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The Carpetbaggers

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Jonas Cord coveted his father's fame, fortune, even his young, beautiful wife.  When his father died, Jonas swore to possess them all.  But Rina Marlow was the celebrated screen goddess no man could master.  Her sizzling sensuality might inflame and enthrall millions, but her personal boudoir was no Hollywood fantasy.  She consumed her lovers on the fiery rack of her burning desires.

Rina and Jonas took Hollywood, the airplane industry, America itself by storm.  From New York to LA they brawled, lusted, and carved out an empire, blazoned in banner headlines and their enemies' blood--only to learn that money and power, revenge and renown were not enough.  Too much would never be enough--not for Jonas Cord and the relentless Rina Marlowe.  The higher they soared, the more their ambition demanded . . . the darker and deadlier their fiery passions grew.

688 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1961

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About the author

Harold Robbins

257 books387 followers
Born as Harold Rubin in New York City, he later claimed to be a Jewish orphan who had been raised in a Catholic boys home. In reality he was the son of well-educated Russian and Polish immigrants. He was reared by his pharmacist father and stepmother in Brooklyn.

His first book, Never Love a Stranger (1948), caused controversy with its graphic sexuality. Publisher Pat Knopf reportedly bought Never Love a Stranger because "it was the first time he had ever read a book where on one page you'd have tears and on the next page you'd have a hard-on".

His 1952 novel, A Stone for Danny Fisher, was adapted into a 1958 motion picture King Creole, which starred Elvis Presley.

He would become arguably the world's bestselling author, publishing over 20 books which were translated into 32 languages and sold over 750 million copies. Among his best-known books is The Carpetbaggers, loosely based on the life of Howard Hughes, taking the reader from New York to California, from the prosperity of the aeronautical industry to the glamour of Hollywood.

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5 stars
1,588 (33%)
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3 stars
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53 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 168 reviews
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,194 reviews9,455 followers
March 19, 2017
I see what he does – he flat-out steals well-known stuff which everyone has heard of and stirs it shamelessly into his story – so after the hero gets involved in the movie business circa 1929 when talkies were just coming in, he’s already described a movie which sounds like High Noon (1952), then problems with a leading lady’s horrible voice like in Singin’ in the Rain (1952). And then our hero has to design a new type of bra for the leading lady to tone down her uncontrollable breastfulness, like what Howard Hughes did for Jane Russell (early 40s). And y’all know that the hero Jonas Cord = Howard Hughes, and the heroine of the first half = Jean Harlow. The heroine of the second half is a little bit of Marilyn Monroe and a little bit of the plot of Vertigo.


Allegedly many original readers were wowed by the sex scenes but 55 years later they’re just funny.

He stood there watching the blurred, sensual look come back into her face. She sank to her knees before him, and he felt her lips press against his thighs. “Do not be angry with Ann-Louise, my stalwart, wild stallion,” she whispered. “Make love to me.”

She was still slim and strong and her breasts jutted like rocks at the canyon edge and I knew they would be just as hard to the touch.

“your nipples are full like bursting purple plums”

He felt a shiver run through her as the nipple grew into his palm, then her fingers were on his thigh, capturing his manhood.

She saw Rina’s nipples burst forth upon her breasts like awakening red flowers on a white field.

Robbins is big on nipples. Anyway, I was expecting more gross sex stuff than there was. There was some, but there should have been a lot more. But I could have done without the five pages of description of Rina’s precocious physical development at the age of 13. I swear I could hear the twang of Harold’s manhood as I was shuddering through that section. It was creepy.


HR dishes out clichés by the yard without batting an eye.

“You’ve been pretty quiet this morning,” she said…. “I don’t know what’s the matter with you children.”

“There’s nothing you can do,” he cried. “Nothing anybody can do now!”

“It wouldn’t be any trouble at all. Now, you just sit down and make yourself comfortable.”

“But I’m not a little girl any longer, am I, father?”

“There’s time enough for you to grow up.”

“I know the way you feel now, but someday, when you’re older, and maybe married with children of your own, you’ll understand.”

“You can’t talk to me like that,” he blustered. “I’m not one of your flunkies who you can buy and sell.”

