I'd forgotten all about this book until I saw an update on GR today.
My church sent a busload of us to see the movie when it came out in 1975. I was 8I'd forgotten all about this book until I saw an update on GR today.
My church sent a busload of us to see the movie when it came out in 1975. I was 8 or 9 I think and the appeal was more the day trip to the big city with my friends and without my parents. It was my first introduction to the Holocaust - it disturbed me, made me terribly sad and frightened all at the same time. Thinking back I was probably too young to have seen it (but what the heck, I saw "Jaws" that year too.)
I read the book a couple of years later. What a story. I'm not sure I understand why Corrie ten Boom and her family aren't as famous as Anne Frank; or maybe they are and I'm just clueless. :)
I loved, loved, loved this book when I was a kid - I must have taken it out from the library 5 times. I so wanted to live in a trolley car out in theI loved, loved, loved this book when I was a kid - I must have taken it out from the library 5 times. I so wanted to live in a trolley car out in the country....more
Yet another book that I read when I was probably too young to do so! I remember reading this one while I was sick in bed with the mumps as a kid. It wYet another book that I read when I was probably too young to do so! I remember reading this one while I was sick in bed with the mumps as a kid. It was my mom's book - and I stole it from her bedside table. I was quite titillating to me at the time -- SEX!!!!! but I don't really remember much about it except a character named Larry and the main character got screwed over HUGE. Maybe I should re-read this one - and shelf it as "cheesy 70s potboilers"....more
This book scared the pants off of me in high school. I used to own this book, but loaned it to someone and it never came back. I read an article on wiThis book scared the pants off of me in high school. I used to own this book, but loaned it to someone and it never came back. I read an article on wikipedia tonite dismissing the whole book as bull#@*% - had never heard of that part! I also didn't realize the impact this particular book had on the whole 'ritual satanic abuse' issue in the 80's. Now I wish I still had the book so I could re-read it, knowing what I do now....more
**spoiler alert** Casual sex, lesbian sex, rape, anal sex, incestuous sex, s&m sex, gang-bangs, money, drugs, celebrity, a marriage proposal out o**spoiler alert** Casual sex, lesbian sex, rape, anal sex, incestuous sex, s&m sex, gang-bangs, money, drugs, celebrity, a marriage proposal out of nowhere AND a HEA, to boot! Pretty heady stuff for a 12 year old. No wonder I loved the book so much!
Only Rosemary Rogers, she of the overwrought dialogue ("Good God, you bitch! You witch-woman, Eve!") and use of the romance novel as an endurance contest for abusive behaviour, could write a book like this. I've just re-read it for the first time in about 15 years, so here goes....
The Insiders is the story of Eve Mason and Brant Newcomb - she is a television reporter and former model, he is a gorgeous bad boy millionaire wanted by everyone.
This book spends a lot of time (the first 18 chapters, as a matter of fact) introducing us to a whole bunch of people mostly having a whole bunch of sex with each other. We meet Marti, Eve's lesbian roommate; David, Eve's ex - a sexist jerk with a madonna/whore complex; Stella, fair-weather lesbian and secretary to David; Gloria - slutty "assistant" to the senior partner at David's law firm; Peter, Eve's sometime lover and psychiatrist friend of David's; and Francine - David's messed up little sister. All of these introductions involve LOTS OF SEX.
We spend a few chapters finding out what a doormat Eve is for her boyfriend David. We also find out a bit about Brant's past - he was raised by a millionaire grandfather and has become jaded and arrogant.
We watch as Eve is manipulated into going to find Francine, who has run away. Eve finds her at Brant Newcomb's mansion being auctioned off to a stoned group of partygoers. Things go from bad to worse -- Brant offers her a drink (drugged, of course) and takes her to his playroom for a "little talk". Little talk becomes a gang-rape, with Brant the last to have her. David, of course, does not believe any of her story. He blames her for the events of the evening and breaks up with her.
A week or so later Brant sits beside Eve on an airplane and, then, apropos of nothing, he PROPOSES! He tells Eve, "no swinging parties, no 'old friends', no drugs". He asks her to think about "the whole, old-fashioned bit...marriage, kids, no other women for me and no other men for you". WTF!? Turns out, he admires her spirit - she never gave up fighting during the gang-rape, so why not get married? HUH?
The last 100 pages is the romance between Eve and Brant -- not much time to redeem himself for leading the gang-rape, but he almost does it. There is some conflict in the last chapter (again with rape and anal sex, yikes!) but they make up and there is an HEA.
Buried in these pages are the beginnings of a pretty good romance novel. Too bad Rosemary Rogers didn't finish writing it. This book gives us a skewed picture of love - the idea that the guy leading the gang-bang is the love of your life is just messed up. Reading it as an adult I would have liked to have seen more pages written to disabuse us of that notion, and to tell more of the love story between Eve and Brant. As a 12 year old it was more like "who cares, more SEX!"
