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Pandora Paperback – 4 May 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition edition (4 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593046986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593046982
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 14.5 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 821,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jilly Cooper is a well-known journalist, writer and media superstar. The author of many number one bestselling novels, including Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, Appassionata, Score! and Pandora, she and her husband live in Gloucestershire with several dogs and cats.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Jilly Cooper readers can always count on her to deliver the goods in her larger-than-life novels: a host of colourfully drawn characters, outrageous situations (always kept just the right side of plausible), compulsive plotting and (of course) a healthy dose of unbuttoned eroticism. Pandora has all the Cooper fingerprints and is the kind of shameless wallow that the lively Ms Cooper always unfailingly provides.

Raymond Belvedon is a young subaltern in 1944, advancing with the troops across Normandy, when he encounters a burning château. Recently occupied by a Nazi commander, the château is now deserted, and on the wall Raymond sees a small painting of Pandora unleashing the seven deadly sins from her famous box. Thinking he's found a Raphael, Raymond takes it from the frame and escapes. Four decades pass and Raymond has now established himself as a top art dealer with his own prestigious gallery in Mayfair. The picture of Pandora is the pride of his impressive Cotswold home where his six children were born. But he has a surprise in store: another grown child makes an appearance with her seductive boyfriend, Zac. The latter has designs on Raymond's Raphael. Under cover of a firework party, the Raphael goes missing.

Cooper's breathless narrative whisks the reader from London to Vienna, Geneva, Paris and New York in the hunt for the missing painting, building towards a sharply handled court case and a tense sale at Sotheby's. Cooper's territory here is the international art world, which has all the pre-requisite angles for Cooper-style drama, with its duplicitous dealers, avaricious artists and casual morality. There are some strong new protagonists here, such as the selfish artist Sienna, and Cooper also includes some familiar characters (including her trademark beguiling animals). Raymond, too, is one of her most richly drawn creations. Cooper fans need not hesitate. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Open the covers of Jilly Cooper's latest novel and you lift the lid of a Pandora's box. From the pages flies a host of delicious and deadly vices... Cooper's sheer exuberance and energy are contagious... Cooper fans will be waiting eagerly for the next novel" The Times "The whole thing is a riot - vastly superior to anything else in a glossy cover" Daily Telegraph "This is Jilly in top form with her most sparkling novel to date" Evening Standard "One reads her for her joie de vivre, her maudlin romanticism, her love of arty references and her razor sharp sense of humour. Oh, and the sex" New Statesman "Cooper is astute when describing the complex relationships between men and women. She's also on the nail when it comes to teenage-speak and can bring the English countryside alive more deftly than many literary stars... She's irresistible... Like Harvey Nicks and the promise of romantic dalliance, she frees you from the daily drudge and deposits you in an alternative universe where love, sex and laughter rule" Independent on Sunday

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 May 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have always had a soft spot for Jilly Cooper but recently felt that she had lost her way a bit. Where the early books are great fun and her first three blockbusters (Riders, Rivals and Polo) make up a wildly entertaining trilogy, her last three (The Man who made Husbands Jealous, Appassionata and Score) seemed to be over-crowded with no real sense of the characters. Of course I still read them but crucially unlike the first three I didn't re-read them whenever I felt like a pick-me-up. Thankfully Pandora is a magnificent return to form. The character list is smaller than more recent books which helps and the early part of the novel which is set in the 60s and 70s pays dividends by building up a real sense of character. While some might quibble that there is no love story as strong as that in Rivals I think all three of the main love stories stand out and the theme of Pandora's Box is well worked out. By moving away from Rutminster Jilly has given her fans a return to the strong characters of her first novels (Sienna, Alazarin, Raymond and the awful David Pullborough particularly stood out for me) while some old favourites are given a new lease of life - it was great to see Rupert Campbell Black pre-Riders and behaving as badly as expected. Less happy at times then some of her other books - the early scenes of Raymond and Galena's marriage are especially well done as is Zac's need for belonging and Alazarin's desperate pride and refusal to confront his childhood's end. All in all this is everything you expect from a Jilly Cooper novel (bad puns and occasionally awful viewpoints included) and yet more - I'll certainly be re-reading it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Jun. 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I used to enjoy Jilly Cooper's doorstep-sized romances but felt that she'd lost the way with her last two books: "Apassionata" lacked memorable characters, and "Score" had an interesting idea, but would have been unreadable to anyone who didn't know the back story. This time an extended prologue sets up the history of a new set of characters so that I feel this book could be read as a self-contained novel, although characters from the other books are worked into the story, for the most part very successfully. As one of the few readers who are not a fan of rich and overbearing Rupert Campbell-Black, I was pleasantly surprised that the author managed to give him his customary appearance without allowing him to take over.
This book works well as a sprawling family saga and the father figure, Raymond, is a nice mixture of characteristics, in fact probably the most likeable character in the book. In many ways a perfect gentleman, he has however committed one morally dubious act which is the starting point for the whole story, but I don't think you could fail to sympathise with him. His lifelong rivalry with his employee (and later business rival) David is one of the unifying themes, but just how far has David affected the family?
Because the fate of a valuable painting is the nominal theme of the book, no one romantic storyline takes precedence, but there are several couples who clearly need to find each other, and all of these strands reach satisfying conclusions by means of some clever, if sometimes rather obvious, twists. My favourite pairing involves a splendidly dishevelled and romantic man (but why did he have to have such a ridiculous name?) and a refreshingly "normal" woman. There's hope for us yet!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 May 2002
Format: Hardcover
In the days of Riders and Rivals, I would devour a Jilly Cooper book in a weekend. I've had Pandora for three weeks and I am just getting to the end. Far, far better than "Score," but still not Jilly at her best. By the time it got to the court case I couldn't have cared less who had the right to the Raphael, and I actually skipped the long tales about what actually happened to it. Brilliant to catch glimpses of Rupert Campbell-Black, and I loved a lot of the new characters, like Sophy. I'm getting a bit bored with the fact that all of Cooper's heroines (except Taggie) are out and out bitches "because they're always vile when they feel insecure." I like to feel that sometimes the nice women get the men! Having said all the above, Jilly Cooper when not quite on form is still better than many writers at their best.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Jun. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jilly Cooper yet again provides an enjoyable, funny and easy read. With this book ,Cooper moves away from the familiar territories of horse riding and music into the wonderful world of art. Her description of the art work and the artists themselves are inspired and once again, she provides the reader with some thoroughly hateful characters, who are a pleasure to detest! This book will make you laugh yet you will still wonder where the next twist in the tale will be...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By katie.p@bushinternet.com Katie on 9 Jun. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I literally couldn't put this book down.I was drawn into the wonderful world of the Belvedons.Jilly Cooper has surpassed herself again.This book has it all.It's sexy.It's glamerous.The people,the places,the plot gets better with every page you read.It twists and turns,and surprises you.If you enjoyed Riders,Rivels and Polo and all of Jilly's other books then you will certainly enjoy this.Nice to see that Rupert Cambell-Black is in it.It really is absolutely brilliant from cover to cover!You won't be able to put it down.
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