Tycoon: A Novel

Overview

Sexy, outrageous, and irresistible, Tycoon showcases Harold Robbins at his rip-roaring best.
Jack Lear rises from a modest Jewish background to take on the WASP world, but never quite feels he's succeeded in his ambition to be accepted as one of them. Making his fortune as a pioneering radio and television broadcaster and founding a landmark network isn’t enough—nor is the money, fame, and women who go with it. He continues to hunger for what he cannot have. Here is a tale that ...

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Tycoon: A Novel

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Overview

Sexy, outrageous, and irresistible, Tycoon showcases Harold Robbins at his rip-roaring best.
Jack Lear rises from a modest Jewish background to take on the WASP world, but never quite feels he's succeeded in his ambition to be accepted as one of them. Making his fortune as a pioneering radio and television broadcaster and founding a landmark network isn’t enough—nor is the money, fame, and women who go with it. He continues to hunger for what he cannot have. Here is a tale that only Harold Robbins could tell: of Jack’s torrid relationship with his first wife, a WASP social heiress; of his affairs with everybody from chamber maids to duchesses; of his second marriage to a world-class beauty and society figure; and ultimately of his life-long struggle to make his network # 1, and to give it a sense of class that sets it apart from all the others.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The enduring Robbins's 23rd novel chronicles the obsessively lustful life and times of a mythical cavalier of radio and TV in an impish, sometimes romanticized history of American broadcasting. Newly graduated with honors from Harvard in 1931, Jack Lear marries the snobby debutante daughter of a prominent Boston arms manufacturer. Grandson of a Jewish intellectual who fled Prussian oppression and made a fortune as a California junkman, Jack resists his boorish father's demand that he work in the family business and returns to Boston to buy a pioneer radio station, bolstered by his grandparents' gift of a cool $1 million. The narrative traces Lear's entrepreneurial career over 60-odd intrepid years during which, flying by the seat of his pants, he builds a dominant TV network. In trademark Robbins fashion, the plot unfolds in a constant parade of freewheeling adultery, sibling incest, sadomasochism and bondage. Recounted in his flat narrative style, Robbins's litany of erotic exercises quickly becomes boring. Nevertheless, the complex cast of charismatic characters is well-calculated to spark speculation in the posh power rooms and boardrooms of New York, Boston and Hollywood over "who's actually who." Wooden prose notwithstanding, the intricate blend of corporate intrigue and carnal gymnastics makes this a highly seductive read. (Feb.)
Library Journal
What would a Robbins novel be without the ubiquitous sex, wealth, and power?
Kirkus Reviews
Another dreary, sex-drenched saga in which Robbins (The Stallion, 1996, etc. etc.) does his roman à clef number on broadcasting.

In 1931, young Harvard-educated Jack Lear defies father Erich, who wants him to join the family's Los Angelesbased scrap-metal firm; instead, Jack puts down roots in Boston, where he weds a blond deb named Kimberly and buys a local radio station. The precocious, upwardly mobile go-getter soon builds a small network that earns him the backing of megabuck investors, plus the favors of showbiz hopefuls and other men's wives. Although willing to preserve a crumbling marriage for his children's sake, Jack (whose career vaguely resembles that of William Paley) meets and falls for Anne, the widowed Countess of Weldon, while sitting out WW II in London as a brigadier general on Eisenhower's staff. Kinky Kim (who's been making S&M whoopee with banker Dodge Hallowell) grants him a divorce, and he's able to make the stylish Brit his own. With beauteous Anne beside him, Jack moves to Manhattan and expands his empire, taking advantage of the postwar era's favorable economic conditions to put the Lear name on a nationwide string of TV stations. The influential magnate's charmed life is not without a downside, however: He learns his kids by Kim are engaged in a committed incestuous relationship, then loses Anne to leukemia after two decades of wedded bliss. Meanwhile, the business prospers, and by the early '70s, a younger generation emerges to challenge Jack for control of the media colossus he's created. In an abrupt and anticlimactic windup, the founder loses a proxy fight, sells out to a conglomerate, and walks away with his third wife, a New Jersey congresswoman.

Despite the author's customary surfeit of clinical sex scenes, this is a limp and linear take on cafe-society capitalism—one that ends not with a bang but a whimper.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451682359
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 12/31/2011
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,007,848
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Harold Robbins was born in 1915 in New York's Hell's Kitchen. He wrote twenty-three novels, as well as numerous film and television scripts. A bestselling novelist for over half a century, his novels have sold over 500 million copies.

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