THE STALLION by Harold Robbins


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 On the evidence of this sequel to The Betsy (1971), schlockmeister Robbins has lost whatever knack he may once have had for down-and-dirty storytelling. The generation-spanning tale starts in the early 1970s when Angelo Perino (an exGrand Prix great and automotive engineer) reluctantly rejoins forces with the degenerate Hardeman clan to save Bethlehem Motors, the failing family firm. Under the envious eye of Loren III (the founding father's malicious, manipulative grandson), Angelo oversees development of the Stallion, a sporty sedan that revives the company's flagging fortunes. Despite time- consuming corporate and domestic responsibilities, studly Angelo (recently wed to Cindy, a former racetrack groupie) manages to mix a good deal of boudoir pleasure with executive-suite business, bedding all of the Hardeman women (and a good many others) in exotic locales throughout the Global Village. As Angelo moves effortlessly from triumph to triumph, the resentful Loren III and his vaultingly ambitious wife, Roberta (another Perino conquest), scheme to remain in the driver's seat at BM while Cindy has sexual liaisons of her own (when not giving birth to five children or minding the upscale art gallery she's opened on Manhattan's Park Avenue). The Loren IIIs eventually overreach themselves, commissioning the highway deaths of their niece and three Perino kids who are road-testing a battery-powered car championed by Angelo. The dastardly plot is foiled, and they lose the power struggle for control of their Motown empire. At the close, moreover, a daughter of Angelo and Cindy's weds Loren III's grandson, uniting the feuding families, while the would-be paterfamilias faces a long stretch in the slammer. With more couplings than a railroad switchyard--and about as much reality as a dude ranch.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-684-81067-0
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1995


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