species (for the next book?). Given his past successes, fans will line up for this latest and will doubtless be, uh, gratified.?Terrill Persky, Woodridge P.L., Woodbridge, Ill.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read a lot of Jackie Collins and the like, but I never read a Harold Robbins novel before (well, I skimmed through "Butterfly" when I was in 6th grade just to read the dirty parts, but I don't think that counts). I confess, I bought this because I wanted a sleazy, hopefully shocking, entertaining light read. I wasn't dissapointed on any of these fronts, and parts of the book made me laugh at loud they were so vulgar. I take away a star for the misogynistic tone of the book. (Though after I finished this book I read a few of his others and this one is feminist compared to, say, "The Storyteller") But that didn't stop me from reading it and shaking my head in disbeleif at how sick and twisted some of the plot developments are. I was reading it at work and hoping no-one could read it over my shoulder, because it was so filthy dirty. But I really did like it, and have to say enjoyed it a great deal. A couple times I could see something especially juicy was being set up and saying to myself, "Oh, this should be good!" It's also fun that it has real-life characters such as Ava Gardner, and some who have different names but are obviously supposed to be, for instance, Marilyn Monroe. If you like sleazy Hollywood novels and are a Jackie COllins fan, it's worth picking this one up. Just be prepared for it to be WAY more graphic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bill Garrison VINE VOICE on May 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Tycoon is the first book I've read by the prolific Harold Robbins. Tycoon spans an epic 50 years and tells the story of Jack Lear. Jack buys a radio station with the help of his father-in-law and turns that station into a radio then television empire spanning the country.
Tycoon is about the characters, and there are many. Robbins creates many characters and I'm surprised that after reading, so many of them made an impression on me. Robbins' story doesn't dwell too deeply on the motives of the characters, but instead just describes the actions of the characters, which speak for themselves.
Lear has his three wives and many mistresses and business associates. Lear's kids, Jack and Joni are also fun to read about as are his employees Sally Allen and Curt Frederickson. Jack's family is also interesting. They are the same type of people as he.
Lear seems to have a good marriage with his first wife Kimberly, yet he cheats on her constantly. This is my biggest problem with the novel. There is a lot of sex in Tycoon, a lot described in great detail. Yet Robbins never puts it in context. We never hear how Lear feels about cheating on his wife. We never hear about any reasons the characters might have cheated on on their respective spouses. And this is frustrating because using sex in a story can be very effective in a novel if there is a reason for it.
Jack Lear would've been a better character if he felt any remorse for cheating, or if he enjoyed it. Instead it is presented as a given, natural thing to do (as it is with all characters in the novel).
Tycoon is a sprawling novel with many memorable characters. The incest between Jack's kids seems a little unnecessary yet it shows Robbins isn't afraid to touch any subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "thearyanprince" on February 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
A lot of people dont like this book because they say that its a simple variation on the typical business storylines in Harold Robbins' books. I disagree. In this one...which, by the way, got me into reading Mr. Robbins, we have all sorts of business dealings, steamy sex, and it has a great retrospective on the media in contemporary society. You people need to lighten up. This was a good book, it was fun to read, and I think its got some of the better writing of the book. My only problem is...Mr. Robbin's dialogue isnt always great. Jack Lear, to me...is almost as interesting as Jonas Cord from The Carpetbaggers. Read this book. You wont be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 8, 1998
Format: Paperback
Good writting ability doesn't overpower that this novel is primarily written to sell people with the sex. Otherwise and half interesting half mundane story about a man's life as he struggles to gain power and money.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not one of Harold Robbins’ best stories, but certainly it's average or slightly better than average. If you are put off by vivid descriptions of multi-flavored sexual behavior, then you should not read this novel and save yourself the time of writing a critique based on your sense of being morally offended. Robbins was known for his vivid treatment of sex after his first novel in 1948, and certainly so by the time he wrote The Carpetbaggers in 1961. As such, there should be no surprises for anyone in reading this novel, which was published in 1997.

But while many seem to focus on his sex scenes, Robbins’ greatest writing skill is in how he creates and delivers characters who stick in the minds of readers. And on this count, Tycoon is clearly representative of this skill. The plot is not complicated, might even call it simple and predictable, but the characters are multi-dimensional and memorable. And it’s interesting to me how so many of the characters he created in this and many of his other novels have found their way into 21st century mainstream movies and novels. His characters are long remembered after you put the book down.

I enjoyed this read, and I enjoyed the characters who played out the scenes because they were interesting and memorable. And the sex scenes? Come on, people, grow up. What Robbins writes is no different than what happens across the world every day of the year.
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