They were the last words he ever spoke. For just at that moment, the squall came roaring in from the starboard side and capsized the boat.

And HR cranks up the ludicrously lurid to 11 on the amp :

“I pushed Margaret down the stairs and killed her. I killed my baby even before it was born, stole Nevada’s career from him, and Claude committed suicide because of what I was doing to him”

“Those things just happened. You weren’t to blame.”


1. People get their face slapped. This happens to men and women quite frequently.

The open palm cracked smartly across the side of his face, knocking his head sideways against the toilet bowl

2. Jonas Cord writes off something that cost a million dollars without a second thought :

“But my God, Jonas,” Dan exclaimed. “You can’t junk that script. It’ll cost you half a million by the time you get through paying off De Mille.”

“I don’t care what it costs!” I snarled. “I’m junking it!”

3. People grind out cigarettes. Grind those ciggies!

The acrid smoke burned in her throat. Angrily she ground it out. (p 494)
She ground out the cigarette in the tray. (p 495)
“Yeah,” David said almost savagely, grinding out his cigarette. (p 503)

4. Women have a lot of nipples. I already mentioned this.

5. There’s a lot of manly and very boring business-speak about proxies and voting and deals.

“He can make a lot of trouble. After all, he’ll be voting about thirty per cent of the stock.”

“Call Moroni on the coast and find out if the bank will let me have the money to buy in Sheffield’s stock if I give them a first mortgage on the theaters.”

6. Good looking women enjoy being naked in this novel. I think this strongly appealed to HR’s first readers. Before The Carpetbaggers I suggest it’s not an unreasonable generalization to say that not many women in novels were seen to be actively enjoying their own nakedness. I should mention that all the women in this novel are good-looking and have amazing breasts. Well, there are a couple who have flat chests – they are the Lesbians.

7. Many people die suddenly in this novel. One minute they’re makin a deal with a Hollywood producer and getting blown in a champagne bubble bath, next minute a squall comes roaring out of nowhere.


I imagine a few of these shortcomings were pointed out by contemporary reviewers, and I can think that Harold cried all the way to the bank as Liberace said after an especially bad review. But really, when you get past the luridness, the silliness, the stock characters, the ridiculous characters, the based on real people characters, the horrible Jewish and Irish speech (pages of that), the faces slapped and sudden deaths and the gushes of money ejaculating over everything, you get many very dull pages where businessmen make abrupt or sneaky or brash or brazen deals with each other or our main man Jonas Cord makes another futuristic plane which will never possibly work but does brilliantly and it’s all really zzzzzzzz where it’s not grrrrrr and there’s 700 pages of it too.

For me this was a case of rubbernecking at an accident site. For you – not, repeat, not recommended.
Profile Image for W.
1,185 reviews4 followers
February 22, 2021
I read somewhere that Harold Robbins sold 750 million books,worldwide. While this may not necessarily be an accurate figure,there is no doubt that once he was among the top selling authors in the world.

It is another matter,that this status was achieved by relying on rather dubious methods.
It was when his writing became very trashy,that his popularity soared.

In a way,it was a pity,because he had the genuine storyteller's gift. His early books,Never Love a Stranger and A Stone for Danny Fisher,were very intense and poignant.

Then came the Dream Merchants,an entertaining novel about early Hollywood,which was still very good. And then came its sequel,The Carpetbaggers,which sold massively,but was very trashy.

Robbins had now discovered the formula for instant riches,and he would stick to it for the remainder of his career.

It still had some good bits, including a character called Nevada Smith.(His story would become a passable movie with Steve Mcqueen). Another character resembles Howard Hughes,and Hollywood remains part of the story.

