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The Wheel Of Fortune Paperback – 7 Apr 2005

37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 992 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (7 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751535613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751535617
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 6.2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

She is a deft storyteller, and her writing has depth, grace and pace (TIMES)

Truly unputdownable (Sunday TIMES)

Book Description

Orginally published in 1974, The Wheel of Fortune and its companion books, Penmarric and Cashelmara (also published by Time Warner Paperbacks) have yet to be discovered by a whole new generation - and will be re-read and re-read by existing fans.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bookwoman on 12 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like losing yourself in a vast family saga then you've hit the jackpot with this one. And there's double the enjoyment: not only is it a compelling tale in its own right, but it's also based on the story of King Edward III and his descendants, ending with Henry V - if you've ever read Shakespeare's history plays you'll find it all very familiar.
Starting in 1913 and ending in 1966, it tells the story of six members of the Godwin family and the changing fortunes of their family estate, Oxmoon, on the beautiful Gower peninsula in Wales. She hasn't been too literal in copying history, so it's all far more credible and less predictable than you might think (the same device worked well for her in two of her previous novels, Penmarric and Cashelmara). As you read about the power struggles, love affairs and family jealousies, it's fascinating to wonder whether these fictional relationships and motivations could also have applied to the historical characters - who knows? And as each family member takes it in turn to be the narrator, so you find your opinion of the characters changing with each new point of view, which adds yet another dimension to the tale.
It's nearly 1,000 pages long, so you've really got to admire her ambition, her control of the narrative, and all that research. It's cleverly done, and she's created some wonderful characters, scenes and settings, so you really get sucked in to this world - so much so, that you might experience feelings of loss, as I did, when you finally reach the end.
But it does have its flaws.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ann Turner on 31 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book several times and will probably read it several times more! It follows the pattern of many of Susan Howatch's earlier books by having each section of the book narrated by a different person, so you get the same situations from very different viewpoints. I found this a fascinating book, so much so that I have been two or three times to the area where it was set to see for myself what happened there! What better recommendation could there be!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 May 2002
Format: Paperback
...I've read and re-read this book many times since I first found it in 1985. It is brilliant, it's told superbly, and the way the author manages to shift your perceptions of an event when you read it from different points of view is masterful. The characters, especially Johnny and Bronwen, are so real that I really felt as if I knew them and I missed them all once I'd turned the last page - hence returning to it again and again! If you like sweeping tales of flawed people struggling to make sense of tragedy, love, illicit passion, world events, life, wars, and a good many untimely deaths, then this is definitely for you! (One point - the synopsis here at amazon says it's about an Anglo-Irish family but the Gower Peninsula is actually in Wales, so don't expect huge descriptions of Irish countryside because there aren't any - but you can enjoy Susan Howatch's descriptions of Rhossili Downs and the bay and the Worms Head, and even better go take a look for yourself. I did and the Gower is stunning.)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Judith Lugg on 16 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
I don't know what it is about Howatch's books - I have never really been able to exactly define the pull she has for me - maybe it is the meticulous attention to every detail (she cannot be faulted in the very convoluted relationships of her characters woven into her books)and the way different characters are seen from others' points of view and in other eras; on the other hand it could be just that she is a superlative storyteller!

There is always an air of mysticism in all her books (particularly in the Church of England series) and it is very evident in this one with the fateful relationship between two gifted cousins.

There is also, a very strong sense of evocation of times past in this book and you really do feel that you are with these characters in all their various crises and triumphs. I have read this book on at least five occasions, but I can still return to it after a few months and be enthralled all over again. It is the sort of book that you do not want to leave until you have read it all (and this is a long book!)but, there is a sense of loss when you have finished it.

In any event, if you have never read any of Howatch's books, you really must and this one is great. They all are actually, but this would be a good place to start!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Shelly Gordon on 10 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
I read the Wheel of Fortune, once a year, and have done for the last 10 years.
Susan Howatch is a wonderful storyteller, and in this book she creates characters which are so real, that not only will you not want to put the book down, but will worry about each and everyone of them in between.
After years, I persuaded my father to read it (who is probably one of the most well-read people I know - mainly in the great classics), and he adored it.
Read it and I promise you will adore it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on 26 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
This book had me transfixed from start to finish. I couldn't stop thinking about it when I wasn't reading it! It is just full of twists, turns, births, deaths, marriages, affairs, sex, politics, family feuds and anything else you care to think of. This book just got me salivating for the next surprise waiting for me on the next page. I audibly gasped quite a few times when those surprises came! Just brilliant!
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