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Saturday, October 3, 2015
Top five Jackie Collins novels!!
As a teenager, I knew that other people were reading Jackie Collins.
After all, her books screamed “No 1 bestseller” on the front. But I
didn’t shout about my choices, perhaps because in my early teens I was
hiding my raunchy reading material from my parents, and in my late teens
the books were a guilty pleasure for someone who was meant to be
getting to grips with The Merchant’s Tale for her A-levels.
should have done: “sex-filled, escapist, utterly unpretentious”, as the New York Times puts it,
Collins’ novels are an over-the-top, steamy delight. Clearly she had as
much fun writing them as we do reading them. Looking back through her
writing to compile the list below, I can’t help imagining the wicked
grin spreading across her face as she whipped up her patented mix of
sex, scandal and glamour. Here are my five favourites – though I’m
willing to be persuaded otherwise.
Hollywood Wives (1983)This was my first Jackie Collins,
and it contains a scene I will never forget: the film director who has a
heart attack while having sex with a film star, after getting his
privates stuck inside her. I was astonished, slightly traumatised and
very thankful that these kinds of activities were a long way off for me.
I was also hooked by Collins’ glitzy, glamorous, steamy world of
beauties and sculpted bodies and sex and murder.
The World Is Full of Married Men (1968)Jackie
Collins’ first novel was given the ultimate tagline by Barbara Cartland:
“nasty, filthy and disgusting”. (Cartland added: “Miss Collins, you are
responsible for all the perverts in England.” Hurrah for Jackie. )
David’s wife, Linda, leaves him after he has an affair with Claudia:
“She had long, shiny ash-blond hair, which fell thickly around her face,
and deep bangs down to her eyebrows, which accentuated her enormous,
slanty green eyes. The face was perfect, with a small straight nose and
luscious full lips. She wore no makeup and no clothes, and was covered
by only a thin silk sheet.”) Things don’t turn out well for David.
The Stud (1969)Married Fontaine Khaled is “very
haughty upper-class English. Beautiful of course, with chiselled bones
(whether by nature or cosmetic surgery no one knows”. She hires a man to
run her night club and also keep her happy sexually. “I suppose you’re
wondering how this all came about, how a guy like me, Tony Schwartzburg
from somewhere near the Elephant and Castle, turned into Tony Blake, man
about town, friend of the stars, host at the most ‘in’ discotheque,
Hobo.” Collins’ sister Joan starred in the film adaptation.
The Bitch (1979)The story of Fontaine, now the
ex-wife of billionire businessman Benjamin Khaled, continues in this
novel as she enjoys an expensive party lifestyle and meets ladies’ man
Nico Constantine. It was also adapted as a film, with Joan Collins
reprising her role as Fontaine. Collins self-published an updated, rewritten version of the novel in the US in 2012.
Lucky (1985)It’s tricky to choose one favourite
Santangelo novel, but I think Lucky is my pick (or is it Lady Boss?).
Beautiful, wild, tough and street-smart, Lucky Santangelo is the
daughter of gangster Gino (family motto: “Never fuck with a
Santangelo”), who here is running a casino in Las Vegas. In weighing in
on the novel, the NY Daily News said: “So hot it will have to be printed
on asbestos.” The ninth Lucky story, The Santangelos, was published
earlier this month.
And, HOLLYWOOD WIVES is always my top favorite Jackie Collins book!