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Publisher's Summary

In Sins of the Fathers, Susan Howatch takes the reader into the world of the very rich, a family divided from generation to generation by a great fortune and the consequences of a terrible secret that lies at the very heart of their wealth.

Set in the years of sudden prosperity following World War II, in the mansions and boardrooms of the Van Zale family, Sins of the Fathers is the story of a dynastic struggle played out against a background of luxury and wealth, in which the fight to control the Van Zale fortune obsesses the rival claimants from generation to generation, and eventually destroys their happiness and their lives.

©1980 Susan Howatch; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Patricia
  • Bayfield, Colorado United States
  • 07-03-06

Interesting

Well narrated and written. Even though it was a little over my head at times with its references to philosophy and literature, it still kept my interest pretty well. It painted a realistic picture of greed and how it affects entire families.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Hawa
  • PULLMAN, WA, USA
  • 06-09-07

never wanted this story to end

very fascinating story.one of those stories you hate to finish reading

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Addictive!

This is not a book of high literature but material for the afternoon soap opera's -- like the " ... Housewives". There are some dialogues on classic literature and philosophy but those are not worth much. I like to listen to books that grab me immediately, that do not require any mental exertion and this is one of them.

I chose to listen to this book because of the reader, Robert Whifield. He is one of the best narrators, I think. I did find the voices of Cornelius and Jake a little tiresome, but they mesh into the story quite well. Whitfield sounds best in his own voice, of course. He is excellent. I am going to listen to "Churchill" read by him next. A definitely more challenging work than this book, but am looking forward to it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I Really Tried

I honestly tried to like this book. The reviews were good, the author is well known and has published several books. This is my type of genre. I usually love the family saga but this was "sheer labor". I just couldn't finish it. The reader's voice for Cornelius made the character sound like he was 90 years old and the portrayal of these people and their lives just had a plastic coating on it. Nothing about it seemed real. Finally, the stilted British accent simply didn't fit the American characters at all.
This book and the reading there of were a huge
empty disappointment for me. Sorry- I rarely pan a book but this one was just painful to listen to.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • mary
  • BURLINGTON, MA, United States
  • 08-15-12

Howatch fan

What made the experience of listening to Sins of the Fathers the most enjoyable?

It was a little odd to listen to a British performer reading the parts of American characters, switching back and forth in accents, depending on whether he was delivering dialogue or narration, but I acclimated. Always too much ETOH in Howatch novels, which gets tiresome, but her storytelling is always enjoyable to me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

soap opera

I listened to this one immediately after The Rich are Different. The first thing I didn't like was there was a different reader. Both readers were good but I never recovered completely from the change. Also, Cornelius sounded like the "godfather" and I never got used to it. I was disapointed than most of the characters didn't follow on although you do find out what happened to them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Elyse
  • Oxford, MA United States
  • 09-24-08

Loved It

Listened to this directly after The Rich Are Different, the story just continued here. It was a very long story and I enjoyed every second. Love Susan Howatch, if you have never read her books, I strongly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Narrator's voicing not my style.

The story is good enough, but the narration wasn't at all my style. Sounded too lightweight, compared to the voices I had in my head for Cornelius, for instance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Disappointing

This book was disappointing. I really enjoyed the prequel, The Rich Are Different, and was looking forward to this title as well. I'm not sure why I stuck with it... I guess I needed to see how it ended. I didn't like the narration at all, especially the voices of Cornelius and Sebastian . The book at times was trite and the characters are more like caricatures. I read and enjoyed many of Susan Howatch's books in the 70's and 80's and, even though this one was indeed a disappointment, I wish more of her early books were available in Audible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

My father My Father

Power, money and love are things that can change life's so the good and sometime for the worst.