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Rich Man, Poor Man Paperback – 1 Feb 1987

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Feb 1987
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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: New English Library Ltd; New edition edition (1 Feb. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0450020894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0450020896
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11.4 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 931,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Irwin Shaw's classic novel is about the American dream - as it begins in the struggles of an immigrant father and as it continues in the next generation's search for grace. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Irwin Shaw was born in New York in 1913 and began his literary career writing short stories, and plays for the stage and radio. During World War Two he served in North Africa, the Middle East and all over Europe, and it was after the war that he achieved widespread acclaim with his first novel, The Young Lions. Irwin Shaw wrote more than a dozen novels, all of which became worldwide bestsellers. A number of his books have also found success as feature films and TV serials, and they have been translated into twenty languages. Irwin Shaw died in 1984. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A wonderful read about the characters that came to life on our TV screens in 1976 in the international blockbusting mini-series of this story.

It's great to read the original saga of the Jordache family from Port Philip, New York from the pen of the late Irwin Shaw. It's interesting to note that the character of Julie, portrayed by Susan Blakely on TV, was developed from 3 characters in this book - one of the main characters being Gretchen, who was Rudy and Tom's older sister.

If you saw the mini-series adaptation first you still won't be disappointed to read about the origins of the characters and events in this novel, and by the time you have reached the fateful month of July in 1968 the book will have already taken it's pride of place on your best-sellers' bookshelf.

From New York to Hollywood to the Cote d'Azure, it's a whirlwind story that also describes the changing social and cultural times in America, from the end of one war leading to the early years of another one. "Rich Man, Poor Man" depicts how the 'American Dream' could still be achieved without the intervention of sibling rivalry.

Fascinating.
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By Roman Clodia TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 May 2013
Format: Paperback
Originally published in 1970, and set between 1944-1968, this is a superior family saga that places the three siblings of the Jordache family against the development of modern America.

Having recently also read Shaw's war novel, The Young Lions, I think he is an underrated writer - not particularly 'literary', he has a clean journalist's style that doesn't distract from the absorbing stories that he spins. This one focuses on the Jordache family and spans over twenty years, moving between small-town America, New York, Hollywood and Europe.

The title implies that this is about the tension between the two brothers, Rudy and Tom, but the book is just as concerned with their beautiful sister Gretchen, and this combination allows Shaw to draw a broad picture of the way American society shifts between the last years of the war, through the McCarthy era and into the late 60s.

I like that this isn't 'romantic' in any sense of the word and is interested in disappointments, disillusionment and the downside of the American dream. The book ends on a cliff-hanger which, presumably, leads straight into a sequel, taking up the story of the next generation of the Jordache family.

Engaging and absorbing - I enjoyed this very much.
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Format: Hardcover
I have had this version since the Seventies. It tells the stories of how two brothers managed to deal with life and what and how they did it. You read about the immediate family's problem as well. which starts when the father of the family beset by personal problems, disappears, and kills himself by drowning deliberately. The two brothers Rudolph and Tom Jordache are complete opposites- in fact the black sheep of the family (Tom) is disowned by his family and is seemingly uneducated and doomed to failure! His brother is clever and academic and well respected. Yet gradually, Tom comes back into Rudolph's life. The ending is not totally unexpected. but it is still quite surprising! It is set in New York, and it is very much like The Thorn Birds in writing style, but of course, this is America and not Australia!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not having seen the TV series of the same title I could read this without referring back to the programme in my head which is always preferable.
The book tells the story of a fairly dysfunctional family and their trials and tribulations following the end of the second world war. The first half of the book is much better than the second (the second half reads as if he had run out of ideas to keep the reader interested) but overall was a very enjoyable insight of life in 50s and 60s America. I couldn't put this down to start with but ended up taking 2 weeks to read it (over 700 pages) but it was worth it and I am now reading the sequel Beggar Man Thief which follows on directly (literally the day the first book ended) so no confusion etc.
There is a hint of politics and what America was like in the post war years but the story is more to do with the family relationships rather than a critique of the political scene in the US.
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Format: Paperback
I read and reread all books by Irwin Shaw over the past 30 years, but this one and it's sequel (and "Top of the Hill") are my favorite Irwin Shaw novels.
This one I read in my twenties for the first time and now I just read it for the third time and am so impressed again.
Looking forward to read the sequel, then I will watch my "Rich Man, Poor Man" DVD's once more.
They don't write novels like this anymore...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a book difficult to find. So so good. In the serie nothing about Gretchen, the sister, who is so important in the book and the sequel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love that book: what a brilliant story it is! Came on time and as described by the seller.
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