Chances

( 47 )

Overview

The book that made Collins one of America's favorite authors sweeps readers from the sophisticated playgrounds of Europe to the glittering gambling palaces of Las Vegas, plunging into the world of the Santangelo crime family. The book introduces street kid Gino Santangelo, who makes it all the way to the top, and his beautiful and daring daughter, Lucky.

This story of Lucky Santangelo, whose hunger for power enables her to take away her father's empire -- and leads ...

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Chances

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Overview

The book that made Collins one of America's favorite authors sweeps readers from the sophisticated playgrounds of Europe to the glittering gambling palaces of Las Vegas, plunging into the world of the Santangelo crime family. The book introduces street kid Gino Santangelo, who makes it all the way to the top, and his beautiful and daring daughter, Lucky.

This story of Lucky Santangelo, whose hunger for power enables her to take away her father's empire -- and leads her into a love-hate rivalry.

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Editorial Reviews

Anthony Burgess
The sexual candour of Ulysses is nowadays nothing in comparison with the multiple orgasms of Jackie Collins’.
CNN - CNN CNN
Chances should be called The Godfather goes to bed.
San Diego Tribune
Collins introduces Lucky Santangelo, a woman every bit as power-hungry and hot-blooded as her father, Gino. The book vividly details a 60-year period of lust, love and life in over 600 detailed pages.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446357173
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/25/2008
  • Series: Lucky Santangelo Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 816
  • Sales rank: 94,815
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Jackie Collins
With over 400 million copies of her books sold in more than 40 countries, and with some twenty-three New York Times bestsellers to her credit, Jackie Collins is one of the world's top-selling novelists. Both CHANCES and its sequel Lucky were adapted as a six-hour miniseries for NBC television, starring Nicollete Sheridan and Sandra Bullock. Her most recent novel, Drop Dead Beautiful, was published in June 2007. Ms. Collins lives in Los Angeles, California. She recently signed a deal with Fremantle TV to create original TV programs and telenovellas, and she is currently working on a new novel, Married Lovers, about sex, power, money and relationships.

Biography

Louis Malle may have branded Jackie Collins a "raunchy moralist," but it wasn't her sense of ethical propriety that had her in a snit when Kenneth Starr dutifully reported to the nation the details of the pseudo-coupling between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. It was her literary pride. "Everybody said that the Monica Lewinsky stuff in the Starr report was like a Jackie Collins book," she told the Chicago Tribune in 2001, "but if I'd written it, the sex would have been better."

Unquestionably. Jacqueline Susann may be the Emily Bronte of the naughty bits, but Collins is surely Charlotte, having filled her books to the rim with skin since her first novel The World Is Full of Married Men appeared in 1968. Since then, there has been a string of sexy Hollywood moguls, sexy models, sexy wives of Hollywood moguls, sexy divorcées and sexy children of Hollywood moguls in such titles as Chances, Lucky and Throb as well as The Bitch and The Stud (both made into movies starring big sister Joan).

The critics, when they take notice at all, tend to sniff. ("While no one expects Lady Boss to be a literary banquet, certainly a yummy little snack is in order" is about the best to expect from The New York Times.) But those who can look past the satin sheets and champagne flutes see more going on in the Collins canon. Hers is a dissection of the vacuous, viperish entertainment class hiding behind designer sunglasses in Los Angeles. Vanity Fair called her "Hollywood's own Marcel Proust.” The Advocate hinted that she might be the Charles Dickens of Beverly Hills. And Joe Queenan, a Hollywood player himself, said Collins's 1993 novel American Star was nothing less than a lament of the American family's demise.

"It would be easy to self-righteously label this book trashy and worthless -- but it's not entirely either," the Detroit News wrote in a review of Collins's 1983 novel Hollywood Wives. "Jackie Collins has a talent for titillation and a knack for wooing the most reluctant of readers into a plot that spends 15 percent of the time peeking at people in the sack and the other 85 percent daydreaming about it. Deliberately or not, she speaks eloquently of emptiness through the lives of people who would seem to have everything: French poodles, Mexican maids, American Express."

And Judy Bass wrote in the Los Angeles Times that Collins's gimlet eye for detail is what makes her novels such a gas: "Collins caricatures the life styles of the rich and famous with devastating accuracy. She spoofs every nuance of their attire, speech and relationships, never allowing tedium or predictability to dilute the reader's fun."

