THE RAIDERS by Harold Robbins


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 It's 34 years since The Carpetbaggers ignited Robbins's fame, but the familiar scandals, sex, and skulduggery in this late- breaking sequel have cooled to room temperature. Jonas Cord Jr., whose tumultuous relationship with his father ended lovelessly in The Carpetbaggers, by the 1950s has become the Jonas Cord--rich and powerful. Though he has an 18-year-old daughter, Jonas vows to tell his son (should he ever happen to have one) that he loves him. Surprise! Enter his bastard boy, whose mother, elegant wife of a Cuban statesman, Jonas had deflowered and then spurned when she was an ingenue. Jonas Enrique Raul Cord y Batista--Bart for short--is already a brilliant WW II vet-Harvard- grad-lawyer-polyglot-blond-hunk when he meets Dad, who is determined to add heir and businessman to Junior's list of credits. Bart begins to dip his toe into Jonas's dealings, and before you know it he's up to his neck in Mafia-entangled hotel casino deals, entertainment industry high jinks, and messy family politics. Bart discovers that, like his father, he has a taste for sex, money, power, and conflict. So the two go head to head in round after repetitive round of nervous parent vs. rebellious adolescent: Bart has affair with actress, Dad has affair with her competition; Bart launches loser TV variety show, Dad complains he's botching the job; Bart restructures company, Dad cries sabotage; Dad tells Bart to marry longtime classy girlfriend Toni Maxim, Bart says MYOB. Appearances by such real-lifers as Jack Kennedy (with whom Toni sleeps), Che Guevera, Jimmy Hoffa, Tallulah Bankhead, and Danny Kaye add some spice and historical context. Despite clashes in arenas like the corporate shark tank and the gnarled family tree, there is not much bracing conflict here. But generous doses of heavy breathing and heaving buttocks will likely provide solace for Robbins's stalwart fans. If only the plot were as impressively hung as the men.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-671-87289-3
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1994


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