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Never Love a Stranger

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,450 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Harold Robbins' very first novel is also one of his most powerful. Never Love a Stranger tells the gritty and passionate tale of Francis "Frankie" Kane, from his meager beginnings as an orphan in New York's Hell's Kitchen. From that confused and belittling start, Frank works his way up, choosing the wrong side of the law to make a name for himself. At a young age, he becom ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 1st 1993 by Pocket Books (first published 1948)
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Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first and only novel I've read by Harold Robbins is this one, which was his 1948 debut. Before I address the book, let me share some astounding numbers . They stunned me because, although I'd grown up hearing and seeing the name Harold Robbins all around, I had no idea just how popular an author he was. Get this:
In his writing career which plateaued in popularity from the mid 1950s through the late 1970s, over 750 million copies of Robbins' books were sold. As of 2008 (following the public
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
The second time around . . .

I first read NEVER LOVE A STRANGER as a teenager about 40 years ago during what might be called my first "Harold Robbins phase," although I've re-read several of his books again during the intervening years, such as THE CARPETBAGGERS, 79 PARK AVENUE and WHERE LOVE HAS GONE.

This was Harold Robbins's first novel, published in 1948, and while there are no graphic descriptions sex, enough is implied that the reader gets the idea (unlike Robbins's later books, which conta
Zehra Ali
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book back when i was in 8th grade i guess. My dad was cleaning his shelf and he handed me this remarkable piece of fiction. It's my all-time favorite book!!
Rita Behadini
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this book, I love the characters and the story and everything about this book ☺ If you need to read something special, you will make the right desicion with this book. ...more
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Francis Kane is a very intriguing character. Elusive yet captivating.
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Francis (Frankie) Kane grew up in a Catholic Orphanage in New York City in the 1920's. He becomes street smart fast at an early age, but is devoted to Father Bernhard at the orphanage and to church. He goes to school as told, but works for a gambling boss as a numbers runner. He makes a lot of money until he witnesses the murder of his boss and the king pin. He eventually learns of some of his distant family that wants him to live with them. He finds a love and family he never knew. He loses the ...more
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
I listened to this story on a very long road trip across the east coast and it kept my attention. The description of this story was not what I was expected from listening to the book. This story had a little coming of age feel to it. It starts off with Frank's life as young boy and it was interesting for a while but then the story started to drag on. There were many slow parts that didn't add any depth, it was just random parts in Frank's life that could have been omitted and people would have s ...more
Richard Palmer
Feb 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
Ok, now I can check 'pulp fiction' off on my list of genres. Don't need to try this again. What a mediocre book! I was expecting a bit of drama, grit, larger than life characters. Instead, it was a flat stream of one dimensional scenes without a sense of pacing, character development, or plot detail. When Frank went almost instantaneously and inexplicably from a homeless man on the street to a big time organized crime figure, I lost interest. I did stick with Will Patton's audio presentation to ...more
Dharini Mistry
hehehhe... know not what to write about it.
Zeljko Poljak
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FLAWLESS. From start to finish.
Totally fall in love with Frankie.
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
u jus cant tel anythng wts in frank's mind...aftr reading d whole novel i stil dint undrstnd him...he sounds so mysterious... so simple at times...hard to predict...
njoyd d ups n down in his life..
Jeff Bottrell
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
When Harold Robbins’ Never Love a Stranger was published in 1948, it became a bestseller. Robbins hit upon a winning combination of elements to draw readers into his story, that he would go on to repeat multiple times in the future. “Power, sex, deceit, and wealth: the four main ingredients to a successful story,” he was quoted as saying. Of course, not all members of the public were pleased with Robbins racy use of sex in his first novel, and Never Love a Stranger was banned under pornography r ...more
Sep 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
The first Harold Robbin’s book that I have read was The Adventurers. It has very interesting plots and defined characters in this novel and it was like watching a movie or a TV series. But it is Robbin’s first novel Never Love a Stranger that I read later that ranked higher in my list. Maybe because I find the courageous and passionate story of the protagonist Francis “Frankie” Kane more interesting than Diogenes Alejandro Xenos (or Dax), the tragic revolutionary hero of The Adventurers. A few t ...more
Isidora Almuna Díaz
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
esta es la primera novela de Harold Robbins y se dice también, la mas poderosa. (estoy totalmente de acuerdo con eso).

