Summary

Based on a $100 bet with his boss that he couldn't write a novel, Harold Robbins penned his first book, Never Love a Stranger. Not only did Robbins win the bet, the novel became a best seller, was adapted into the classic noir gangster film of the same name starring John Barrymore and Steve McQueen, and launched the career of one of the world's best-selling authors of all time.
Never Love a Stranger, still considered one of Robbins' most powerful books, tells the story of Francis "Frankie" Kane, an orphan growing up in the dirty world of New York's Hell's Kitchen. After being kicked out of a Catholic orphanage when it is discovered that he is of Jewish descent, a confused and deeply distraught Frankie turns to a life of crime, the only life he knows, and he's good at it. Frankie quickly makes a name for himself and becomes one of New York's most dangerous men, ruling the city with an iron fist and indulging in his passion for sex, power, and the best things life has to offer - regardless of whether they're for sale. But Frankie's childhood friend, Jerry, grows to become an ambitious, tough-as-nails district attorney - determined to bring Frankie down.
In Robbins' writing debut, he takes an unflinching look at the menacing New York of a bygone era when the syndicate ruled without mercy - and the world was introduced to a writer who would influence pop culture worldwide for decades to come. More than 25 New York Times best sellers later - many, like his most famous novel, The Carpetbaggers, reaching the number-one spot - and with over 750 million copies sold to date, Robbins became one of the most successful authors of all time. This is the novel that started it all - giving the world its first taste of Robbins' world of sex, corruption, and intrigue.
©2014 RosettaBooks LLC (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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Critic reviews

"Robbins’s books are packed with action, sustained by strong narrative drive, and are given vitality by his own colorful life." ( The Wall Street Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By MAGGS on 05-11-16

Never Love a Strange - Great Storytelling

Never Love a Strange - Great Storytelling
Enjoyed this book partly for the great storytelling @ partly due to the great narration

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4 out of 5 stars
By Glenn on 22-09-15

Harold Robbins at his well crafted best

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

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By W Perry Hall on 09-08-15

Robust Rags 2 Riches of Hell's Kitchen Orphan

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].

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14 of 15 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By LadySpeaker on 20-09-15

Mastery

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.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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