GOODBYE, JANETTE by Harold Robbins
Kirkus Star

GOODBYE, JANETTE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What's 492 pages long, costs $12.95, and makes Princess Daisy look like Anna Karenina? You guessed it. Yes, after a relatively restrained, very dull detour into labor-unions (Memories of Another Day), Robbins is back in porno-land. And though the first few pages here promise some good tight melodrama in the early Robbins manner, this 30-year story of a cocaine-snorting fashion tycoonette soon becomes downright incoherent--with half-hearted plotlines popping in and out amid a faceless merry-go-round of sex (sado-masochism a specialty) and drugs. The first 100 pages feature heroine Tanya--a Polish countess who survives World War II (with babe Janette) as a German general's concubine; at war's end, however, the general must flee and Tanya must enter a marriage of finance/convenience with Maurice, a bisexual, monstrously well-endowed sadist with whom she shares control of assorted stolen companies; and when Maurice's s/m goes too far (he violently initiates Janette), Tanya tries to kill him and winds up dead. So gorgeous Janette and baby half-sister Lauren (fathered by one of Tanya's extramarital lovers) must fend for themselves. Janette, now mostly lesbian, determines to turn the family business into a Paris fashion empire; she becomes the perfect mannequin (via surgery), a top model, head of her own company. Meanwhile Lauren grows up in California with foster-parents (the estate's executors), acquires a drug-dealer boyfriend, visits Janette, briefly stars in her sister's all-red fashion show. And when Janette runs into money problems, she sells Lauren in marriage to British aristocrat Patrick--a bisexual Masochist who digs Janette's sadism. But somehow, at the end, Janette will wind up whispering sweet true-love nothings with sometime lover Jacques. . . . Sick stuff indeed--and Robbins' inept handling of the business-world details will make you long for Sidney Sheldon. In fact, even basic chronology is often lost here; and the novel's big plot secret (a hidden fortune in WW II gold) is totally mismanaged. So--as with his last two turkeys--it will be the Robbins name alone that sells this. And unless you like your sex with whips and your repartee rather basic (""Eat my cunt"". . . ""Stick it in her mouth, Jerry!""), you'll want to say Goodbye, Janette without ever saying Hello.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1981
ISBN: 1452041377
Publisher: Simon & Schuster