Books by Sidney Sheldon

A master storyteller, Sidney Sheldon has garnered international praise and recognition the world over. The winner of an Oscar, a Tony, and an Edgar Allan Poe Award, Sheldon has over 200 television scripts, twenty-five major motion pictures, six Broadway p

THE OTHER SIDE OF ME by Sidney Sheldon
Released: Nov. 8, 2005

"Like the rough draft for the real memoir, the one with a personality included."
The life and times of the novelist, screenwriter, Hollywood mini-mogul and borderline workaholic. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 14, 2004

"Sheldon, a schlockmeister beyond dispraise, handles his tale with stupefying skill. Hardly a simplistic sentence passes by without adding to plot and suspense. You race on despite one readable, jaw-dropping inanity after another. Oh, hell, call this is a selling review."
Laughable and ridiculous suspense but bound for big sales, seeing that Sheldon has already sold 300 million copies of his 17 earlier novels and has written over 200 TV scripts and several Broadway hits. Read full book review >
TELL ME YOUR DREAMS by Sidney Sheldon
Released: Aug. 25, 1998

The poster boy for schlock (The Best Laid Plans, 1997, etc.) calls on the cops, the courts, and the shrinks for his latest soaper, this one based on an actual murder trial. Meet Ashley Patterson, a typical Sheldon nice girl: slim figure, patrician features, and "a quiet elegance about her." Only a curmudgeon could dislike Ashley. Is the fact that she lacks spark, style, wit, warmth, warts, edge, or any other at all interesting aspect of personality her fault? Of course not. The fault is Sheldon's, who never came up with a character he couldn't turn into cardboard. Still, there's a problem: If no one actually dislikes Ashley, then how to explain the scary stalking of Ms. Bland Perfection? The lipsticked hate message scrawled abruptly on her mirror? The mysterious nastiness atwirl on her computer screen? And then, when all of the appropriate men get murdered and mutilated, why would anyone want to frame the estimable Ashley? To the cops that answer is obvious—no one would. They claim the evidence against her is overwhelming. Most others agree, including Judge Williams, scheduled to preside at Ashley's trial. She summons David Singer, Ashley's lawyer, to her chambers and all but orders him to "plead your client to life without parole." If he refuses, he'll be sorry. What's behind this remarkable intervention from the bench? Nothing more nefarious, Sheldon gives us to understand, than good citizenship in action: Judge Williams simply wants to save taxpayers the expense of a lengthy and unnecessary trial. (No stickler for the Constitution, that judge.) Both sides assemble their shrinks: dueling lawyers, dueling psychiatrists, a grueling trial. The verdict is predictable, but—to give Sheldon his due—the denouement is not. Primer-ish prose and flat characters Ö la Sheldon. Still, whatever it is that's worked before will here almost certainly work again. (Literary Guild main selection; TV satellite tour) Read full book review >
THE BEST LAID PLANS by Sidney Sheldon
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

Schlockmeister Sheldon (Morning, Noon and Night, 1995, etc.) outdoes himself with an overcharged (albeit eminently readable) tale about a randy American president and the vengeful newspaper heiress he done wrong. Leslie Stewart, a brainy and beauteous ad agency exec, falls hard for a handsome client, attorney Oliver Russell, whose campaign for the governorship of Kentucky began foundering when he lost the support of Senator Todd Davis after two-timing Davis's daughter Jan. The crafty, powerful lawmaker soon engineers a reconciliation between Jan and Oliver, who unhesitatingly sacrifices Leslie on the altar of his political ambition. In short order, the happy pair find themselves the Bluegrass State's first couple while embittered Leslie heads to Arizona, where she eventually becomes the trophy wife of wealthy businessman Henry Chambers. Henry obligingly dies two years later, freeing Leslie to expand his media holdings in aid of her obsessive desire to get even with the inconstant Oliver. Years later, as the Russells are moving into the White House, the vindictive publisher acquires influential newspaper/television outlets in D.C., which she uses to rake up old scandals that put her erstwhile lover in a bad light. Further disclosures of adultery, murder, and other high crimes have the embattled chief executive on the ropes. In a startling reversal of fortune, however, the true villain of the piece is exposed on live TV, leaving Leslie with egg and more on her lovely face, and allowing Oliver to pursue a semi-noble agenda calculated to bring peace to the Middle East. A twisty yarn with few real surprises: Sheldon continues to exploit his special talent for getting down and dirty with the high and mighty. (Literary Guild selection) Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

The old slushmeister's plots (Nothing Lasts Forever, 1994, etc.) may be paper-thin, his characters watery, his moralities sugar-dusted, but once again his perfectly empty stylein a broken family romance set in Boston and points exoticserves him unfailingly. Sexually promiscous multibillionaire/patriarch Harry Stanford tyrannically lords it over a brood that Eugene O'Neill would have a tough time liking: Tyler, a scheming gay judge from Chicago who's lost it for an indifferent hustler; Kendall, a fashion designer who ran over a blind woman, covered it up, and is now being blackmailed; Woody, a polo-playboy smack junkie who beats his wife; and long-lost Julia, the illegitimate daughter of Harry's tryst with his kids' governess, an affair that prompted their natural mother's suicide. When Harry falls off his yacht and drowns, the buzzards circle over the family estate, hankering for their father's will to be probated. Then a woman claiming to be Julia appears, and all are skeptical until Tyler contracts a private detective to validate her identity. We soon learn that Tyler has hired a phony Julia (along with the phony p.i.) and murdered Dad in order to get control of the old man's financial empire. He almost gets away with it, but the real Julia shows up and crashes his premature party. Sweet as pie, Julia Two just wants to reacquaint herself with the family, then finds herself embroiled in Tyler's ongoing dastardliness to such an extent that a white-knight lawyer investigating Harry Stanford's suspicious death rushes both to protect and court her. It may be thin, flawed, and empty, but reading it is as involuntary as breathing. (Literary Guild main selection; satellite author tour) Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 13, 1994

From mega-author Sheldon (The Stars Shine Down, 1992, etc.) comes a quasi-medical romance set in a large San Francisco county hospital. The novel begins with a murder trial: Paige Taylor, a young physician, is accused of killing a terminally ill patient who left her a million dollars in his will. The situation looks bad for Paige when witness after witness testifies that the patient hated her, and an eminent surgeon calls her incompetent. Then the action flashes back five years. Paige, Kat Hunter, and Honey Taft, the only women in the new crop of residents at Embarcadero County Hospital, meet at the hospital briefing session and decide to share an apartment as they embark upon their medical careers. Sheldon has done his homework and provides plenty of detail about the rigors of interns' lives: gruelling hours, sleep deprivation, petty professional backbiting, incompetent doctors, sexual harassment. But the characters are straight from central casting and about as deep as an April mud puddle in the noonday sun of July. Paige, the soi-disant heroine, is dumped by a childhood sweetheart; she has to heal enough to accept the suit of Jason Curtis, a young architect who falls madly in love with her at first sight. Kat, a beautiful, intelligent black woman, has sworn off men ever since she became pregnant with the child of her abusive stepfather, but she has her head turned by a handsome, slick new resident who tries to get her into bed on a $10,000 bet. Honey, the dull, plain sister in a family of brilliant overachievers, compensates for her shortcomings by studying the Kama Sutra and perfecting her sexual techniques. A thin thread connects these three, who are not especially interesting in and of themselves, nor when thrown together by heavy-handed plot manipulations. For diehard Sheldon fans, this will probably do the trick. But it won't win any new converts. (Literary Guild main selection; author tour) Read full book review >
THE STARS SHINE DOWN by Sidney Sheldon
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

It may conclude in 1992, but Sheldon's latest is sheer 80's excess—the compulsively readable, sin-laden saga of a tycooness who's part Donald Trump, part Leona Helmsley. Though Sheldon's recent heroines (Memories of Midnight, etc.) have been sexy saints, his earlier leading ladies had a crueler edge—just like young Canadian Lara Cameron here, who in a series of canny real-estate deals uses her body as well as her wits to climb out of backwater poverty. With $3 million in her pocket, Lara moves to Chicago, multiplies her fortune, and, in 1984, takes on N.Y.C. There, even as she puts up a Monopoly board's worth of hotels and office buildings, including the world's tallest; battles sexism in the industry; and proves wildly generous to her employees, Lara reveals a darker side—slapping one worker; drugging prospective investors with Valium; harassing tenants by turning their building into a de facto homeless shelter; bedding mob lawyer Paul Martin. Is Sheldon depicting the evolution of a monster? Not at all—for outweighing these flaws, he hammers home, are Lara's ``independence and courage, her talent and vision and generosity.'' And her loneliness, dispelled by marriage to star pianist Philip Adler, the perfect icing on Lara's cake. So where's the drama? It comes in spades in the late 80's, as the market crashes: Lara's fortune dwindles; her ex-secretary writes a tell- all book; and the law starts poking into the casino that Lara set up with Paul Martin's crooked help, and into the attack by a thug- -hired by a jealous Lara?—who cut Philip's wrist and career. Can it be that, like another hotel queen, Lara will end up wearing stripes? Don't bet on it. Savvy Sheldon knows that nothing becomes the rich and famous like a little scandal, and that a faux-morality tale like Lara's needs an upbeat ending to play big—as this one will, right to the top. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for November) Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 10, 1991

A science-fiction—yes, science-fiction—novel from the master of soap. And one with a MESSAGE, too, just like the sf of yore—the clichÇs of which Sheldon shamelessly recycles as he ham-handedly depicts an earth under threat of invasion by aliens ticked off at- -what else?—our destruction of the environment. US Navy Commander Robert Bellamy—Sheldon's first male lead in many years—is assigned by NSA to locate the 11 people on a Swiss bus who saw the crash of a ``weather balloon.'' It takes only a chat with the bus driver for Bellamy to learn that the ``weather balloon'' was really a downed UFO containing two alien bodies. It takes talks with all the witnesses, however—Yank, Soviet, Hungarian, etc., each tracked down in the novel's repetitive first two-thirds with minimal sleuthing but maximal scenery-stuffing—for him to learn that each is killed right after talking to him: ``It was an international conspiracy, and he was in the middle of it.'' And so are: the aliens (``a form of vegetable life'' whose eyes ``resembled Ping-Pong balls'') circling earth in their mother ship, waiting to see whether world leaders will respond to their secret plea to halt pollution; the missing third occupant of the UFO, dying for lack of pristine water; and the international cabal, led by ``Janus,'' that's killed the witnesses with the intent of fighting the aliens and continuing earth's exploitation. In the livelier last third, Bellamy, resorting to clever spy-tricks and help from a winsome whore, runs from Janus—whose identity you'll spot chapters away—while plotting his downfall. The fitful action climaxes in an Alpine showdown, with the celestial calvary soaring in for the rescue. Inane as sf (and seemingly cribbed in part from sources ranging from John Campbell's ``Who's Out There?'' to Whitley Strieber's Communion); mediocre as a thriller, even Sheldon-style; but fascinating as one top author's earnest if inept effort (backed by a polemical postscript) to voice the kind of warning that H.G. Wells did with so much more style. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for Fall) Read full book review >