Having said that, it was written in 1979, it is a Rosemary Rogers novel, and it is still pretty sexy. I think I remember all of her books having this "flavour" to them.
I don't love this one as much as I did, but love it still I do.
This book review has been provided by the No Book Left Behind Campaign - A Bodice Ripper Readers Anonymous group initiative to review the un-reviewed....more
This book was the "must read" when I was in elementary school. After all, Judy Blume was the author all our parents encouraged us to read. How could tThis book was the "must read" when I was in elementary school. After all, Judy Blume was the author all our parents encouraged us to read. How could the fact that the book described a penis in all its glory not be a good thing? That's all I remember about the book now that I think of it. ...more
What a glorious, fucked up, depraved, over the top, delicious, trashy train wreck mess of a book this is!!!!
Whoever wrote the synopsis for the back ofWhat a glorious, fucked up, depraved, over the top, delicious, trashy train wreck mess of a book this is!!!!
Whoever wrote the synopsis for the back of the book deserves an award. To be able to condense a book like this into 2 paragraphs is fucking amazing. Or, to put it another way, to be able to find the main story in 520 pages of movie stars, politicians, models, CIA operatives, parties, murders, sex, mafiosos, millionaires, billionaires, a gang-bang, Arabs, lesbians, filming a movie, bitches, more parties, more sex, Cuban guerillas, drugs, race car driver/playboys, voyeurism, threesomes, producers, a whipping, yoga, a shrink and did I say sex? is a feat that I would be completely unable to match.
How does one describe a Rosemary Rogers novel? After I re-read The Insiders I said this: Only Rosemary Rogers, she of the overwrought dialogue ("Good God, you bitch! You witch-woman, Eve!") and use of the romance novel as an endurance contest for abusive behaviour, could write a book like this.
Well, only she could have written this book as well.
You have to adopt a certain mind set to read her books, I think. Crank your cap a certain way, grit your teeth, and strap yourself in for the ride of your life. Get ready, because you will encounter every single cardboard, cliched, one-dimensional excuse for a character out there in romance fiction -- the straight-laced virginal heroine, the alpha, machismo Hero . All the other women are bitches - you have the old-school-chum-who-has-slept-with-the-Hero bitch, the Cuban guerilla long-thought-dead-wife of Hero bitch, spoiled-Italian-actress-who-has-also-slept-with-Hero bitch, author of book-turned-into-movie-starring-H/h-who-too-has-slept-with-Hero-bitch and a couple of other minor bitches - they are mostly harmless, bi-sexual and had a threesome with Hero type bitches. The other men? Again, mostly caricatures: the chauvinist-pig-arrogant-but-impossibly-handsome-in-an-Arabic-sheik-way actor Karim, the gazabillionaire Harris Phelps - he of the slim build, exquisite clothes and pencil thin mustache; the French director, Yves, whose eyes glaze over when his actors have sex on camera and he forgets to say cut!; a European race-car driver/playboy/actor, a stogie-smoking, big fat producer money man type, throw in a couple of Secret Service/CIA/shadow operative types and you've got about half of the cast of fucking thousands that run through this book. And they all speak in paragraphs, not sentences, and end most of their sentences with exclamation points! So they talk lots but don't really say anything!
So, strap in, and here we go:
Meet Anne Reardon Hyatt. Innocent, virginal, sheltered, child of a shadowy, puppet-master political type and married to his young protege, Craig Hyatt. Anne thinks she is frigid at 21, and as the book opens she is staying at her father's New England compound waiting to tell him the bad news - that she wants to fly, to be free - in Europe for a year or two out from under everyone's influence. But first, she happens to see a playbill showing her old school chum Carol (Bitch #1) in a Broadway play rehearsing in her home town. Off she goes to the theatre to renew her acquaintance. There she runs smack into Webb Carnahan -- Hero. Bitch #1, oh, I mean Carol, talks her into playing a trick on Webb, which results in a whole bunch of silly stuff that sets up the whole book. Including Anne's first one night stand, and first orgasms. Yay! She's not frigid! We also meet Harris Phelps, producer/gazabillionaire who is instantly taken with Anne. Carol gets bitchy, tells Anne Webb is sleeping with Carol, and Tanya (the understudy) and Anne. Anne's feelings get hurt, then she gets bitchy too. Then Anne's husband Craig shows up, so does her father, everyone talks about how Anne is being indiscreet, and so ends Anne's first bid at independence.
