BOOK REVIEWS: Jackie Collins Novels


I heard about Jackie Collins and her infamous books many times over the years. Despite the praise that she was receiving, I never got around reading her novels. Only recently, after she passed away of hardcore breast cancer, which she had quietly suffered from for the past six and half years without the public knowing, I thought that I ought to find out what this strong woman had to offer to us in her books.

I wasn’t  to be disappointed.

I started off by reading her latest novels from a few years ago on the Santangelo family. I immediately got hooked on finding out what happened to each family member over the years and somehow I had read five 600 page long books within two weeks!

There was Chino, the Italian mafia guy who owened half of Las Vegas. There was Lucky, Chino’s wild child, who experienced all sorts of adventures from a cruise on a luxury ship near the Greek islands to living the highlife in Hollywood. There was Bobby, Lucky’s son, running nightclubs all over the US. And there were many friends and relatives from all sorts of backgrounds living the life of the extraordinary.

Soon enough I was gripped in finding out who had murdered whom, who had married and divorced whom and who was whose child. All of the books proved to be glamorous Hollywood entertainment at their best. Remember 90210 on TV? Or Desperate Housewives? Add in some Miss Marble detective thrill and you have excellent Jackie Collins novels at ready.

I am not surprised that Jackie Collins has such a wide-spread readership across the globe. She  is, in fact,  one of the world’s top-selling writers. Over 500 million copies of her books have been sold in more than 40 countries. She also holds 30 New York Times bestsellers to her credit.

Jackie Collins truly knew how to write about the life of the rich and famous in Hollywood by telling readers what really goes on in the fastest lane of all. From Beverly Hills bedrooms to a raunchy prowl along the streets of Hollywood; from glittering rock parties and concerts to stretch limos and the mansions of the power brokers — Jackie Collins chronicles the real truth from the inside looking out. What better way to get your mind of your own life and completely relax than to lose yourself in one of the Collins novels?

As Collins herself said about her novels: ‘I write about real people in disguise. If anything, my characters are toned down — the truth is much more bizarre.’

Jackie Collins already started writing when she was a teenager. She used to make up steamy stories her schoolmates would pay her for to devour. Her first book, The World is Full of Married Men, became a sensational bestseller because of its open sexuality and the way it dealt honestly with the double standard. That was the beginning of a life-long career and passion. Other books followed  such as The World is Full of Divorced Women, Hollywod Wives and Lethal Seduction.

After reading the latest books by Collins, I was curious to read some of her earlier work to see how her style had changed over the years. I was also slightly sceptical about her work having become repetitive over the years. But it was not so. If anything, the earlier books were as entertaining as the later ones, only with different charatcers and often having sections also set in Europe. Collin’s capturing writing style was there right from the beginning and she truly had a gift for keeping readers on their toes, eager to find out what would happen next.

Jackie Collins wrote about strong women, because she was a strong woman, and believed that girls could do anything. Even when she was dying of breast cancer,  she continued to write for her dedicated readers. Writing brought  her tremendous joy, and it was her love of family and writing that kept her vibrant and driven to the very end.

A taster on the infamous Santangelo family :

A vicious hit. A vengeful enemy. A drug addled Colombian club owner. A sex crazed Italian family. And the ever powerful Lucky Santangelo has to deal with them all, while Max—her teenage daughter is becoming The “It” girl in Europe’s modeling world. And her Kennedyesque son, Bobby, is being set up for a murder he didn’t commit. But Lucky can deal. Always strong and unpredictable with her husband, Lennie, by her side she lives up to the family motto—Never fuck with a Santangelo.

Lucky rules. The Santangelos always come out on top. An epic family saga filled with love, lust, revenge and passion.

A taster on Collin’s earlier work:

The world is their bedroom… Cleo James, the cool British journalist who joined the thrill seekers when she found her husband coupling with her best friend. Muffin, the luscious centerfold, with a little girl charm, a big girl body, and an appetite for all that Hollywood has to give. Mike James,the music promoter who adores his Cleo but whose addiction to women is constant and insatiable. Jon Clapton, who took a little English girl from Wimbledon, and made her into Britain’s top model, and now wants to keep those profits rolling in any way he can…And Daniel Onel, an actor grown older, wiser—and hungrier than ever for Cleo James.

Category: book reviews


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