Gods of Newport

  • by John Jakes
  • Narrated by Jack Garrett
  • 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the late 19th century, Newport, Rhode Island, was a cauldron of money, excess, and unapologetic greed, where reputations were made and lost in a whirlwind of parties and fancied slights. But amid the glamour of yacht races, tennis matches, and costume balls raged undeclared class warfare, scandalous doings, even madness.
In 1893, railroad mogul Sam Driver, one of the few surviving robber barons of the lawless years after the Civil War, knocks on the door of fabled Newport with his daughter, Jenny, determined not to be turned away. In the past, his "new money" was tainted by his rapacious reputation, and even now, an enemy with a pedigree of wealth and position vows to slam every door in Sam's face. But he is determined to win a place in the strange, rarefied world of Newport's brief summer season, presided over by social gadflies Ward McAllister and the androgynous Harry Lehr, both of whom will assist the Drivers...for a price.
The Gods of Newport brings this gilded age of excess to thrilling life. It was a time and place whose extremes of greed, conspicuous consumption, and social striving have an astonishing resonance and relevance for the America we see around us today.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Dazzling Mediocrity

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

My time listening to this book was not well spent. The story moved slower than the Mississippi on a hot summer day and was just a predictable in its flow.

What could John Jakes have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

John Jakes could have written a better story by dropping the never-ending history lesson. What background I needed should have been included with the story not “told” to me by the narrator. Further, John seems to despise not only the Sam, but all of the wealthy people in the story. I don’t have any idea if that was intentional, but it lowers the story to a diatribe against the rich and famous. It is more than telling that all of the business ventures of Sam’s partners turned out to be failures. It makes one wonder how they ever got so rich.

Which character – as performed by Jack Garrett – was your favorite?

None of the characters stand out as particularly noteworthy.

Do you think Gods of Newport needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, absolutely not.

Any additional comments?

While a good narrator can't save a poor book, Jack Garrett made a valiant effort in this case.

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- Henry

JJ gives another great peek into history.

Where does Gods of Newport rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Gods of Newport ranks among one of the best I have heard on Audible.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Gods of Newport?

The carriage race was the most memorable moments of the book.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A tale of vanity and survival.

Any additional comments?

I always enjoy the way JJ can bring history to life by incorporating historic characters with fictional to create a story that will both entertain and educate as to the life and times of a historic period. This story shows the vanity of the elite trying to make themselves appear to be better than everyone else and the lengths they would go to show off.

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- Legendery1

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-24-2011
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio