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The Rich are Different Audiobook

The Rich are Different

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Publisher's Summary

The Rich Are Different is the story of Dinah Slade, a young Englishwoman of immense vitality and great sensual power, whose life, loves, and fierce ambition become entangled with the fate of a great American banking family in the 1920s.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (140 )
5 star
 (67)
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3 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.3 (69 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
4.3 (70 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Daniel kirkland, Quebec, Canada 07-04-10
    Daniel kirkland, Quebec, Canada 07-04-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    Overall
    "excelent"

    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!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    w.a.m. 1965BG, Heemskerk, The Netherlands 04-20-07
    w.a.m. 1965BG, Heemskerk, The Netherlands 04-20-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
    ratings
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    340
    38
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    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprising!!!"


    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!!!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 12-29-09
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 12-29-09 Member Since 2014

    OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2845
    ratings
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    1676
    256
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    5
    Overall
    "Excellent!"

    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!

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Fairfield, Ca, United States 01-30-09
    Kindle Customer Fairfield, Ca, United States 01-30-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    179
    ratings
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    48
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    1
    Overall
    "Good Value for Credit"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Lev-Ami 07-01-10
    S. Lev-Ami 07-01-10 Member Since 2010

    Antigonos

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Good, But Flawed in Production"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise WINTON, CA, USA 11-21-08
    Louise WINTON, CA, USA 11-21-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dissapointed"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lois 05-25-15
    Lois 05-25-15 Member Since 2010

    Lois

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "So Entertaining"

    I really enjoyed this audible experience. Excellent writing, character development and, above all, entertainment value. Just what I needed!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DAG 02-24-15
    DAG 02-24-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "What a great listen! "

    Gripping performance and great story. Flawlessly interwoven
    and left me wanting more. I loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Cullen Cornelius, NC 05-23-07
    Mary Cullen Cornelius, NC 05-23-07 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    Overall
    "Rich are Different"

    Found it very much a chick book. Good story but light.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Shields 01-31-17 Member Since 2014

    Book blogger at Bookwi.se

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good, but I need to read the 2nd to know how good"

    The Rich Are Different is the first of two long historical fiction books. Howatch likes alternating between multiple narrators. And in this case she alternates between the characters that are roughly Caesar, Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Augustus.

    Set in the pre Wall Street crash of the late 1920s though the early days of World War II, the rich really are different in some ways. But in many ways they are not. They still have concerns, loves, loss and heartbreak. Their money does insulate them somewhat from the conventions of the day. But wealth cannot buy happiness, good marriages, healthy children, or an end to tragedy.

    I was engaged throughout the book, although it does drag a bit at times. It is long, just over 700 pages, and I alternated between the audiobook and kindle book. There is a sequel that is the same length which continues the story.

    The characters are not particularly lovable, which can be a bit off putting. But they are interesting. There are lots of affairs and bad relational decisions, although most of the sex is off screen. There is also a lot of fear of what others will think, which even more than the sex, impacts relationships.

    I reserve full judgement until I read the second book, but I generally thought this was well worth reading, although not as good as the Starbridge series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mrs T.
    6/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rich are different"

    Thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. I read the book many years ago and was thrilled to see it available on audiobook- just hoping they will record the sequel -Sins of the Fathers and my all time favourite - The Wheel of Fortune

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Debs
    7/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another Susan Howatch triumph!"

    Once again the author transported me. What a story teller. Her ability to weave so many characters' together into one cohesive story and from all their perspectives.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Claire W.
    6/19/09
    Overall
    "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

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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