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The Wentworths

3.16  ·  Rating Details ·  177 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 13th 2008 by The Overlook Press (first published 2008)
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Jun 04, 2008 Marjanne rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
I didn't particularly enjoy this book, and I'm still not sure why I finished it. Maybe I was hoping it would get better. Essentially this is a story about a very dysfunctional family. It's actually very appalling. On the plus side, it did get better as it went along, but not enough to redeem it. I did like that several of the characters were portrayed as stupid, but were later revealed to be more intelligent than expected. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone I know.
Seriously, I'm giving it zero starts. I think the author has no idea how to compose a story so she just comes up with the most outrageous situations and writes about them in extreme detail...yuck!
Oct 08, 2016 Bunnys rated it it was amazing
Hillarious satire. Filled with morally bankrupt people who got their just desserts!
Victoria Rae
Nov 07, 2014 Victoria Rae rated it did not like it
I read The Wentworths on the train back and forth from Newcastle to Sydney. It's not a long book, I easily finished it in a few hours without any struggle. The story was described as being satirically funny and I suppose it's amusing in parts but I don't think it really did anything for me.

The Wentworths are a ridiculously wealthy family from Los Angeles. The main characters of the book are the Wentworth family, Augustus and his wife Judith, their eldest son Conrad, their daughter Becky, her hu
Lindsay Heller
What is there to say about this book. It was quoted as being satirically funny. It's... amusing. It actually reminded me a lot of the book 'Club Rules' by Andrew Trees. Though the Trees novel was a portrait of a community with a keen eye on a wealthy contingent, and 'The Wentworths' talks only about a family. A little bit like 'The Darlings' without the financial intrigue.

The Wentworths are a wealthy family from the right side of Los Angeles; patriarch Augustus, his wife Judith, eldest son Conra
D. B.
Jan 03, 2016 D. B. rated it it was ok
I liked Arnoldi's debut, Chemical Pink. The Wentworths has the ambition to cover a different subculture--the wealthy elite of Los Angeles--while taking advantage Chemical Pink's biggest strength, Arnoldi's sense of character and voice. Unfortunately, the results this time around are much less compelling.

Arnoldi's shifting voices are as strong as ever, but the book is stocked with cliches, from the brittle matriarch to the gay black sheep. Even supporting characters are right out of Central Casti
May 11, 2008 Dana rated it really liked it
The Wentworths are a wealthy South Californian family who are extremely dysfunctional. The book starts with the whole family going to get the youngest son out of jail. I laughed out loud imagining this scene.

The Wentworths include: father Augustus, mother Judith, eldest son Conrad, daughter Becky, Son-in-law Paul and their children, Monica and Joey and youngest son Norman.