There are a number of recurring characters in Collins's books, though none better known than Lucky Santangelo, the sexy (natch) film studio owner who has appeared in Lucky, Lady Boss, Vendetta: Lucky's Revenge and Dangerous Kiss. The Lucky series bring together all the required ingredients of a Collins cocktail: the rich and famous, the shifty Hollywood shenanigans, scheming opportunists and a bug-on-the-wall vantage point of every -- or every other -- bedroom in the 90210 zip code.

Time once wrote of a Collins novel that it allowed the reader the rare opportunity to watch adverbs mate. Of course. There's a high art to the lowbrow. The Village Voice, writing in 2000, understood that: "The beauty of the trashy novel is twofold: It's a lightning-quick read, and you can howl in smug superiority as you turn the pages. Lethal Seduction, the latest from well-appointed and leopard-print-swathed Queen of Trash Jackie Collins, is a prime example of page-turning, literary-hauteur-stoking fun."

But it might have been People, reviewing Vendetta: Lucky's Revenge, that most succinctly summed up the contradictory seductiveness of the Jackie Collins novel: "embarrassing to pick up, impossible to put down."

Good To Know

Collins makes a mean meatloaf. "It's the herbs and spices," she told Biography magazine, "and my essence."

Collins spends about a year writing each novel, and does so entirely in longhand.

She eschews the stodgy demands of grammar. "I don't basically understand grammar," she is quoted as saying in Contemporary Popular Writers. "I call myself a street writer. I write purely by instinct. I've decided people don't speak in grammatical conversations.... The important thing is I get people into the bookstores who probably wouldn't be there otherwise."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jacqueline Jill Collins (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 4, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 18, 2012

    Must read

    I was asked to review this book in celebration of the re-release of Chances for ereaders.
    Chances is the first book in Jackie Collins Lucky Santangelo series. This book literally has everything you can ever want in a story. There is family drama, mystery, murder, suspense, romance, and a lil comedy.

    The story starts with Gino Santangelo as a young boy. Continues telling his story with his wife, Maria, their 2 children, Lucky and Mario, and many of their thug like friends.

    My favorite story line is of Lucky, even though she is a female, taking over Gino’s empire when he is forced of the country by the IRS. To see Gino’s daughter grow into a very tough, hard, core woman made me envious. She truly made it to the top of a man’s world in a time that women mostly were stayed home and behind the man.

    The side story of Carrie, a young lady, who grew up as a hooker and drug addict intertwined perfectly with Gino and Lucky’s story. It kept me curious as to how the stories were going to mesh together over and over again. I loved how Carries son, Steven, and Lucky met and cannot wait to see where that story heads.

    Usually I am a fast reader with Chances I slowed way down so that I would not reach the end too quickly. Now that I am finished I want to read it again and again. I definitely will read the next book in this series.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2000

    Chances will leave you screaming for more!!!

    I first became enraptured with Jackie Collins by picking up the book Chances. Through the years I've read it at least 3 times and I have just purchased it again because my library doesnt have it. Gino Santangelo, his daughter Lucky, the Bonnatti family...are all enmeshed in intrigue, spite, revenge, murder, lust and when you finish the book I swear it will leave you wanting more. I waited on baited breath for her other books in the Lucky Santangelo series to come out and have read every one. I just finished Dangerous Kiss and now I'm going to start over again from the best of the beginning, Chances. Fabulous, awesome and I cant wait for more!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Wonderful

    I first read this book in the 80s i was so excited when i seen it available on the nook. This is a must read. You get so caught up in the people u cant put it down. But please jackie collins release the next book in the series asap called lucky. These were the best books ever. I so enjoyed reading chances again after many years. I had forgotten how good the story was.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

    A Wicked Good Read

    I read this book many many years ago. The characters are so real that you think you know them. I have read every book in the Santangelo series by Jackie Collins and "Chances" will always be my favorite. Lucky is everyone's favorite character, but my favorite is Gina 'The Ram'. If you have never read this first book, read it and enjoy. You won't want to put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2010

    Awesome Book!

    This book has it all: family drama, mystery, suspense, romance, and comedy. I love the whole series and all of Jackie Collins' books but this one is by far my favorite. Truly an absorbing saga that will draw you in and capture your heart and mind. This is the haunting life story of Gino Santengelo and his family. At times I cried and at times I laughed out loud; this story will stay with you for a long time. If you love long novels and saga series, I would also recommend: The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet, and the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean Auel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    You won't be able to put it down.

