Thursday, June 22, 2006
Rich Man Poor Man *****
I think I must be one of the few dorks on this planet who hadn’t read this book yet. And if you are one of those dorks too, do yourself a favour and get your hands on a copy of Rich Man Poor Man by Irwin Shaw. Whenever you mention this book to my folks, their eyes always glaze over with nostalgia and they simply lose it, raving about the tv series way-back-when. I was too little to pat attention when it was on, but I’ve always kind of known somewhere in the back of my mind that this was a really cool thing. So when I found a second hand copy of the book at a book sale for like five bucks, I bought it and put all 600plus pages away on my bookshelf for a day when I really be in the mood. Having nothing but a bunch of suicide novels to read from bookclub this month (don’t ask!) I finally picked it up, and didn’t put it down until I had finished it.
What a book!
No wonder it sold millions of copies and was made into a “major television series”. And if the tv series was half as good as the book, no wonder my parents rank it in their Top 10 All Time Best Ever Tv Experiences.
The plot is a lot like Jeffery Archer’s Kane and Abel. The story follows Rudolf, Gretchen and Thomas Jordache as they grow up and make their place in the world - all their triumphs and sorrows, success and failure. Rudy is the polished businessman, Gretchen the beauty who wants make it big in Hollywood and Tom is the aggressive black sheep who gets thrown out of the family and is left to survive on the strength of his fists in the boxing ring.
Oh man! I say again… What a book!
And what an ending?
I never saw it coming and it left me devastated.
I’ll say no more. Just get your hands on a copy and enjoy all five stars of it.