Monday, June 21, 2010

Pride and Avarice by Nicholas Coleridge ****

Have you ever read a book where you just wanted to shake the characters and scream, "No! Don't do it!" Certainly Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is one of the most popular and well-done of this genre. Pride and Avarice by Nicholas Coleridge is another, though beyond the character's inability to see the consequences of their action, nothing else seems to support the similarity of the titles.

Pride and Avarice tells the story of two very rich men, one evil and the other good, and their wives and children. This is a book of middle-school emotions and Sunday school morals. In the end, the good are rewarded and the evil are punished, and unfortunately, justice is meted out by the chance and circumstance, rarely by the direct actions of the characters, with accidents and illnesses playing a major role.

However, don't let the flat characters and transparent plotting deprive you of the joy of this fast moving and entertaining read. Anyone can enjoy the voyeuristic thrill of the rich as they compete in fashion, parties, recreation, and business. When the author is describing shooting parties, holidays in the Mediterranean, fancy dress, or boardroom intrigue, his eye for detail is precise and fascinating.

I also found a (guilty) superior pleasure being so much smarter than these ultra-rich. Well-written and fast, this is a summer read than can be enjoyed by all.

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