Something Dangerous (Spoils of Time Trilogy) Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook
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Audio Cassette, Abridged, Audiobook
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Particular skills are required in a novel the size of Penny Vincenzi's Something Dangerous: strong, powerfully drawn characters, yes; colourful, authentic scene-setting, of course. But what's needed above all else is organisation: an author must know how to bring together all the elements to create an inexorable hold on the reader. It's no surprise to find Vincenzi doing just that. Through such engrossing novels as Another Woman, Forbidden Places and No Angel, she has effortlessly woven an unbreakable spell that ensures few readers will be able to put her intelligently written romantic sagas down.
Something Dangerous (like No Angel) introduces a sharply observed element of social commentary into its epic-saga format, along with a vivid panoply of international history from the frantic 20s to the two World Wars. Adele and Venetia Lytton are twins enjoying all the social prestige and wealth that their position as daughters of the founder of a highly successful publishing empire can give them. At the age of 18, they make up for a lack of formal education with a confidence and cheek that isn't too far from arrogance. As the 30s begin, the twins put the horrors of the 1914 conflict behind them--but their adulthood coincides with the sinister rise of Nazi Germany. Soon, their privileged position comes to seem hollow indeed: Venetia finds that being trapped in a grim marriage is only the beginning of her misery, while Adele struggles to bring up two young children in a Paris that is being engulfed by the war. Then there is Bart Miller, taken from the slums by the twins' mother and more able to cope with life than Adele or Venetia. And crucial to the narrative is Laurence Elliott, scion of the family's New York members, single-mindedly pursuing an almost obsessive love. The interaction of Vincenzi's fascinatingly rendered cast is choreographed with her usual aplomb, and the epic backdrop never dwarfs the agonies and ecstasies of her characters.--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Perfect Paperback edition.
Penny Vincenzi dazzlingly combines the old-fashioned virtues of gripping storytelling with the up-to-the-minute contemporary feel for emotional depth and insight into the lives of the characters. She is a supreme stylist and clever writer. (Elizabeth Buchan)
Highly addictive (Daily Telegraph)
Every Penny Vincenzi is a guaranteed bestseller (Grazia)
Seductively readable (The Times) --This text refers to the Perfect Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
A fat delightful and utterly compelling read, following on from her last novel, No Angel, and developing the stories of the characters who came alive on the page the last time.
Celia is as dreadful as ever, Michael as long suffering and LM as wise. The social and political climate of the time are brilliantly evoked and skilfully used as the backdrop for the usual page-turning, compulsive plot.
It really isn't wise to start reading this if you have things you must do, as I found I resented every moment spent away from it until I had finished it.
Whilst "Something Dangerous" is on the whole a good read and much happens to keep the interest of the reader, there are some parts where I felt slightly let down. Although the description of the second World War was good some parts were, in my opinion, dragged out. It was as though the author was using her research on the war to pad out the book a little.
Towards the end, the story was rushed. I am talking specifically about Barty here. Without wishing to ruin the story for anyone who has not yet read the book, I think that her change in status felt very sudden - and given that she is key character, I think a little more thought here would have been nice, especially as the author had 722 pages in which to develop this! Also, more significantly, I didn't particularly like Barty as I approached the end of the book. I think she seemed a little too superior and ungrateful to the family who had raised her and given her so many opportunities in life. The fact that I have taken a slight dislike to her is not such a good sign as I look at the third book 'Into Temptation' which is still on my shelf awaiting to be read', as I understand she is central to this book also.
Despite this book's faults, I am looking forward to reading the third novel because I still admire Penny Vincenzi's style of writing in general, however I think I will take a break from the trilogy and read a few other books before embarking on the final book to avoid Lytton overload!
Now....about Penny Vicenzi....the thing I don't like about her books is
that when I start one I do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE until I finish
reading it. After a few days the house looks trashed and I lie on the
couch, sit on my chair, sit on the potty, sit at the dining room table -
reading the ENTIRE time. I take the book in the bathroom, in the
bedroom, out on the balcony, etc. Her books are extremely addictive and
I have LOVED the two I have finished. I will mail the latest one this
At the start of the book, Ms Vincenzi says that she had all three books in mind for a long time and to put this tale together with all the varying characters in their different roles is simply amazing. Lady Celia Lytton, the matriarch of the story has many secrets up her sleeve which are very intriguing, I wont spoil the book and tell you what they are. Suffice to say, I did guess a couple but there were some that I didn't see coming.
I enjoyed getting in to the characters, learning their strengths and weaknesses, getting angry with them when they were down right selfish and nasty, mourning with them when they lost some-one close, crying with them when all seemed lost and felt sorry most of all for Barty, who despite all her hard work was still not considered a 'Lytton' in the full sense of the word and forced to take second place once again. However good things are on the horizon for her and we see her character develop into a major role in the publishing world at last.
A delightful tale if you can manage it at nearly 800 pages but well worth the effort.
Well done Penny, you certainly kept me entertained and I am pleased to be able to recommend it to other readers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing! I have now read this book twice! Love the story spanning over generations and you really feel like you can relate and really know the family.Published 1 month ago by clare
Excellent second book in the spoils of time trilogy. Am now reading the final instalment Into Temptation and would recommend these books to anyone who enjoys family sagas.Published 5 months ago by expat