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4.4 out of 5 stars
Godchildren
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2012
This was a tricky one to rate - had to think hard about what I thought and why. Marcus Brand is a wonderfully evil, manipulative spider at the centre of the web he traps his godchildren in. There are clever twists in the story and it kept my interest to the end. The characters and locations were handled well enough they felt real to me. But I do have a few reservations.

It took me several weeks to read because my life has been so hectic, but I had no trouble remembering who was who and what they were getting up to. I started off with the same feeling I have at the start of a series - I'll give the first episode leeway while I get to know the people. Obviously the godchildren made quite an impression as I quickly felt I was getting to know them well. They also developed throughout the work, as people do over the timespan of this novel. Or did they? Thinking back, was it just that they got older, retaining a child-like awe of their godfather when they were in his presence?

I can't help wondering if anyone would really let Marcus get away with what he did. And if he was really that brilliant with his business obfuscations, why did he allow it to all fall apart at the end? At the very least, if he were to stay in character, he would have long since made arrangements that everything illegal could only be pinned on someone else.

But I did enjoy it tremendously!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 5 April 2002
To begin with, this book reads like a terrible cliche. All of the characters are monstrous stereotypes - the earnest socialist from birmingham, the obnoxious, racist son of scottish landowners, the meek convent girl - who float through their early years in stereotypical situations. Slowly, however, they all become more human, and then you realise the scale of Nicolas Coleridge's satire. What first appears as simplistic characterisation becomes canny and specific. What first seems obtuse becomes painfully acute.
The book is really a sequence of set pieces - often jumping three years into the future - in which the seven main characters and myriad fringe players interact with eachother amid closely observed social, political and personal changes. The references to popular culture are perhaps a little forced, but there is definitely something recognisable for every reader.
The story spirals towards tragedy, and you actually start caring about even the most abhorrent characters. They make the journey from paper-thin portraits to hugely familiar friends with incredible subtlety, and for that Nicolas Coleridge should be congratulated.
An long, absorbing and often funny tale of West London privilege, old and new money, love, death and sex. Highly recommended.
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on 30 August 2014
At over 700 pages of small print, this novel, like all Nicholas Coleridge novels, is fast paced, addictive, fun and never dull. I find his novel quite similar to those of Jilly Cooper but without the horses! In this tale of wealth, greed, secrets and lies, the lives of six Godchildren of a manipulative and corrupt billionaire businessman are followed all around the globe. Exotic locations, bitching and back-stabbing are aplenty all contributing to the most fabulous holiday read you are likely to encounter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2013
Really good read couldn't put it down and couldn't wait for his downfall unlike so manyof todays novels the end was not
predictable
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2002
I read this book on the beach last week, and have to say that I could hardly put it down long enough to have a swim! it is all about this James Goldsmith-type tycoon who has six godchildren - the story revolves around their interlinking lives over several decades. Great scenes well-described of the English country set and exotic holiday spots. There is a godchild called Jamie who is a rake and most amusing - i wish he was real!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2002
I bought the book for a casual read, and couldn't put it down. The 'sound bytes' of each characters lives are enthralling - I hated putting the book down. But what happened at the end? The whole book builds up on the theme of the evil, manipulating Godfather, and his assortment of grandchildren - and then it ends. No explanation on who Marcus is, why he did what he did and what his plans were for the Godchildren. He sums up what's happened to each character throughout the book, and that's that. Or did the publishers miss out the last chapter in my version?! It's such a shame as you can't put the book down, and when you get to the end, you realise there is no story.
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on 15 December 2014
excellent book,a master at showing us all characters we all know in life . would say to everyone read this book. Can.t put it down.
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on 31 January 2015
I loved this book as have friends I have lent it to. Well written and intricate. A very good read.
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on 5 May 2015
Couldn't put book down..... Up all night reading. Fantastic book
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2002
Very clever neat idea - a godfather - larger than life - has six godchildren. The book is the story of how he manipulaates them over a good many years. Its a lot of fun and very, very readable - it kept me up half the night! All the characters are different, nicely drawn, the author catches the way they speak. No shortage of exotic locations. This is quite a moral tale too - I can recommend it to just about anyone.
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