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My first novel by Harold Robbins was this, his debut. NEVER LOVE A STRANGER is the story set between 1925 and 1945 of Francis "Frankie" Cain, who was raised in a Hell's Kitchen Catholic orphanage until around 14 when he was taken in by the brother of his Jewish mother who died in childbirth. It is mostly the story of Frankie's journey from his high school days and friendships to his travels and loves after returning from a stint in the Navy and skips to after his rise to the head of a NYC gambling racket and his marriage.
I thoroughly enjoyed this resonant, robust story told mostly in the first person by Frankie, with interludes of a discussion by his 3 closest high school friends.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to take a chance buying an audiobook by Harold Robbins, though I saw his name on enough books while growing up (he sold 150 million worldwide in his career). Yet when I saw that Will Patton was the narrator, that sealed the deal. For my money, he's the best male audiobook narrator out there, by a mile. If you are new to Audible, the narrator, particularly in fiction with lots of dialogue, makes a huge difference to the whole listening experience. [For example, had the narrator been Dick Hill, with that thick Chi-town accent and the awful Marge Schott impersonation he uses for EVERY female character in dialogue, I wouldn't have touched this book].
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
Where does Never Love a Stranger rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This book engaged me from the beginning. It was a masterful character study made possible by a great script and a narrator who brings each character to life. Will Patton, as always, is a magician who excels in his craft.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I laughed in places but overall it left me thinking about the main character for a couple days and 'what might have been' had he been given the love and opportunity he craved.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Never Love a Strange - Great Storytelling
Enjoyed this book partly for the great storytelling @ partly due to the great narration
What did you like most about Never Love a Stranger?
This was probably one of the first 'adult' books I read. It has lost nothing of its intrigrue and fascination over the years
Which scene did you most enjoy?
This is probably very autobiographical
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
There is nothing wrong with the narrative. You ARE on the streets of New York
Any additional comments?
An excellent listen
0 of 1 people found this review helpful