But despite that,I'm not too fond of this book. Some of the scenes are really off-putting. Robbins' subsequent writing,would progressively deteriorate,and most of his later books would become synonymous with sleaze and trash.
Profile Image for Jayakrishnan.
488 reviews167 followers
October 25, 2022
I spent hot afternoons reading and rereading that sex scene between Rina Marlowe and her brother. Really got my imagination running as a teenager. This was another book I found in the room that was at various times occupied by my father, an uncle and two aunts. I am not sure who it belonged to. They just left stuff like The Carpetbaggers, Ninja (Eric Van Lustbader) and a few Jackie Collins novels laying around for me to discover. Anyway, this was not just some sex novel. I remember being impressed by the Nevada Smith character. Probably the first Western character of any sort that I encountered. I do not remember much of the Jonas Cord character at all. I am surprised I never read another novel by Robbins. This book was an early introduction to American culture. What if they had left Leo Tolstoy or Franz Kafka or something? What novels will I plant for my descendants to discover? Interesting question.
Profile Image for Benjamin Thomas.
1,953 reviews271 followers
September 2, 2010
I always know a book is a fun read when I find myself making excuses to read it rather than work on my "Hunny-Do" list. According to at least one source this book is the 4th most read novel of all time. I don't know if that's really true but certainly it has been a widely read story for more than 40 years so obviously a lot of people have read it. The book apparently is somewhat notorious, largely for pushing the sexual boundaries of the time, right up to the edge. By today's standards it is relatively tame and, in fact, most of the sexual scenes occur offstage although there is a lot of innuendo. The book is fairly long; my paperback is almost 700 pages long with pretty small print.

The main story takes place over a 20 year period between the World Wars. The main character is a Howard Hughes type tycoon named Jonas Cord with all sorts of business interests but most especially aircraft development and Hollywood pictures. His is mostly a tragic story up until the very end when he finally realizes what makes him happy. It is interesting to note that Harold Robbins knew Howard Hughes fairly well but despite so many similarities to Hughes, Robbins claims the model for the Jonas Cord character was actually Bill Lear (developer of the Lear jet and the 8-track tape player). The backdrop for the novel is absorbing as well; we get to see the roaring 20s, the depression era 30's, the lead up to World War II as well as the war itself; all major impacts on the plot.

The intriguing thing about this book is not so much the story but rather, how the story is told. It is divided into eight sections: four sections are Jonas Cord's life told in his own first person point of view and the other four sections are devoted to the backstories of four key people who Jonas interacts with during his life. One is a former gunfighter turned stuntman turned star of the silent movie era. One is a Hollywood actress (allegedly based on Jean Harlow). A third is a movie company executive and a fourth is a high-priced courtesan turned movie starlet. We get absorbed in their individual stories; they are very captivating all on their own. And it is really through them that we come to know Jonas himself. When you put the whole thing together you really get a great sense of the characters as well as the era itself. I have to say I really enjoyed the novel a lot more than I expected I would.
Profile Image for Kat.
174 reviews55 followers
February 23, 2008
We used to rent a renovated barn-like house on Douglas Lake in Michigan for a summer vacation and there were a ton of paperback books downstairs in the "livingroom." I had rarely seen paperback books, as my parents had hardback books in their library as did my grandparents. We went to the library and, again, there were no paperbacks, so this was exotic to me.I was absolutely drawn to these small, yellowed or well-worn books stacked up in a tall bookcase. They had covers with men and women and some looked rather forbidden to a 10 year old. My mother looked at them and told us, to leave them alone as they were not books for children. She should NEVER have said this -- she literally dipped them in chocolate at that point. I would sneak down and grab one and then read it under the covers upstairs with flashlight in hand. I read many cheap novels that summer and learned about sex, deceit, lying, and lowdown men and women. I learned from those books a entire encyclopedia of do's and don'ts in life, but my mother would have died a thousand deaths if she had known her sweet little red-haired girl was reading this in the sixties! I 've always wondered who in the world had collected these awful things -- even I knew the difference, but they were like forbidden fruit. Over the years, vacation meant sleazy literature, avoiding a sunburn and lots and lots of batteries! By the way, I didn't like this book at all -- it seemed forced, but that is my memory as a child reading - perhaps I should read this again!

