books that make you go hmmmm...

Books that make you go a feature where I post about a novel I stumbled across that I'm not quite sure about - novels that can either be really great or really crappy.

If this one book proves to be as tantalizing as the synopsis makes it sound, we are in for a good ride!  

What think you?

From stunning stately homes to the prisons of wartime Britain; from the House of Lords to Edwardian asylums; from the Ritz and the Dorchester to East End pubs, "Splendour and Squalor" tells the stories of four of Britain's most illustrious aristocratic dynasties and of the black sheep who brought them down. They kept monkeys in West End hotels, and rent-boys in Deauville and Kensington. They spiced up life in pre-war Britain by patronizing illegal gaming clubs and staging elaborate five-in-a-bed sex in stately homes. They used firearms with convincing disregard for their own and others' safety and drove their Rollses and Bentleys with apparently suicidal intent. They acquired yachts and helicopters as they shipped the family silver to California and disposed of Old Masters at auction. They married frequently and unsatisfactorily, humiliating their wives and always withholding from them dynastic secrets of schizophrenia and insanity. Lacking the energy and appetite to do so, they rarely developed their talents. Carpeting their lives with deceit, they sought consolation in ferocious expenditure, funding narcotic and alcohol-fueled blow-outs. They ignored the advice of sane relations, shrugged off trustees, and experimented with burglary, shop-lifting, vagrancy and fraud. Their primary, possibly sole, accomplishment was to drag down their families with them. They were the black sheep of aristocracy and this is their story.

Release Date:  November 1, 2009



  1. Hm, that blurb sure sounds nice but I do wonder how it's told

  2. me too! I am with you on this one too!

  3. Whoah..this certainly isn't what princess fairytales are supposed to be all about (not that it was ever perfect)- I'm so curious though cause this sounds like closet stories that need to be heard...I want to read this.

  4. Yup I wouldn't mind reading this one either :)

  5. Wow, actually this sounds like just another day in Hollywood! Can't wait to hear your review on this one! What a synopsis!!
    Happy Weekend (reading)!

  6. I'm must be weird, but the blurb had me laughing... it *might* work.

  7. Let's just put it this way: it soundscc cinteresting! cI'm not sure, though, whether I would spend money on it, though I may well try to read it. But I will read it first through my local library, if they stock it. OTOH, it may not be anything like the blurb at all.
    Anne G

  8. Oh, this book looks like it could be a great read! I love the blurb, and the cover is really intriguing. I'll keep my eyes opened for this one.

  9. I'd actually really like to review this one. From the blurb, it sounds like I would have a lot to say about it. I'm leaning towards the "could be really good" but still with you in saying hmmmmm...

  10. Part of me says it would be interesting, but the other part of me would be angry at such stories of waste. Especially since I could have put that money to good use :)

    Worth checking out though!


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