THE PIRANHAS by Harold Robbins

THE PIRANHAS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A novel that wavers between fireball excitement and abysmal vulgarity, that leaves the reader dazed with complexities and a feeling that greater spiritual health might have resulted through never having read it--though zillions will. Robbins is no clearer this time out than he's ever been. The sex-and-cocaine-driven, power-hungry plot begins with such rapid editing and scene-switching that the reader's feet barely get grounded before they're somewhere else: For about a third of the novel it's straight action/adventure on the Amazon; then the byzantine plot becomes Robbins's fettuccine Alfredo, with strands dipping and whipping and doubling back until even the main characters don't know who's on whose side--and even the most unaware reader realizes that Robbins's storytelling is as important as his story. If you can follow it, Robbins has failed. Jed Stevens (formerly Di Stefano) is induced by his Mafia cousin Angelo into a trip up the Amazon that turns out to be a big coca-leaf buy; they are accompanied by beautiful translator Alma, who is immensely proud of her ``Peruvian pussy''--but they are attacked by mestizos, Angelo is eaten by piranhas, and Alma gets Jed out of Peru and back to Manhattan, where Jed's Uncle Rocco (Angelo's father) is top capo and wants Jed to join him in the Mafia except that Jed wants to get into airlines and with a big loan from Uncle Rocco buys fleets of jetliners and rents them out to small countries but then finds himself involved in huge junk-bond deals and more or less legitimate credit scams while Uncle Rocco unsuccessfully tries to retire from the Mafia so that he can die with honor at home in bed rather than by a hail of bullets during a time when lead-filled bodies are falling on every other page and surreal financial deals are clinched by world-hopping satyrs and girls who say, ``Would you like some pussy pie? But just remember, you'll have to lick your fingers, it's very, very juicy.'' Unclean, unclean!

Pub Date: June 27th, 1991
ISBN: 0-671-52479-8
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1991




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