Profile Image for Kurt Reichenbaugh.
Author 6 books61 followers
June 12, 2013
Immensely entertaining pot-boiler involving the exploits of Jonas Cord, a thinly disguised version of Howard Hughes. The novel is a roman-a-clef of old Hollywood featuring movie star Rina Marlow, and cowboy turned movie star, Nevada Smith whose lives are intertwined with Jonas Cord's career. The strength in The Carpetbaggers is that it's really 3 novels in one: a western, a soap opera and a hard-boiled Hollywood expose. The plots never lag and Robbins leaves the highfalutin literary tricks to the artistes. This isn't Henry James, clearly. Characters are one dimensional and driven by primal urges. Yes, it's trash, but it's entertaining trash. This is what Grandma and Grandpa read when they didn't think the other one was looking.
Profile Image for Daffy.
73 reviews2 followers
April 30, 2010
Oh to be 15 again and reading the Carpetbaggers for the first time
Profile Image for Barry Cunningham.
Author 1 book184 followers
July 22, 2017
I read this book because I loved 'The Adventurers' This book was very risque for a young teenage boy, I kept it hidden from my mother as it felt embarrassing that I was reading such a sexually graphic novel, honestly in the 60's this was as close to pornography as you could get in a work of fiction, these days I suppose its tame in that respect. In any case I enjoyed the book, the story line was good, I read it avidly, but I have to admit my motives for reading it were not literary, well I was 14/15!! Needless to say it is another very good book from a very prolifically good author, not only that he and I shared the same birthday.
Profile Image for Asghar Abbas.
Author 4 books188 followers
March 27, 2016

Before Martin Scorsese's movie, this guy had already written a novel about the Aviator.
Profile Image for Cliff Harrison.
56 reviews
July 1, 2015
I think the Carpetbagger was the first Harold Robbins novel I read. It was set in Hollywood, Ca and Reno Nevada and probably, at least loosely, based partly on Howard Hughes who was still alive and active in both Hollywood and Nevada, but in Las Vegas. Robbins said the Carpetbagger was based on Bill Lear and not Howard Hughes but there is controversy about that.

You can't talk about Harold Robbins without fast learning he is probably one of the most loved and most hated authors of all time. You can bet the FBI was keeping an eye on him.

The book was written in the early 60s and was one of Robbins better novels. The sequel, The Raiders, wasn't published until 1995. The last novel published while Robbins was still alive (I think since he died in 1997)was Tycoon (1997)and Predators was published postmortem in 1998 with The Secret (2000) the sequel to The Predators. Nevada Smith was another distinguished offshoot from Robbins' work as a character in the Carpetbagger.

Jonas Cord inherited his father's industries like Hughes and the sex and romance that comes into play and begins Robbins' signature trademark was he inherited his father's young wife, Rina Marlowe that labeled Robbins as Mister Sex or the inventor of sex in American novels started a movement that had previously been taboo. The 1960s was the turning point for American culture and Robbin's Carpetbagger was one of the novels that started that movement. J.D Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye preceded it in 1945. Cord believed his step mother, Rina married his father for his money. He took what he wanted from her.

While Harold Robbins was and remains one of the bestselling authors of all time with more than 750 million sales stacking up and climbing, a Kindle copy of the Carpetbagger at Amazon still sells near $8.00 and you won't find any penny sales in the print versions with all formats commanding a decent investment for an author who has been dead for almost 20 years.

A 5-book paperback bundle sells for $75 at Amazon which includes The Raiders, The Stallion, The Predators, The Secret and Tycoon and doesn't even include the Carpetbagger.

Rather Robbins work can be considered literature or not, that's as controversial as anything else he did, but I think few could argue, he was a superb storyteller. And novels are all about storytelling is it not?
Profile Image for Rachel Smalter Hall.
355 reviews214 followers
April 26, 2008
So sometimes you pick up a book thinking, "Wow, this is going to be really awesome and trashy!" and then you're just disappointed. Well, this one did not disappoint. Unfortunately, Robbins brings out the big guns too early (the "Nevada Smith" fugitive-cowboy-turned-hollywood-movie-star story is too good to be true) and then he just keeps recycling the same characters over and over for the next 500 pages.
Profile Image for Philip.
282 reviews49 followers
January 13, 2009
A five-star rating for THE CARPETBAGGERS may raise a few eyebrows, but I'll defend it by saying that for sheer one-two punch storytelling and readability, it beats anything out there today. Harold Robbins was a natural storyteller (although he later severely over-estimated his abilities), and his powers of narrative drive reached their peak in this novel. Though considered quite bold and daring in its day, THE CARPETBAGGERS is actually rather mild compared to the onslaught of explicit novels which followed it (by Robbins, who never topped it, and others) - I daresay many teen novels today are probably more sexually explicit - but never mind, it's all there.

