Saturday, 24 July 2010

Master of the Game

Author: Sidney Sheldon
Genre: Historical Fiction, Modern Fiction
Pages: 495
First Published: 1982

Synopsis: Kate Blackwell is the matriarch of her family. At a party celebrating her 90th birthday Kate looks back on her life, her relationships and the huge company she helped to make into an international conglomerate. She also examines how she manipulated those close to her in order to get what she wanted. The book spans many decades, many countries (Scotland, South Africa and the US) and tells Kate's story as well as the story of many of Kate's family members.

My Thoughts: This was my very first book by Sidney Sheldon. I know! Apparently I have been living under a rock! It's not like I haven't heard of Sheldon but I hadn't actually read any of his books ... until now! This book was written awhile ago (I was but a wee babe ... well, maybe more of a tween) but Sheldon, living up to his master storyteller status, knew how to write a good book that keeps the reader wanting more and never really ages. How can manipulation, treachery and loads of money ever go out of style in books, I ask you?!?!

I was given the sequel to this book by Jen S (aka my Fairy Bookmother) and knew that I'd want to read the prequel first before delving into the sequel so I got to know the characters well. When asked, Jen S described Sheldon's writing as Dynasty-type reads. Oh ya! It felt like J.R was going to pop into a few scenes with Sue-Ellen ... oops, that's "Dallas", but you get my meaning! Filled with lots of deceit, treachery, manipulation and loads of back-stabbing, a few sexy scenes thrown in for good measure AND told by a master story-teller .... it's hard to put this book down!
This saga is written in a linear fashion and spans over a century of Kate's family. Although it does kind of revolve around Kate it doesn't totally focus on her (which I loved). The story starts with her parents and continues on to the introduction of her great-grandchildren. I think writing it this way keeps the storyline fresh and moving (which is always a plus in my book - me of the limited attention span).

I'm looking forward to reading the sequel to this book ("Mistress of the Game") which was written in Sheldon's style but authored by Tilly Bagshawe. Highly recommend this book for a summer read. Don't let the almost 500 pages scare you ... it's a quick read.

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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