Cinderella and the Carpetbagger: My Life as the Wife of the "World's Best-Selling Author," Harold Robbins

Grace Robbins. Betty Youngs, $29.95 (?) ISBN 978-0-9882848-2-1
Purportedly a look into the lifestyles of the rich and famous, this memoir from popular author Harold Robbins's former wife Grace falls flat. Harold penned long, steamy novels like The Carpetbaggers, whose characters are based on real life Hollywood figures like Howard Hughes. Grace opens her remembrance of their life together with an attention-getting scene, reluctantly hosting a sex party in her home at her husband's behest. From there the story becomes a dull, lengthy chronicle of their marriage from beginning to end. The early days look promising: she is swept off her feet by the charismatic and married Harold while she herself is married to a deadbeat, alcoholic artist. Villas and yachts follow, but inevitably things turn sour. Harold informs her that in order to "research" his novels, he must sleep with other women. Later, ill and wheelchair-bound at 75, he leaves Grace for her personal secretary, Jann, whom he marries and who would inherit his fortune after his death. Unfortunately, the book is only slightly salacious and mostly depressing. Even ardent Robbins fans may shudder at the unpleasant human this book makes him out to be. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/13/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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