THE CARPETBAGGERS is made up of several narratives focusing on different characters (one actually became a separate film), but one character ties it all together: Jonas Cord. All of the characters are directly involved with and affected by him. It's ostensibly a roman a clef about Howard Hughes (the Cord character) and his adventures in Hollywood and as an aircraft pioneer from the 1930s through the 1950s (Robbins maintained that Bill Lear was also a model for his character, Jonas Cord) - along the way we become involved with characters who strongly resemble Hopalong Cassidy, Jean Harlow, and a hooker-turned-actress who eventually becomes a nun (ironically, THE CARPETBAGGERS was published several years before Dolores Hart, who did NOT start as a hooker, did exactly that).

For pure slam-band entertainment, THE CARPETBAGGERS can't be beat, and as one of the three most famous "dirty books" published in the 1950s/1960s, it probably holds up the best (the other two being PEYTON PLACE and VALLEY OF THE DOLLS) - this 2007 re-read was my third reading of the Robbins novel. I first read it as a teen around 1970 (and was familiar with it years before that), then re-read it in the early 1980s.


Profile Image for Dawn Wells.
763 reviews12 followers
March 5, 2013
Rape and incest is always part of his novels. Which is real life for some so I read them with that understanding. This book also has homosexual relations mentioned. Also true to life. The problem for me with this novel is the Howard Hughes type of character. I did not get drawn in by him or the other 4 or so sort of main characters in the background. It was a book about real issues with unreal characters
Profile Image for Madhu murugesan.
46 reviews29 followers
May 10, 2016
A good book which can get a rating of 4....this story revolves around the Hollywood in the period of early 20th century...the period when the motion pictures were introduced...the characters portray the supreme urge of getting power success love and lust..
Profile Image for Wreade1872.
688 reviews140 followers
December 22, 2017
If i was to do a one word review it would be 'Inconsistent'. Inconsistent characters, tone, pacing, graphicness, length.. somehow.
This is basically a soap-opera drama, something along the lines of 'Dynasty' or 'Dallas'. It follows the interweaving lives of three main people, a cowboy, a woman based at least partially on jane russel and a howard hughes knockoff. Except then just as your expecting it to finish up it adds two more new characters... what? Who are these people, why is this still going? Its like it was meant to be two books but the author couldn't quite find enough material for the second so instead you have here a novel and a half.
Between the now 5 main characters are about 18 different personalities. There's never any attempt made to use the book medium to advantage. In books its easy to see what people are thinking and get inside their heads but that never happens here, your as removed from them as you would be watching it on tv.

Other oddities are that the book can be quite graphic when it comes to sex and violence, sometimes.. then other times it turns and runs from the sex or violence, again inconsistent.
There are a lot of side characters in this too some of which pay off and others that just disappear from the story suddenly and without a trace.

The various storylines interweave and the plot jumps back and forth in time and from location to location often without any lead in. Everytime you hit a paragraph end you wonder whether the next one will be in the same time or place (and usually isn't). In other novels this would be extremely confusing but somehow here its merely annoying.

Oh and heres a reverse spoiler, the howard hughes character does not , i kept waiting for that to happen but no, maybe in the sequel ;) .

Having said all that, you can't deny its dramatic, if you like your soaps this has a lot of story to munch on and the writing is fine even if the structure is a mess.
Profile Image for Judy.
1,674 reviews280 followers
October 4, 2013

Harold Robbins wrote many bestsellers over his long career and this one was the #4 bestseller in 1961. It was also made into a movie. Robbins hits all the tropes of a big fat trashy page turner. I read tons of books like this when I was in my thirties, raising my sons and dreaming of adventure. It was kind of fun to read one again now that I am such a literary fiction reader.