Flash forward to a year later, and Anne is a huge model in Europe and living in London. Sharing a flat with a perky little Brit named Violet (not a Bitch, so naturally she gets killed right away quick) and working part-time for some oil company (which I think is a front for the CIA and her father, although Anne is ALWAYS the last to know this stuff) and a really nice dude named Duncan (also not a Bitch, so of course he ends up dead later, too). Anyway. Craig, her ex, shows up out of nowhere, wants to get back together so he can get into politics. She says, uh, I dunno, then sees a picture of Carol (remember her, Bitch #1?) together with Webb (Manwhore of the year for 1978) in the paper - they're coming to London.
Anne, after having a few deep conversations with herself about the possible implications of all this:
"First Craig, and now Webb. Could there be a connection? Was that why Craig had suddenly turned up in London - to "rescue" her from Webb? Again? Stupid...what did it matter? She must cling to her newfound independence. Think of herself first for a change, her feelings. And damn Craig and damn Webb! She'd show them both exactly how much she'd changed in the past 18 months!"
She calls up Harris Phelps and renews their acquaintance. If this book were a roller coaster, right now we would be chugging up the first really big hill - can you hear the chains clinking?
So. She meets up with Harris, and Carol, and Webb (not all at the same time of course!) visits and exchanges bitchy remarks with Carol, gets an offer for a movie from Harris, and shacks up with Webb. Violet gets a crush on Craig, Duncan is afraid he is losing his best part-time whatever-she-did for the oil company, and everyone goes to lots of parties, where most of the women are bitches who have all slept with Webb. Violet is killed in a burglary, Craig comes to see Anne and plants the seeds of suspicion in her mind ('have you ever wondered what a man like Webb Carnahan would see in you?'), Webb goes to Ireland for something (a movie? a fuck? a meeting with his Mafioso uncle Vito?) and Anne, taking the advice of Bitch #1 and the altruistic Craig, moves out of Webb's apartment and goes with Harris to California to make a movie. I think. There was so much sleeping around and veiled references to Anne's father, the CIA and the bombshell that Webb used to work for Anne's father as an operative until he bailed and went to the CIA (WTF???) that by this point I was having trouble keeping track.
Back to the roller coaster -- down the hill we go!!!!! And we're off to California to make a movie!
I had thought to try to keep track of all the characters and who was with who in order to do this review but it didn't work out too well. It all starts out straightforward enough, but by the time you get to California the characters start to look like this:
On the movie set is where the bulk of the book takes place. All bets are off, the cast of thousands are all stuck together in Anne's childhood home on a closed set, shooting a historical romance epic. (I found this hilarious on so many levels). I think Rosemary Rogers even wrote herself into this book -- the author character "Robbie Savage" sounds just like her, writes romances full of rapes, and best of all, she gets to sleep with ManWhore Webb! Because every female in this bloody book has fucked the guy at one time or another. Sometimes one right after another. Sheesh.
I don't think I could describe what follows if I tried, so here are some tidbits:
- They bring in a shrink to 'help everyone relax'. He is really there to use hynopsis on Anne to bring back her repressed memories from her mother's murder when she was a child. As an added bonus, he throws in a trick that every time Anne hears the word "Action", she thinks everything is real. So she can be a better actress, dontcha know.
- The house has been rigged with hidden cameras in every bedroom, so everyone gets taped having sex with almost everyone else. No secrets in that house, let me tell you!
- Webb used to work for Anne's father, but then he quit after his wife died. But wait, she's not dead, she showed up on set with the race car driver/playboy/actor. Webb might be in the mob, might be in the CIA, might be still working for her father, and maybe his sister has been abducted to make sure he co-operates. But with who? Your guess is as good as mine.
By the end of the book there are people running around with guns fitted with silencers, the Coast Guard and Secret Service are on their way, there's a huge forest fire and the whole island needs to be evacuated, Anne's ex-husband Craig has popped back up and all of Anne's repressed memories have come back with a vengeance.
I tried really hard while reading this book this time round to find any character development, or any clue to their inner thoughts, or feelings. Nope. Nada. Anne talks about love, so does Webb (once, I think) but I have absolutely no idea why they love each other. All they do trade cheap shots at each other and fuck. I lost track of how many times during the day the Hero had sex with different people, how many times the Heroine took too many valium to go to sleep (on one memorable occasion only to be woken up having sex with Karim, the creepy Arab, blech), how many times everyone called everyone else baby. So, I gave up. I think that's what you have to do with a book like this -- just forget about anything deep or approaching emotional, just strap in and hold on. Rogers throws almost everything you could possibly think of and more at you in this book -- you just keep reading, ducking, weaving and bobbing so you don't get hit with shit, and hope you can figure out what the fuck is going on by the end.
Speaking of the end, I'm pretty sure it's a standard HEA, but by the time I got to it I was completely exhausted!!!!
This book isn't for everyone, but if you can stomach Rosemary Roger's style it's a whole lotta fun. If nothing else, it's a time capsule back to the 70s - the days when sex was plentiful and meaningless, everyone wore see-through chiffon and lip gloss, drank scotch and smoked grass.