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Lovers and Gamblers - Jackie Collins

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Author: Jackie Collins / Genre: Fiction

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      13.11.2001 03:35
      Very helpful



      Jackie Collins is not known for her demure and innocent works of literature. In fact, there is nothing innocent about Jackie Collins at all When I was a young and impressionable 13-year-old, eager for something other than Enid Blyton to feast my eyes upon, I stumbled over Miss Collins' works. To remember which of her many offerings was my maiden voyage into the then unknown world of sex, drugs and rock n roll is too much of a task. To remember which of her offerings stands for being my favourite is a much easier undertaking. It's this one. My copy will be celebrating its 30th birthday come 2008 (for those of you that are lazy, not quick enough or don't have the inclination to do the math, it was published in 1978!) Which was actually the second edition, published by Pan Books. The pages are no longer that whitish greyish colour, more of a yellowish burnt gold tinge. Oh, age is a terrible thing? The cover, to say the least is basic. Basic with a capital B. Apart from the customary writing (author, title) the only other adornment is a pair of lips. Glossy, red ladies lips. Nothing more, nothing less. The blurb on the back tells you the barest of facts. Just mentions the two main characters in no great detail. In fact, it's a review by the 'Evening Standard' that enlightens us further.... "Erotic .... Glitter and glamour ... A beauty Queen and a rock star ... Riots, bomb scares, orgies and drug trips .... High powered fiction ... A real blockbuster" Yep, that's pretty much what I have come to expect from a Jackie Collins novel too. There is no way on earth that I can remember how much this book cost me. In fact, I can't even remember buying it. However, as it's still in good condition, and very much readable, there is no reason for me to buy another copy. However, I guess, if you head 'webwards' to Amazon, or Bol, or 'streetwards' to Ottakars, or Waterstones, you'd be abl
      e to pick up a copy for around 6 squids. Failing that, head for charity shops, market stalls or car boot sales. I probably picked mine up from the latter? When talking bonkbusters, or raunchy books. Tales of sex, drugs and rock n roll, one name springs to mind. Well, apart from various members of our parliament cabinet that is?? Yep, the Jackie Collins name kinda flashes lurid red and shouts 'sex, sex, sex'. Cos, well, basically, sex is all you really get in, and out (oo err missus!) of her novels. And they are all the same . Or rather, her novels have been lumbered over the years with that reputation. Of course, to make such rash statements such as 'there's no sex in this one', or 'the plot is different', or even, 'there's a complete change of characters' would be silly on my part. For those of you that have sampled the literally delights to come from the mind and pen (probably keyboard!) of Cooper would know that I distort the truth. It's no good denying that this book is pretty much the same as all her others. Cos it is. Well, almost, the same anyway. However, it doesn't really seem to make much of a difference. To me. And to the legions of her faithful fans that have all helped to make Jackie Collins the renown authoress that she is. I actually saw her (Miss Collins that is!) on TV a week or two ago, and during the interview she said that she wrote a moral into the story line of each book. This, I have to admit, is new to me. It's not something I have ever noticed before. However, that's not to say that it's not easily evident. I just haven't looked for it. Noticed it. But will definitely be looking out for it in the next Collins book I read. Looking back, and remembering the story, the only moral, underlying statement that I found, was maybe one of perseverance. Err, if you want something so bad, try so hard to get something, you will, just might get it in the end. May
      be? I dunno? As I said, I don't pick up on these kind of things. I read a book, the words are digested but not deliberated. That's how I read. As with many of her other stories, there are two main characters and a whole cacophony of secondary characters that all help to make the surrounding plot. Although they are secondary, they are very much needed. And at times, the main characters slip into the background while one of the secondary's slips in and takes over. But never so much that you forget who you are really reading about. The story starts off in the middle of the plot time scale, but it keeps taking us back to the start of the lives of the two main characters. Of course, at one point the past catches up with the present, and we follow the story, the characters along in 'now time'. Or rather 'then' time I suppose considering this was written and set in the late 70's. At one point, the present becomes the past and we are dealing with the future for a while until the end of the book. Nothing new with time scales then. The two main characters come in the guise of Dallas (Lunde) and Al King (such Hollywoodesque names don't you think?) Dallas is a beauty Queen with a past. A tragic start turns to a sordid life as her will to survive and her ambitions grow. She knows what she wants, and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. Al King is a Soul star. After a long and hard start in the world of music he his up where he belongs. At the top. After years of not being able to afford what he wants, when he wanted it, he makes up for it now. His status commands it. He knows what he wants, and will stop at nothing to get it. As the blurb, and predictability suggests, the lives of Dallas and Al entwine. And a roller coaster ride of life in New York, Hollywood, London and South America begins. Each knows what they want. But do they want each other? And are they really as strong as
      they like to make out? For me, there is part of this story line that really sticks out and makes this book what it is. Makes the story readable time and time again. Of course, the ending is predictable, but then again, I have read the book many times before. It doesn't detract from the tale at all. The main part of the plot is an input that you will be hard-pressed to find in any other Collins novel. It's a tale of survival. I guess, a tale of perseverance. Don't ever give up. (Blimey, see? Maybe I'd picked it up before I knew that there was something to pick up!!) When the world as you know it tumbles down, or you are thrown into situations that can see no end to, don't give up. The reading is easy. You don't have any deep and meaningful words, paragraphs to decipher. The story isn't hard going at all. There points in the story when you let go a laugh, times when you cringe, and times when you cry. The chapters alternate with the characters. With the characters, and the story line flowing easily from one to the other. You never get lost. You can always keep up. You can put it down to take a dip in the pool to cool off, pick it up again, and you know where you are. And there's never a dull moment. It would be unwise of me to assume that she, her work is favoured by all. I can see some of you now. Shaking your heads and uttering phrases along the lines of 'Pah, she isn't a writer, its porn glammed up a bit'. I admit, when it comes to certain inputs that some people look for, and relish in their reading material, Jackie Collins novels lack. But for every one of you that sneer your nose up, and label it 'trash', there is another that enjoys her books. I'm going to stand up and risk the label of 'sexist' being thrown from a great height, and state that this is a 'babe book' (idodoyou's alternative to 'chick lit' ~ babe book is better don't you
      think ;)) I really can not see many of the male species enjoying this, or indeed any of Miss Collins work. Maybe it might be the feeling of inferiority when reading tales of tall dark handsome rich strangers :) or the basic, and more probable fact that the plot, the characters, and the story line just does not impress. These books, indeed most of her novels, are 'beach, boat, or bus books'. Perfect reads when you want something light, and easily indigestible. Something entertaining, and for me, and I should imagine for most, a tale of life a million miles away from their own. As I've said, out of all of the Jackie Collins offerings, this one remains my favourite. Kinda like an old faithful. Your favourite old sweater etc. When I'm fed up with reading books that fail to make the satisfaction grade, let alone register anything on it, I head for this one, well, this one amongst others. And so, there it will sit upon my shelf, getting older and 'yellower' (?) by the minute. Sitting there ready and waiting for me to suddenly need a Jackie Collins fix. Ready to entertain. And it does. Entertain. It's all I need from a book you know? Published: Pan Books Pages: 599 Price: Amazon £5.99 approx. ISBN: 0 330 25651 3


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