    I first read this book in the 11th grade. It took me three days and I would literally sit up at night with a flashlight underneath a blanket, so that I could read without my parents telling me to go to bed because I had school in the morning. Since then I've read the book at least 3 times and it's one of those stories that never gets old and always feels like the first time when you read it. I highly recommend this book to ANYONE, including people who don't like to read. I guarantee that this one is a page turner and you won't be able to put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Dont hate it but dont love it either

    So this book is just sex and affairs. Ginos stories would bore me all he does is have sex with women cheat on his wife. I don't like luckys character in this book I didn't like her in confessions of a wild child either. The only story I loved was carries. I wish this book was just about her. The things she went through and never gave up. Now that is a story!!!

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  • Posted February 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Angie Book provided by GetRedPR for review Review or

    Reviewed by Angie
    Book provided by GetRedPR for review
    Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

    When I heard that Chances had been re-released, I practically begged Jen to let me read it for the tenth time so that I could review it.

    The first time I read Chances I was a naive seventeen year old girl who sat there with huge eyes thumbing the pages as fast as my teenage eyes could read the page. It remains one of my absolute favorite novels of all time.

    Chances is about mob family extraordinaire the Santangelos. Father Gino and daughter Lucky are so much alike that they can barely be in the same room with each other, let alone the same state. Dario, Lucky’s brother, wants nothing to do with his father nor his sister, whom he is so completely sure is out to get him.

    Chances flips back and forth from modern day to the past; from Gino to Lucky to Carrie…you may not remember all the players names, but you sure as hell will remember where they came from and who they are by the end of the book.

    Lucky is the type of woman some women want to emulate, but others look at with disdain and hidden longing. She is tough, gritty, ballsy, and brutally blunt. Lucky isn’t afraid t go after what she wants.

    Gino tugs at your heart strings from the very beginning. The mom in me wanted to cuddle him after reading about the piss poor parents he had, and the woman in me wondered if he really is as good a lover as everyone says he is.

    Carrie’s story is heart-wrenching, there’s no doubt about that, but she isn’t afraid to pull herself up by her bootstraps and make the best out of what she’s been handed in her life.

    Steven…yeah, for the longest time I just wanted to slap him. If ever there was a male who irritates me more than my own husband does, it’d be Steven. Oh wait, Dario is pretty annoying as well. Costa has his moments, but he’s a good friend to Gino, who didn’t deserve him at all.

    I enjoyed reading about the Mob from Collins’s point of view; in fact I found it downright fascinating. But that’s what one can expect from her time and time again.

    One of these days I’ll own all of the books in the Santangelo Family series and spend a month lost in their world. On second thought, it may take me two months to read them all…there’s quite a few books {8 in total at the time this review was written} and at least a few thousand pages between them all.

    Take a chance on Chances…you won’t be disappointed.

    Warning:  This book is not for the faint of heart. There is lots of graphic sexual encounters both hetero and homosexual in nature. There’s also graphic language, violence, etc. etc. This book also contains subjects that may be triggering to some {rape, incest}.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Once again I read a book based on a Patrons love for it. Not so

    Once again I read a book based on a Patrons love for it. Not so much THIS particular book was the patron
    interested in, mostly the author. Now, if many of my followers remember, I am a Librarian. I pretty much have
     heard of every author, popular or unpopular I have heard of them. So of course I have heard of Jackie Collins
    as it usually passes my desk every so often...by women of course, and all giddy to read it. I have heard that
    Jackie Collins write romance novels. ROMANCE novels. Not really my cup of Tall Caramel Macchiato Whole Milk.
    One time, this lady patron asked me if we had a certain Jackie Collins book she was looking for.
    As I was searching I wondered EXACTLY what kind of books did Jackie Collins write. It felt like I just asked a
    Harvard student in History class give me the lecture on History, FROM DAY ONE!!! I couldn't get this
    lady to...um....how can I say this delicately....TO SHUT UP!!! She kept going on, and on and on and I'm like
     "Okay..wow. Looks like I'll have to read it. Hear's your book it's all checked out...the doors are...no sweetie
    the doors are over there. (Don't let them hit ya on the way out)!" 

