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Publisher's Summary

Kate Blackwell is the symbol of success, the beautiful woman who parlayed her inheritance into an international conglomerate. Winner of a unique position among the wealthy and world-renowned, she is also a survivor as indomitable as her father, who returned from the edge of death to wrench a fortune in diamonds from the hard South African soil. Kate surveys the family she has manipulated, dominated and loved; the fair and the grotesque, the mad and the mild, the good and the evil - her winnings in life. Is she the master of the game?

Sidney Sheldon was a masterful storyteller, who during his lifetime penned over 200 television scripts, 25 major motion pictures, six Broadway plays, and 17 novels, including The Naked Face, The Other Side of Midnight, The Sands of Time, Memories of Midnight, and The Stars Shine Down, together selling over 300 million copies, making him one of the world's most prolific authors.

©1982 Sheldon Literary Trust (P)2009, 2016 Phoenix Books

Critic Reviews

"A master storyteller at the top of the game." (USA Today)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Nicholas
  • Santa Monica, CA, United States
  • 11-06-16

Reader destroys the storytelling

What did you like best about Master of the Game? What did you like least?

The book passes the time in traffic nicely, but I'm reluctant to try Sidney Sheldon again after this. The story seems like sprawling soap opera, which is fine, but a bit more subtlety and nuance would help a lot. I think I could have enjoyed the book more if the reader hadn't gone out of her way to kill what was left of enjoying the story.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator is so rushed in her reading of this book it's as if she's late for a flight and trying to get it done before she has to leave for the airport. Then there are the weird pauses. Seven second pauses repeatedly in the middle of a thought or an idea. This happens every few minutes or so and does not pass for a paragraph break. Unbelievably bad. Then she performs the antagonist's dialogue in exactly the same imploring and sensitive voice that she uses on the protagonists, eg If a villain says "you must do this" , it reads and sounds different to a protagonist imploring "you must do this". This concept is lost on this reader.My advice to the reader, if you're going to do something in life do it well or don't do it all. There are lots of good readers on audible, listen and learn. I have to say I also feel like the best readers have pre read the book and know how to approach ambiguous sections of the story - this reader was winging it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • p
  • 09-16-16

Bravo! Sidney does it again

once again another home run for the king of story telling. bring on the next novel

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Master of Suspense

I get bored easily, but this book kept me wanting to hear more and more and found myself in my car arrived at my destination, but unwilling to get out of the car until I knew what happened.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 12-09-17

Mixed feelings.

The book is broken into four parts - the lives of different generations in the family.

I loved the first part - Jamie’s story. He goes to South Africa to find diamonds.

The second part was ok about Jamie’s daughter Kate.

The third part was depressing - Tony’s story. Kate does evil things and permanently harms her son Tony.

The fourth part was about Eve and Alexandria - identical twins. That was the most troubling. I was depressed reading this part. Eve is an evil sociopath. She tries many times to kill her twin and harm others. She lies and is always believed. Too one-dimensional to be interesting. I did not like reading about Alexandria who was stupid because she never suspected Eve was trying to harm or lie to her. Alexandria was supposed to be a lovely sensitive smart woman, but her stupidity at believing everything Eve wanted her to believe was TOO STUPID TO LIVE.

I don’t want to read about smart people who do stupid things. And I want justice in the end. This book had some justice but I didn’t feel good enough at the end. I was angry and depressed.

Sexual content: Several sex scenes occur and a couple sadist-rape scenes occur but they are referred to, no details shown.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Shannon Engemann does not know how to narrate. She needs to listen to Will Patton, Dick Hill, and Frank Mueller to learn. It’s like she is fast reading. She doesn’t pause with feeling or wonder or interest.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: mild. Setting: 1883 to 1982 various locations in South Africa, Europe, United States. Book copyright: 1982. Genre: fiction.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic story - horrible narrating!

I read this book back in the 1980s. Loved it! But the narration is way too fast so I slowed it down to .75 which helped a lot since I could not have listened otherwise. BUT, there are horrible pauses that are in the strangest places all throughout. I love this story so I put up with it but it would cause those who have never read this book to return it immediately. PLEASE have it read again with a current narrator. It would be so much better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining

This was on our list because we very much enjoyed the mini series from several years ago. We were not disappointed, and even though it does get a little predictable, we were just looking for entertainment for a long drive.

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Love Sidney Sheldon!

The story does not fail to meet the expectations of a Sidney Sheldon fan. The narrator is good, with the exception of the somewhat irritating random pauses in the narrative, as if the recording is placed on "mute" temporarily- perhaps to cover a cough, or a page turning.

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choppy, inconsistent, few likable characters

an exceptional screenwriter might convert this into something worth watching but this book is a huge disappointment. The thread of family ambition and greed ties it together but the pieces are inconsistent and characters are plugged in often like square pegs in round holes.

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great book hard to find time to do anything else

awesome takes you through 4 generations of family members with unbelievable twist and turns! so good I was disappointed when it ended I wanted it to go on forever!!!

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one of my favorite books of all time!

read this book twice in the 90s and loved it then and enjoying listening to it again now. the story will continue to be one of my favorite books of all time.

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  • Mrs M M J Evans
  • 12-09-16

Narrator was terrible

Would you try another book written by Sidney Sheldon or narrated by Shannon Engemann?

Would like to listen to this story and others by the author but NOT BY THIS NARRATOR. Narrator rushed and as a result little pauses or drama. Was so off-putting I couldn't listen any more.

What will your next listen be?

Not sure

What didn’t you like about Shannon Engemann’s performance?

Felt like the reading was rushed, little in the way of pauses, Drama and accents were poor. Very off-putting.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment because I wanted to hear the story and purchase the further books in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennie Lou
  • 11-17-17

Terrific story. Awful narrator.

The story line is fast moving & very interesting. However, this has to be the worst narrative I have ever listened to. There are pauses in all the wrong places & this took a while to get used to. Nothing wrong with the readers voice just the way the book was read aloud. Never heard anything as bad before & hope this is just a one off.
Still the book is very good. I got to know & understand the characters. If you can overlook the narration it still is a good tale.

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  • Vicky
  • 10-14-16

Brilliant story with lots of twists and turns

Fabulous book covering several generations...... I could not stop listens As I wanted to know what happened next ........
10 out 10 for Mr Sheldon..... he never disappoints