Augustus is a boozing philanderer who keeps a woman on the side. Judith is a cold, unfeeling skinny woman whose sole concern
Apr 27, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 11, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
I really like the author's voice and will definitely read her other book. This is a fascinationg journey from dark to light. Fascinating the way a car accident is fascinating. These people are so real and horrible it's difficult not to get pulled in by them as much as you don't like them. The jacket calls it funny but I wouldn't didn't see a whole lot to chuckle about other than the chapter headings and the epilogue, excpet perhaps that this family has so many sharks in it. loved how the author ...more
Feb 04, 2010 Linda rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no
Recommended to Linda by: TUCB - Feb List
**Spoiler**The beginning of the storyline didn't really entrap me and bring me in but I persevered and it was not to my liking. My favorite character was the youngest son Norman Wentworth and I felt sorry for him. He certainly was adrift living in the guest house of his parent's estate at 35 yrs with no job, no ambition. Norman received the correct counseling he needed when he was commited to institution and there he discovered and developed with painting talent. I'm not sorry Conrad was ...more
Aug 14, 2011 Clark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, pre-2009
The Wentworths by Katie Arnoldi is amazing. Arnoldi has a great way of telling the reader the story without using "fluff" or unnecessary details. This held my attention to the wild story because it did not get side-tracked. This book incorporates humor, sex, drama, violence, suspense . . . well you get the point. I am not sure what this book doesn't incorporate which makes it one of my all time favorite novels. You will not be disappointed with this one. The Wentworths is like a literary drug ...more
Jan 21, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Okay the characters are all snarky, sharpy and sharky. That is to say they are all probably each another version of the same self-obsessed, entitled brat. But this is a satire people! And that she does very well keeping the pages turning the whole damn time. For as annoying and unlikeable they each are, Arnoldi tells their story like she is the most gossipy person at a party - disgusting but you hate to walk away. They might do alright in the end, so Arnoldi might have a heart, but that is not ...more
Sep 19, 2009 Trin rated it it was ok
Tart satire about a family that's rich monetarily, but poor in human decency. This is set in the neighborhood where I work, and--along with some truly lovely people--I deal with folks like these all the time, so there's an element of local interest/schadenfreude involved for me here. Therefore I definitely got some enjoyment out of reading this, though I wasn't terribly fond of the ending and I thought that the book, in general, isn't quite as funny and clever as it thinks it is.
K Dog
May 06, 2008 K Dog rated it liked it
Sick, twisted, raunchy, audacious, crazy. This book was obviously a page turner it was like reading the private affairs of some rich, sleazy political family. The rich and powerful have the best dirty secrets. I wouldn't be surprised if this is based on actual events. Like an episode of Nip/Tuck meets Dynasty meets Pulp Fiction. When it was over I was glad it was over but then I wanted more.
Jul 26, 2010 Mindy rated it really liked it
I have now read three books by Arnoldi and enjoyed all of them. She reminds me a little of Elmore Leonard. There are not any criminals but it is the way she deals with her characters. They are a very weird bunch and while it was hard for me to relate to any of them I did find their lives captivating.
Feb 09, 2010 Sharon rated it it was ok
What is it about books with distasteful characters? This story revolves an upper-class family living in LA and their various tribulations. I suppose it was well-written, but I couldn't muster up concern for anyone.
May 12, 2008 Laura rated it it was ok
This book was very different..a little dark even. Its about a wealthy, California family and all their dysfuntions. A first I didn't like it, but for some reason I kept turning the pages and couldn't put it down. Maybe I'm a little twisted myself...
Jun 23, 2008 Courtney rated it it was ok
This book was a quick and interesting read - a comical book about a VERY disfunctional family who spend their days living in high society. The book was kinda risque at points, but definitely interesting. Not bad.
Roberta Wentworth
This is the worst book I have ever read in my life. The only amusing part was the dedication "To my family, which is not at all like the Wentworths": I got a laugh out of it. The book itself is atrocious...stay away!!
May 28, 2008 Traci rated it really liked it
Horrible horrible people. Like TMZ or Melrose Place put to type. It was a little heartwarming, and perhaps predictable, that a shake to their core brings the Wentworths closer to humanity. Been done yes, but why screw with a pattern that works?
May 26, 2008 Nikki rated it liked it
Recommends it for: females more than males
Recommended to Nikki by: Marie Claire Magazine or O Mag..I forget
Positively sinful....if the tabloids were a book, this would be it! A "dirty little secret" of a book on my bookshelf
Aug 28, 2009 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
This felt like a guilty pleasure. It read like a trashy gossip magazine, but I didn't want to put it down. And it made me feel very content to be part of America's middle class, thank you very much.
Roxy Reno
Jan 03, 2011 Roxy Reno rated it liked it
The ending was a little too tied together for all of the chaos that was happening, the shitty people suddenly turned "ncie". But don't get me wrong, I liked it, Arnoldi is a fun read.
John DiNicola
Aug 01, 2012 John DiNicola rated it liked it
Was going quite well but it was as though she didn't know how to end it so just wrapped everything up neatly and abruptly.
May 13, 2009 Colleen rated it liked it
A friend traded me for Bataille's "Story of the Eye". I want my book back. This one is OK at best...
Jul 25, 2011 Tori added it
2008- A quick read about a dysfunctional wealthy family. Liked the changing viewpoints. You'll hate most of the Wentworths, but keep reading to see what happens to Angela and Honey.
Jul 18, 2008 Lauren rated it liked it
This was one of those books that I enjoyed enough, but I hated all of the characters. That was probably the point since they're all so terrible to each other. Quick, raunchy read.
May 07, 2010 Karen rated it liked it
Excellent beach read. It's good to read about people so nasty that I feel morally superior to them even though I'm lying around eating guacamole and drinking beer before noon.
Mar 29, 2008 SVG rated it liked it
its nigh impossible for me to describe this book.

its almost like a distillation/transcription of a REALLY awesome episode of Maury or Montel (not really Montel, though).

so, so good.
Kim Klabough
Kim Klabough rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2013
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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.
More about Katie Arnoldi...

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