The Carpetbaggers is implausible but irresistable

All his life Jonas Cord Jr. had wanted his father’s love and approval. More recently he wanted Rina Marlowe, who married his father instead.

The day after Jonas wins an airplane in a poker game in 1925, his father drops dead, leaving Jonas to run the family business. With ruthless ambition, keen business acumen, and loyal employees,  by the end  of World War II Jonas builds Cord Explosives into a business empire including aviation, finance, and movies.

In his wake, he leaves a trail of broken enemies and broken hearts: Jonas is irresistable to women.

The Carpetbaggers includes plenty of sex and some violence, but Harold Robbins doesn’t wallow in dirt. He’s a writer who knows how to tell a story, and that’s what he does.

Robbins sketches his characters quickly and puts them right into action. Any time the story threatens to lag, Robbins picks up the story from the perspective of a different character.

The story is so action-packed, readers never have time to notice that neither the characters  nor the plot is plausible.

Not that plausibility matters.

The Carpetbaggers plunges on for the sake of the experience and concludes with the most improbable of endings: a triumph of conventional morality.

The Carpetbaggers
by Harold Robbins
1961 bestseller #5
My grade: B

© 2011 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I'm passionate about helping people learn through the medium of nonfiction writing. Although I occasionally have an idea of my own, I mostly build education tools by recycling and repurposing other folks' ideas.

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