When Paul Van Zale, a handsome patrician and powerful Wall Street banker, meets Dinah in London, he commits the imprudence of falling in love with her.
When Dinah follows him to his world, she is caught up in the complex currents of Paul's life. Among the new acquaintances she makes is Paul's wife, with whom, much to Dinah's shock and dismay, Paul manages an almost perfect marriage. Their lives are intertwined with such mastery that listeners will be captivated with The Rich Are Different from the very first word to the astonishing climax.
©1977 Susan Howatch; (P)2001 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Susan Howatch has surpassed herself. This is a mighty book." (Orlando Tribune)
"Nadia May captures the essence of the six first-person narratives [in] the story, to the point of making recognizable each character's voice as related by the others." (AudioFile)
Good book and excellent narration. After just few hours I felt that there couldn't be a more appropriate reader for this book. She is not using only accents to delimiter the characters but different tonalities as well. I didn't have any confusion whatsoever during the dialogs. I wrote this review in order to help dispelling the subjectivity introduced by some preceding reviews. Enjoy!
At first I thought this would be a long long love affair. However, the story enfolded very good.
Intrigues, deceit, murder and romance, it’s all in the story.
So after a long and slow start (which I did not mind at all), there was a thrilling mid section and then there was a surprisingly end.
Every few years one of the main figures is telling the story (more or less).
I have enjoyed it!!!
Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton. In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!!
I prefer historical novels over fiction but this book made me a fan of Susan Howatch. I don't agree with the other reviewers about the narrator - I often buy books simply because Nadia May IS the narrator. There's no way she could give different voices to the dozens of male and female characters who come in and out of this story. The book is engaging and entertaining, holding the reader's attention throughout. Although I didn't care much for the cold-blooded golddigging 1920s "just my baby daddy" Diana Slade and even less for her weak-willed, p-whipped lovers, the author did a great job with character and plot development. I don't know about the title since these people were neither that "rich" (like the Vanderbilt or Astor rich) or so very "different" (they acted a bit ghetto/trailer trashy with the alcohol abuse, indiscriminate sex, lack of personal morals or respect for others). But this is a book you won't want to put down. I'm hooked and moving on my next Howatch novel!
There are two criteria for judging an audiobook:
1] Story. In this case, Susan Howatch has ingeniously reinterpreted a classic historical episode, moving it from ancient Rome to the 1920s. With the exception of the incident of how Dinah Slade met Paul van Zale, which is a bit overdone, I found the book continually interesting and well written.
2] Narrator: Nadia May is a good reader, but limited. Since, of the six persons who tell the story, only 2 are women, it would seem that either a male reader or a group of readers would have been better. Ms. May cannot do more than a single American accent (so that all the characters except Dinah sound the same), nor can she effectively drop her voice enough to sound as if she were a man. Further, there is an annoying production fault in that certain sentences are repeated at intervals throughout the book.
In spite of the above reservations, I recommend this book very much.
I gave this one 5 because of the length and ability to keep me entertained for many hours. Nadia May is not my favorite narrator but she wasn't bad on this one.
The story seemed familiar to me and then it dawned on me that she was telling the tale of Julius Ceasar, Cleopaetra, and Mark Anthony. I haven't listened to the sequel but we know how the real story ended, don't we, especially after watching ROME on HBO.
I have always enjoyed Howatch's style of narrating the story with different first persons so you see a character not only as he or she sees himself, but how others see them.
I believe that I would have enjoyed this novel with a narrator that could give voice to each character. Pretty much every character has the same manner of speech in this novel. Many times I had no idea who was speaking.
I enjoyed this story so much I downloaded Sins of Our Fathers before even finishing it. I was totally swept up by the characters, the times and the story. We all know what happened to the Okies during the depression, but the "rich are different". Love the reader, too!
I enjoy mysteries, NOT thrillers, contemporary fiction, especially about diverse cultures, and sometimes history, if it doesn't involve too many dates. I often listen to a book multiple times, discovering unnoticed details in the retelling.
Characters are well developed and diverse; one also finds them changing as they mature. I enjoyed this tale and will listen to other novels by this author. The story was intriguing and well read.
"The rich are different"
A good story but I would have preferred it read by a man as that is the character it started with
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