Jonas Cord, a motherless kid with a Native American cowboy named Nevada Smith as his male nanny, was raised in the Nevada desert on his father's ranch. Mr Cord Sr was a fabulously wealthy, hard bitten tycoon whose tough love left Jonas feeling unloved. When his father keels over from a stroke, Jonas inherits the business at age 20.

He does his best to become his father, even trying to marry his father's wife. Within a few weeks he suddenly develops business savvy, though he loses out with the wife. He is already a pilot, a womanizer, a hard drinking fearless dude. On it goes through WWI, WWII, the rise of Hollywood, airplanes, and modern life as it was known in the late 1950s.

The women are all beautiful and sexy, the men ruthless and violent, and everyone has something in the past making them act the way they do. Very entertaining, especially the Hollywood parts. I suppose most men wanted to be tycoons and most women wanted to be movie stars in 1961; heck, many still do!

How satisfying to read that the rich and famous also have hard times. Reading it today with all its sex and glamor and business high jinks, I saw that business ethics and Hollywood's methods have always been on the shady side, that human nature craves such stories, and that women are only a couple generations beyond the objectification and exploitation that was simply taken for granted in 1961.

But I never did figure out why the book was called The Carpetbaggers.
Profile Image for Tina.
2 reviews1 follower
May 13, 2016
I absolutely LOVED this book! It is definitely a man's read, especially the Old West depictions in the beginning. I liked the touches of true history mixed in with fiction, and the glamour and despair of Hollywood in the 30s and 40s!
Profile Image for Angela.
58 reviews8 followers
September 25, 2021

First published in 1961 and adapted into a film in 1964.

Carpetbaggers: In the United States, northerners who travelled down south after the Civil War (1861-1865). Some of these Carpetbaggers saw they could take advantage of the weakened south. This gave most northerners a bad name, and today carpetbaggers represent people who are greedy and take advantage of others.

“And on their back, or across their saddle, or on top of their wagon was the inevitable faded multicoloured bag made of worn and ragged remnants of carpet into which they had crammed all their worldly possessions. It was from these bags that they got their name. The Carpetbaggers.”

One of the classifications I would give this novel is historical fiction for all its snippets referencing historical events, be they wars, actors from the past, silent movies, the talkies, even the advent of plastic and fibreglass is mentioned.

This would have been one hell of a movie, although I’ve never seen it. Not sure that I’d want to, I would find parts of it disturbing and confrontational. But that’s not to say the book was not a good read, quite the contrary. The confronting part for me is that I’m sure some of this stuff really did happen. I used to watch the good old Westerns through such innocent eyes. Of note, the “Me Too” movement came to mind.

The main characters, of which there are six, each have their own story in the book depicting their lives and their association with the key protagonist, Jonas Cord. It works very well, with each one maintaining the reader’s interest.

The storyline, which spans the 1925–1945 era, is engaging and full of substance, and gives an insight into the Hollywood Film Industry, the hard yards involved, especially for the male and female actors, in producing a movie. Of interest, the author mentions Actress Lana Turner, who died in 1995 at age 74, was famous for being discovered in Hollywood in 1937, while sipping a bubbly beverage on the stool of a popular soda fountain on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

