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Dazzle Paperback – 2 Jan 1992
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-Captivating. Krantz's latest tome . . . is her most erotic yet. Dazzle sizzles.---Los Angeles Daily News
-Enjoyable . . . Jazz is one of the most likable free souls to emerge from the novel industry.---The Pittsburgh Press
-Judith Krantz's best novel since Scruples.---Associated Press
-Steamy.---Los Angeles Times
-Hot . . . bubbling with sex, intrigue, and-most of all-money. Krantz is at the height of her form here.---Booklist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Meet Jazz Kilkullen, the most dazzling of Judith Krantz's heroines. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
June 18, 2005
Rating 3/5 stars
I was a bit disappointed with this novel by Judith Krantz. I had read MISTRAL'S DAUGHTER back in the 80's, and just loved it! It was one of my favorite novels from that time period. Unfortunately, DAZZLE read like the author was churning it out just to satisfy the publisher.
The novel is about Jazz Kilkullen, whose father owns a huge cattle ranch in South Orange County. The book's current time frame is 1990, but the story goes back to the past to tell the story of her parents and how they met. After her mother, who was a very famous foreign-born actress, died tragically, all that Jazz had left was her father, and her two older half sisters who hated her. Their mother had poisoned their minds to expect that Jazz was only the daughter of the woman who took their mother's place in their father's life, and that they were the true heirs of his estate when he dies.
Jazz grows up to be a very famous and successful photographer to the stars, and her story is told in flashbacks. She started her career as a child who loved to take photos, and found she had a knack for it. When she falls in love with Gabe, a photographer who wanted to travel the world to far and distant lands, she follows him. She is barely an adult at this point in her life. She finds herself in the middle of wars, riots, anything that is dangerous. The two eventually settle down in France, become engaged and plan their wedding, but he leaves her at the altar. Jazz immediately moves back to the States and her father's ranch, hoping to forget her first love.
DAZZLE goes back and forth in time, but also switches from one character's story to another, a very common story telling device in this genre of books (think JACKIE COLLINS, whose books are shorter but are much more smuttier). Jazz's two older sisters also take center stage at various points, each with their own problems and eccentricities. And their father also takes center stage, as he finds that he has to ward off investors who want to take his land and divide it up. He could be a millionaire if he sold the land, but he refuses to destroy the legacy of his family, and the history of California.
The problem I had with DAZZLE was the characters. None of them felt "real". When Jazz falls in love with Gabe, for example, it didn't feel real. Where was the chemistry? It made no sense to me what led them to fall in love. Nothing fell into place. It was as if Krantz was writing a novel without any feeling for the characters true selves. When Jazz falls in love with her distant cousin Casey, that didn't make any sense to me either. It was as if the author turned on a switch, and the next sentence had them in love. There was something missing in these characters, or possibly in the writing itself. I love these epic novels, but this one didn't quite do it for me.
I don't want to say that I hated the book. I did enjoy the story, mainly because I grew up in Los Angeles and lived in Orange County for quite a while. I recognized a lot of the places that Jazz would frequent, and it brought back memories for me. I also found the story fascinating. Novels like this that take history and create fiction stories out of them are fun for me, but unfortunately, a good story doesn't work if the characters aren't thought out a bit better. I also think that if Dazzle had been edited a little bit more tightly, it might have worked. I'm giving DAZZLE three stars.