The American fiction writers continued -HAROLD ROBBINS : Orphan to a millionaire? | Sunday Observer

The American fiction writers continued -HAROLD ROBBINS : Orphan to a millionaire?

Warning! Unsuitable for readers below the age of 16, and some would say “unsuitable for adults”.

It is a pleasure to introduce you to the violent, rumbustious, thrill a page writing of yet another fantastic American writer, Harold Robbins (1916-1997), who has often been mocked by literary critics - but who cares! - Certainly not his readers, who gobbled up his books in droves and two of them became hit movies. He is recorded to be the fifth best selling fiction writer of all time.

Start at page 1 of ‘The Adventurers’ – you will not stop reading until at least reaching chapter 3.

Harold Robbin’s riveting prose will grab you and keep you awake at night. One such book is ‘The ‘Adventurers’, whose violent setting has eerie parallels with Sri Lanka. The story unfolds In a politically turbulent , South American ‘Banana Republic’, where a violent revolution begins, somewhat reminiscent of the dark days of our 1971 Insurgency – Dax, the main character is a boy of six, son of a wealthy Landlord, living on a luxurious cattle ranch (Estate). “The Revolutionaries”, out of the blue, invade his home, kill all the male servants and rape his sister before his eyes. Some of what happens next can be described in Robbin’s own words –

“Her mouth was open and she was screaming but no sound came from her lips…..Suddenly, I knew what he was going to do-I had seen enough bulls when the cows were led to them”.

Harold Robbins -TheMan- raised in an orphanage? Millionaire at 20!

Born Harold Rubin in New York, his background depends on whom you choose to believe. Robbins claimed to be Jewish and raised in an orphanage, but was actually the son of Eastern European immigrants, and well educated.

Harold Robbin’s life reads like one of his racy, riveting stories, and is fantastic in itself- some would say ,it could be lived, “Only in America”. Exactly like the previous American writers that we looked at in past weeks, he was supposedly born poor, raised in an orphanage, and dropped out of school at 15, and, believe it or not, became a Millionaire at age 20!

He then proceeded to lose his entire fortune, but, not to worry, - he went back to work as a Shipping Clerk where he began writing his superb Novels, and in 1948 had his first bestseller - “Never Love a Stranger” - and he never looked back, churning out best-sellers one after another.

Within years, he was a Millionaire again, and an established writer.

I call him the “Donald trump of American literature – despised by the learned ‘pundits’, but confounding the critics, “he delivers the goods”. Married three times, (maybe 5, it is said, details are shady) the similarities between him and Trump, are a story for another day.