Friday, February 24, 2006

'Blood Royal' (Harold Robbins)

The premise seemed so bizarre that I couldn’t help myself: a novel, inspired by the tempestuous life of Princess Diana, that relates Di’s story verbatim (stair-case, bulimia, Camilla) and culminates in her shooting Prince Charles? Was this a joke?

Afraid not. Harold Robbins – deceased since 1997 – has collaborated post-humously with Junius Podrug to produce a quasi-true tale of love, infidelity and revenge. Their resulting Blood Royal is sleazy-cheese-meets-royal-bio-meets-legal-thriller, with lots of gratuitous sex.

But here’s a plot synopsis; you decide. The philandering Charles torments Diana until she can take no more. She kills him and, charged with murder, recruits Marlowe James: defense sensation, media firebrand, femme fatale. In the case of Regina v Princess of Wales, Marlowe brings her fail-safe ‘abuse defense’ into battle against the Crown.

Intriguing, yes, but I couldn’t suspend my disbelief enough to get all the way through it. So let me say this: If you enjoy Jackie Collins and you’re no purist, Blood Royal may just make you salivate.


TCUK said... the lazy blogger I am, just checked my blog - haven't checked or posted for weeks...thank you most kindly for compliment - considering from whence it cometh, mostly humbly appreciated! Now I gotta get my ass into gear and start being proactive about this blog to hone my skills for perchance a collective adventure at some point! Your blog / website look completely awesome - about to spend some quality time checking both out - extremely impressive :) Think of you are planning a trip in April still yes? Look forward to catching up soon... trust all well, how far along are you with property purchases? Take care, love T :)

TCUK said...
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TCUK said...

In retrospect, probably not the best forum to post a random msg in response to serious book reviews (which I thoroughly enjoyed BTW) - forgive the inappropriateness (was extremely late in the evening and following excitement at seeing your msg, spontaneously posted in first place I could think of!) That said...feel free to remove these postings to maintain the reputation of your most professional and fantastic blog! Have you read 'The History of Love' by Alison Krauss (wife of 'Everything is Illuminated's Jonathan Safran Foer)? Would be interested to hear your take on it :) Happy Fri, Love T :)

pedant said...

It would be brave of any author to tackle a subject based on a real-life situation, especially set in a foreign country. Harold Robbins wasn't brave, jsut foolhardy.
From the very first page, where he describes the various styles and titles which he says the Princess of Wales would inherit as Queen, he reveals his utter ignorance of Britain and the British monarchy, not to mention the British legal system.
No Pr of Wales ever becomes queen in this sense; she will only ever be a 'queen consort', with no more status and authority than comes to her through being married to the king!
From then on it goes downhill. On p 69 he has a Brtish lawyer explaining why 'we have degrees of murder'. Brtiah law knows no such concept.
On p 122 he calls Big Ben 'Old Ben'. On 210, the correct way to address a judge is said to be 'May it please, your Lordship'.
And throughout, blatant Anericanisms are intruded into upper-class British dialogue; no educated Englishman (and not many uneducated ones) would say 'different than' rather than 'different from'!
If a book can financially support two authors, surely thee should have been room in the budget for either a researcher or an English proof-reader!
After such anomalies, you find yourself quite immune to the commo-or-garden author's (or printer's) errors, like 'Lonliness' or 'being put through the ringer, instead of 'wringer'