A little quote from the book:
“Leave it to children to remind you of the passing of time. They have a way of growing that ticks off your years more accurately than a clock.”
October 4, 2017
Many years ago, I was an avid Harold Robbins reader. Of all the novels I read, The Carpetbaggers was probably my favorite. I have a bunch of his paperbacks in a box in my basement, but when I went to find this one, it was not among them. Of course, I purchased it on Amazon, what else?
It does remain one of my favorite all-time books. He was a master story weaver.
One paragraph that stood out to me this time was: "Then, bit by bit, the understanding came to her, as it always must to the survivors, that only a part of the dreams had been buried with him...
She heard the birds begin to sing again. She looked up at the blue sky, and the white sun above her head, and knew that once again she was a living, breathing human being with the full, rich blood of life in her body."
I watched my husband die of a heart attack 20 years ago. My Dad died two years later. I finally realized that I was alive and should go on living. Part of me was buried during that time. I was alive and life is for the living. I remarried a year later. Life is good!
Profile Image for Christina.
27 reviews1 follower
August 4, 2014
I thought the book was a great read. My dad has been raving about this book for years that i had to read. he made the comment that he doesnt read much, but when he read this book, he couldnt put it down. this was many many years ago. before i was born. But he's always talked about how i should read it. so i got it for my 26th birthday. i was reading a different book at the time, but once i started it was a really good book. From what my dad has told me, this book is based on the life of howard hues. and a lot of things that are mentioned in the book are some things that really happened back in the day. you have to do some research to really figure out what is and isnt i guess. The story of rina i really enjoyed. I have to say this, i watched the movie while i was in the middle of reading rina's story, and i have to say, it may be an ok movie, but it has nothing on the book. in the movie, they change a lot from the book. I mean, in some of it i can see where they get the ideas, but, they left out a lot, and changed scenes from the book, made different turn outs from the book. the book is way better. i promise. So, anyways, back to the story of rina, from the movie perspective, they made her to be a drunk. in the book, she wasnt, and if she was, you didnt get that through the reading. She was a strong character. she had been through a lot. she dealt with a lot. and in later reading, in the book of Jennie you realize that the two are a like in some ways. Jonas tried to make Jennie like Rina because he couldnt let her go. but . . .well. .i dont want to get into too much of it to spoil it. But Jonas had a wife and they were estranged for many years. they were divorced, and they talked every few years. But with all that Jonas went through, through all the time and people, he started seeing things more clearly at the end of the book. Like i said. good read.
Profile Image for Reno.
Author 1 book18 followers
March 16, 2009
Jonas Cord goes through a transformation that takes a lifetime to achieve. I was happy for him at the end, even with all the tragedy that surrounded his plush lifestyle.

It took a while for me to read through this, but Harold Robbins different points of view had me hooked and by the middle of the book, I finally caught on to his unique structure to this book. It's long, but overall, I felt satisfied by the end of it.
Profile Image for Chris Gager.
1,958 reviews77 followers
November 29, 2011
I bought this book in the old Penn Station in June/July of 1962 while waiting to catch the Broadway Limited to Chicago with my mother and younger sister. From Chicago we continued on the California Zephyr to Oakland. I read this sexy book at age 15 while on the trip while all the scenery went by. And kept it hidden from my mother of course. Fictionalized life of Howard Hughes as everyone knows by now.
Profile Image for T..
34 reviews
June 16, 2012
I can't remember why I picked up this book. It was written in the late 30's and it was great. It was really a scandal in it's day. In todays terms it would be light reading but in the 30's WOW what a shock it would have been. The book is broke into characters and while I was reading it I was sad to leave one section for the next but all the characters were good. This another book I read in 5 days loved it.
Profile Image for Arra Bawalan.
4 reviews
September 19, 2012
I was too young back then when I first read this book.
It is not recommended for bookworms of a very young age.
The promiscuity of the society are expounded in intricate details. It can be an eye-opener of what's behind the high-end class system and what they are capable of doing.
I'll give this a satisfactory rating.
Profile Image for Beverly.
1,343 reviews1 follower
July 27, 2014
The Carpetbaggers is a realistic, tough, ruthless, outspoken novel of men and women who always take more than they give. It is filled with sin and success as the sharply drawn characters search endlessly for love and power, to dominate others even at the expense of self-destruction. Interesting at the time, but now very dated.
19 reviews
February 10, 2010
I know I am supposed to have probably loved this book, but I just couldn't. It took me ages to finish because I kept finding something better to do. I did however find Nevada to be a great character, he was pretty much the only reason I kept reading.
224 reviews1 follower
March 7, 2013
This is an old book - but an enjoyable one. It is pre-world war II thru WWII, telling about the building of airplanes, the movie business. The characters are vivid and convincing. while the content is raw- it is a story of redemption. I will remember this one.
5 reviews
February 28, 2013
only good, not that good, but good, I would recommend this book to the people who are born with a golden spoon in their mouth. I do not belong to that particular part of the society, so this book was like watching royal families day in and day out.
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