Francis Kane, el cautivante protagonista...

debo decir que este personaje es un imán y un cliché sexual: frió, peligroso, con un pasado turbio, rebelde, con una reputación con las mujeres, poderoso, millonario, sexy, etc...
típico... pero de una forma muy especial.
me encanta.

este libro es totalmente atrapante. con un sabor distinto a las historias que en ese entonces se publicaba
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Never Love a Stranger tells the dirty and enthusiastic story of Francis "Frankie" Kane, from his pitiful beginnings as a vagrant in New York's Hell's Kitchen. From that befuddled and putting down begin, Frank works his way up, picking the wrong side of the law to become well known. At a youthful age, he ends up plainly one of the city's most perilous men, enjoying his enthusiasm for power, sex, and the best things in life-regardless of whether they can be obtained. In the first place distributed ...more
Mar 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I think that if you like one Robbins' book, you'll like them all. I've read most of them during the high school, and I enjoyed them very much. Maybe because his characters were always so defined; and he had interesting plots. He kept you awake and turning pages. I loved his male characters, always a strong persona, who have had difficult and scary upbringing, but they still end up being good people.
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Francis was born an orphan. In the 1920's, all orphans had were the sheets and streets. A place to lay their heads and the rest they made up. He did what he could to survive. As a kid, he was a well known hustler. He was sure of himself. Over-confident even. There was something about Frankie that was different and attracted people. But there was also something in him that made you feel unsteady.
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
basically i am not found of reading books, one day i was at home very much frustrated and bored. while i am searching for something i found this book and kept a side. after a while i just opened the book just read few pages its 2 years back, from then till now i read around 15 times i just involved in it thanks robbin for the great book
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm rereading this well loved book after so many years. I read it the first time as a paperback novel. It shames me to admit that I forgot the right combination of words that make the title of the book , after I gave it to a friend(who never returned it ).here whatever you know how to do is your best shot at fame and fortune.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is not my first Harold Robbins book and undoubtedly not my last..
Francis ''Frankie'' Kane is such a strong character,so mysterious yet so simple at times and you found yourself always wondering what's in his mind,what will be his next move..I couldn't put this book down,I was hooked :-D
MEG Munro
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review was done on my other Kindle on 12/20/15.

I have to type enough words to me to be able to send this out to let you know that I have already placed a review from my second Kindle.
Thank you
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I liked it at the beginning but then it became repetitive and obsessively centered on the main character, plus very banal in some passages and superficial (I'm referring to the love-stories) so in the end I just finished it to see if it improved but it was very disappointing!
Dawn Wells
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book. Timeless read. Wonderfully written.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
best book 4 me
Rupesh Goenka
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it
A powerful read about passion, power ambition & sex..
Elaine Thompson
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Harold Robbins was the author perhaps most circulated/read in the boarding school I attended in Ghana.
Selva Subramanian
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-fiction
Read it long long ago. Quite a good one. Not sure if I will like it now. But this is among Robbin's 4-5 really good ones among all that he wrote.
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very good book. Francis Cain is a very elusive yet quietly confident character. have re-read it several times and always got captivated by idiosyncrasies of Francis Cain
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My Fav book !!love it!!
Sep 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
the first book that i finished reading whole and still looking for the same book. To have it again.
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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
More about Harold Robbins...
“Friends are more than just people who will listen to what you have to say and agree with you. Sometimes they have to tell you things you don’t want to hear for your own sake. Please listen to what we have to say.” 1 likes
“It is a mortal sin to be a Jew?” I blurted out. His face softened as he stood there looking at me. When he finally spoke, he spoke very slowly and quietly: “No, son, it isn’t. It couldn’t be. You see a lot of us are prone to forget Jesus Christ was a Jew.” “But, Brother, if I’m a Jew and I live with my folks, I could not come here to church. And I would not attend confession and be absolved of my sins. Then when I die I would surely burn in hell.” He came back to me and took my arm. “Francis,” his voice was very low, “as much as we like to think it is, heaven is not a private preserve of us Catholics. It is a place where all good people are welcome. I like to believe that it is open to all mankind regardless of the manner in which they worship our Lord, as long as they do believe in Him and live according to His lights. Be a good lad, Francis, and love your people. Do what is right and ye’ll have naught to fear.” He smiled. “Do ye understand me, son?” 1 likes
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