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Sex and Scandal - What a Saucy Read!!!
Polo - Jilly Cooper
Member Name: krazykat2005
Polo - Jilly Cooper
Advantages: fantastic story, interesting characters, easy read
Disadvantages: takes a while to get through as it is pretty long
** THE STORY **
The plotline of Polo heads off in so many different directions that it would be difficult to explain the gist of the story in just one paragraph.
It opens with spoilt schoolgirl Perdita Macleod escaping from an exam to watch a local polo match, where we are quickly introduced to the other main players in Polo (forgive the pun) Ricky France-Lynch, Drew Benedict and Bart Alderton, and other favourites such as Seb and Dommie Carlisle (better know as the Heavenly Twins) and Basil Baddingham. And watching from the sidelines are plenty of wives and mistresses.
In fact, there are so many characters in Polo that there is actually a list at the beginning of the book detailing who is who - even the animals get a mention here!
Whilst the storyline mostly follows obnoxious Perdita in her quest to become the world's best woman polo player, there is plenty of other stuff happening along the way. We jump from person to person and place to place following the uber-posh game of polo - from the green idyll of the English countryside to the wide open spaces of Argentina to the abode of the mega-rich, Palm Beach - seeing how the 'other half' live.
Polo is chock full of sex and scandal - cuckolded husbands, unfaithful wives, affaires galore - and of course plenty of horseback action in the form of polo.
There's a vengeful Argentinean pilot out to murder the Army Captain who cruelly tortured his brother, a ditzy recently-singly artist who is looking for love from a man and from her obnoxious daughter who was conceived drunken 60's orgy, a heartbroken polo player who loses his son in a horrible accident when his wife is spirited away by American billionaire and who's only glimmer of hope of getting her back is the completion of three Herculean tasks.
It really is non-stop right until the very last page!
** WHAT THE CRITICS SAID **
Daily Mail - "Polo is the best thing she's ever done"
The Times - "Compulsively readable and funny...the irrepressible Jilly remains irresistible"
Evening Standard - "A work of towering genius"
** A BIT ABOUT THE CHARACTERS **
There are so many that I could never go through them all, so I have just included the most memorable.
Perdita Macleod - wants to play 'high goal' polo and marry a billionaire, suffers from lost little girl syndrome which makes her a real bitch to nearly everyone.
Daisy Macleod - doesn't have a bad bone in her body, embarks on a sordid affaire with a married Army Captain to feel loved and wanted again.
Ricky France-Lynch - eats, sleeps and breathes polo, neglecting his gorgeous but vicious wife.
Chessie France-Lynch - sleeps with other men, spends like money is going out of fashion and spends her life bitching about everyone else.
Dancer Maitland - mega-rich Cockney gay superstar, falls in love with Ricky whilst in prison and wants to become a polo player, despite never having been on a horse in his life
Bart Alderton - owner of Alderton Airlines, highly competitive in everything including polo and sex, likes to sleep with other men's wives.
Red Alderton - super sexy polo god with a huge female following, can never be trusted with anything, whether it be polo patron or his brother's girlfriend.
Luke Alderton - steady and easy going, wants to make it on his own without his father's money, falls in love with a woman who wants more than he can give her.
Angel Solis de Gonzales - sultry Argentinean stud with an agenda, desperate to get to England to meet up with an 'old friend'.
** A BIT ABOUT JILLY **
Jilly Cooper was born on the 21st February 1937 in Hornchurch, Essex. Brought up in Ilkley, she attended Godolphin School in Salisbury. She married publisher Leo Cooper in 1961 and had two children, Felix and Emily. In 1982 she moved to Cotswolds area in Gloucestershire to an old house, where she lives to this day.
Her writing career began in 1956 and she wrote for various newspapers and womens magazines for a number of years. Her first book, 'How to Stay Married', was published in 1969. Since then she has written or helped to compile 39 books, both factual and fictional.
** OTHER STUFF **
Polo is available online and in most high street bookstores. It usually retails at about £6.99.
Paperback: 768 pages (June 2003)
Publisher: Corgi Adult
** WHAT I THINK **
This book was my first Jilly Cooper novel. I read it when I was just fourteen, which was probably not the best age to read such a sexually graphic story, but I was going through my 'horsey' period and my mum didn't seem to mind. It took me two minutes and I was hooked! I loved this book so much that I have re-read it several times over the years.
The centre point around which all the plot lines unfold is obviously the game of polo, which was my initial reason for picking this book up. However, there is so much more involved - there's the classic love story with plenty of "will they, won't they" moments, stories of betrayal, a look into the life of the super rich, plenty of horses and great descriptions (and explanations of the rules) of the competitive sport of polo. I loved every minute of it.
This is what you might usually refer to as a 'bonkbuster' but don't let this put you off if you are not usually a fan of womens literature as the story has lashings of polo and humour which make it stand apart from the usual 'girl meets boy' storyline. I hate 'chick lit' with a passion, so was pleased to find Polo far surpasses the usual easy reading books on the market.
Usually in a book with so many different characters you would get lost as to who is who, but Jilly has managed to make her each of her characters so memorable that you remember someone chapters later. As you read more of Jilly's work you will realise that she not only manages this in one book, but over the rest of her work as well… before long you will be snapping up Riders and Rivals looking for a mention of your favourite characters! It really is an amazing how she manages to weave so many different storylines amongst so many different books.
One of the things I love about Jilly's writing is that it is rife with double-entendres and puns; Polo had me in stitches of laughter so many times.
But what about the sex scenes, I hear you say. Well actually there isn't too much graphic description of the actual act of intercourse… you know those squidgy bits that either make you cringe and go red or excite you immensely (if you are a teenage boy)! There are plenty of references to sex in all its forms and plenty of language with strong sexual meaning, but very little occurrences of actual sexual intercourse.
I would like to thoroughly recommend this book to anybody and everybody, although obviously not at those younger readers who have yet to discover the joys of sex. It doesn't try to be something it is not, the language is simple and the plot and writing flow in great style from beginning to end.
Five out of five!!!
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