    But with all that talk guess what I did?! That's right I checked out the First book in the Lucky Santangelo series:
    Chances. And I gotta tell ya.....this book is very and I mean VERY different than the kind of books I read!!

    As I opened the first few pages of Chances with my Caramel Macchiato sitting beside me, I get engrossed
     into the life of a Gangster named Gino Santangelo from when he was boy living on the streets trying to make a
    living sees the light of day as a Gangster and makes a living at it. People come and go in Gino's life and he is
    trying to make the best of things...some good some bad. Making "offers they can't refuse" is the name of the
    game and Gino does a pretty bang up job doing so. Making friends along the way while making enemies that
    could cost him dearly, and has. Fast forward many years later, we see his daughter Lucky trying to make the
    best of things and loving every minute of it. The power of course is so juicy the she can't let it go when dearest
    Daddy comes back from a vacation. How can Gino back away from his own operation, even if it is in the hands
    of his daughter? How can he let go of the past that has haunted him over the years and just become old like
    everyone else? Not Gino Santangelo. But when things start going south for Gino, he has to rely on his daughter
    Lucky to make things right.

    I got kind of lost a few times, for the book kept going back and forth from the past to the present.
    But after a while, I got used to it and noticed it actually helped the story line a lot. It broaden your horizon on
    what was going on to the main characters and many of the main characters that were mentioned you as the
    reader didn't realize how much of a role they played in Santangelo's family all those many years ago.
    They talk about New York being a big city and all but when Jackie Collins put together these main characters,
    it's actually a small city where everyone knows everybody and has ran across each others path far too many
    times. A great read, if you are into the whole "Godfather" affect and really into romance. Romance that isn't like
    Jill Shalvis or Debbie Macomber, no I mean the part that goes "Oohhh awww faster, FASTER!!! Thank goodness
    that's over with! Leave the money on the table on your way out. See you next week." We've got hookers,
    gangsters, crooked politicians, booze, drugs, sex you name it and it's all tidied up in this first book of eight!! 

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  • Posted February 3, 2013

    Story pulls you in and won't let you go

    This novel starts an epic story about the Santangelo family. These stories have suspense, murder, mystery, humor, and just a bit of smut. Once you start reading the story, you won't put it down until you come to the satisfying conclusion.

    This is the story of Gino Santangelo and Lucky Santangelo, a family that lives by the motto "Nobody f**ks with a Santagelo." The family's high's and lows, their tangles with the legal system, the mob, the rich, and the famous make for compelling reading. It's the type of book you read to escape into another world. Throughly enjoyable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Great read!

    Love Jackie Collins!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    Started it all

    I read this book the first time when I was a teenager and this was the first book I looked for when I got my nook.. So happy they final have it.. A great read then and a great read now

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 20, 2012

    Highly Recommended - a must read!

    In this book, you meet the infamous Gino Santangello, a mob boss and his wild, beautiful and unbridled daughter, Lucky. The story spans over a 60 year period and there is not a dry page in the whole book. Page after page I was left hungry for more, a real page turner. Jackie Collins is a master story teller.

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I picked up this book not knowing it was a series...OMG, this novel has everything Love, Sex, Murder, Suspense..It really takes you inside the characters lives. I love this series.....BUY IT...

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Waaay Too Long

    All I can say about this book is that it was WAAAY too long. 805 pgs is a bit ridiculous.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2008

    A reviewer

    Chances is my favorite all time book. The beginning of the Santangelo Saga takes the reader through a whirlwind of prostitution, gambling, bootlegging, and the rise of women in a man's world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2008

    GREAT READ

    Boy I loved this book cant wait to read the rest of the Lucky saga's. Couldnt put it down!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2002

    the beginning of the santangelo saga...

    My boss loaned me this book and i couldn't put it down. I think that a life like Gino's is really interesting.I'm a huge Jackie Collins fan and I love her books, but I think this is one of her best ever.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2002

    AWESOME !!!

    I have been a fan of Jackie Collins for years. But, I have read 'Chances' eleven times and still counting! Gino is my fantasy man. And, Lucky and I are so much alike we could be sisters. The entire collection of 'Chances' is wonderful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2001

    One of the best!

    I read this book for the first time ten years ago. I recently read it again, its still my favorite book. If you like gangster type stories, this is a must read... Page after page you will be kept in suspense!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews

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