Robbins, Harold J.: The Pirate
(researched by Jameatris Johnson)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Harold Robbins. The Pirate. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974. Copyright: Harold Robbins Parallel First Editions: In Britain: The Pirate. New England Library: London, 1974
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first American edition is published in trade cloth binding.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
[1-10]11-24[25-26]27-141[142-144]145-277[278-280]281-408
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
N/A
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
N/A
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
Presentation of text: Readability is easy, spacing between lines wide. Page measurements: 8.25" X 5.5" Text measurements: 6.5" X 4.5" Type size: 9R Type style: sans serif Ilustrations: none Chapters are numbered and untitled. The first word of the chapter is in capital letters and bold print. The first letter of the first word is in a larger text size than the rest of the text.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper is a thick off white paper with straight edges, and is yellowing with age especially around the edges. On pages 145, 154, 155, and 185 there are dog eared corners. There appears to be a red sauce stain on page 401.
11 Description of binding(s)
Medium Brown embossed linen grain cloth cover. Title stamped in black on the bottom center of cover. Black colored endpapers. Front cover: THE PIRATE Spine: THE PIRATE. Harold Robbins |SIMON AND SCHUSTER
12 Transcription of title page
Left Verso: Also by Harold Robbins | NEVER LOVE A STRANGER | THE DREAM MERCHANTS | A STONE FOR DANNY FISHER | NEVER LEAVE ME | 79 PARK AVENUE | STILETTO | THE CARPETBAGGERS | WHERE LOVE HAS GONE | THE ADVENTURES | THE INHERITORS | THE BETSY Left Recto: A NOVEL BY | Harold Robbins Right Recto: THE PIRATE | [Colophon], Simon and Schuster: New York Right Verso: COPYRIGHT [©] 1974 BY HAROLD ROBBINS | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED | INCLUDING THE RIGHT OF REPRODUCTION | IN WHOLE OR IN PART IN ANY FORM | PUBLISHED BY SIMON AND SCHUSTER | ROCKEFELLER CENTER, 630 FIFTH AVENUE | NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10020 | SBN 671-21877-8 | LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NUMBER: 74-13407 | DESIGNED BY IRVING PERKINS | MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | BY THE BOOK PRESS, BRATTLEBORO, VT | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Unknown
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
Unnumbered page [7] a dedication: To my daughters, Caryn and Andréana... | May their world be filled with | understanding, love and peace. Unnumbered page [9] quote: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. | Abundance diverts you, | Until you come to the graves. | Nay, you will soon know, | Nay, again, you will soon know. | Nay, would that you knew with a certain knowledge! | You will certainly see hell. | -THE HOLY KORAN | From Chapter 102, | The Abundance of Wealth
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
N/A Source: WorldCat
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
According to Publisher's Weekly there was 125,000 printings of the first edition. (100,000 in the first printing/25,000 in the second printing)
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Book:The pirate : a novel / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997. Publication: New York : Pocket Books, 1975 Document: English : Book : Fiction Book:The pirate / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997. Publication: London : New English Library, 1974, 1975 Document: English : Book : Fiction Book:The pirate / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997. Publication: Sevenoaks : New English Library, 1986, 1974 Document: English : Book : Fiction Book:The pirate : the fascinating tale of the world's wealthiest sheikh / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997. Publication: London : John Blake, 2002, 1974 Document: English : Book : Fiction Source: WorldCat
6 Last date in print?
It appears that the last English copy of the Pirate was published in 2002 as part of an American Classic Series by Black John Publishing. The last non English edition was published in 1998 in Italin. Source: Bowker's British Books in Print 2006 Vol.3; p. 8178 This title was list in Bowker's Books in Print Out of Print Out of Stock Indefientely Vol. 7; p. 1157 along with 15 of Robbins other works.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
Total Sales: 116,000 Source: Publisher's Weekly Dec.16 1974. Vol.206, No.25;p. 60.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
N/A
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
NATIONAL BESTSELLER America's master story teller has written his most sensational novel [picture of book]. SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM WARNER BROS. $8.95 . SIMON AND SCHUSTER (Los Angeles Times Dec. 1, 1974.) On September 29, 1974 the Chicago Tribune lists visiting Authors: Harold Robbins, author of The Pirate (Simon and Schuster), on Kup's Show at 10:30p.m. on Channel 5. On November 10, 1974 the New York Times published a Best Seller List. The Pirate was number 4 on the list. The caption read: "Preposterous Middle Eastern melodrama powered by piston-driven sex. Doubleday Book Shops regularly published an ad that was a Best Seller Guide in the New York Times.
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
It appears that the publisher relied on ads that listed the titles of Best Sellers.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
According to an October 14, 1974 Publisher's Weekly the motion picture rights were sold to Warner Brother, and Harold Robbins "is currently working on the script version" (41). On December 1, 1974 the Los Angeles Times published an ad that states, "soon to be a major Motion Picture from Warner Bros." However, I have not been able to fine evidence of the picture ever going into production.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
Book:El pirata / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997. Publication: Esplugues de Llobregat (Barcelona) : Plaza & Janés, 1984, 1995 Document: Spanish : Book : Fiction Book:De piraat / Author: Robbins, Harold. Publication: Laren : Luitingh, 1974 Document: Dutch : Book Book:Der Pirat / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997. Publication: Berlin : Darmstadt, 1987-1974? Document: German : Book Book:Hyyoltong / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997.; So, Yong-mi. Publication: Soul : Ch`aekjung ui ch`aek , 1995 Document: Korean : Book : Fiction Book:De piraat / Author: Robbins, Harold.; Brouwer de Koning, John T.S. Publication: Utrecht : Luitingh, 1984 Document: Dutch : Book Book:Pirat. Author: Robbins, Harold, 1912-1997. Publication: Ullstein, 1980 Document: German : Book Book:El pirata / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997.; Robbins, Harold, Publication: [Barcelona?] : Planeta, 1984 Document: Spanish : Book : Fiction Book:El pirata / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1912- Publication: Madrid : Ultramar, 1982, ©1974 Document: Spanish : Book : Fiction Book: 大海盜 / Da hai dao / Author: [Harold Robbins ; 鄭光立譯].Robbins, Harold, 1912- Publication: 台北市 : 皇冠出版社, 民國70 [1981]; Taibei Shi : Huang guan chu ban she, 1981 Document: Chinese (Hide non-Roman characters) : Book : Fiction Book: Kërkohet trashëgimtari : roman / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997.; Enesi, Kujtim. Publication: Tiranë : Emal, 2005 Document: Albanian : Book : Fiction Book:Sheikki / Author: Robbins, Harold.; Haglund, Anja. Publication: Helsingissä [Hki] : Otava, 1985 Document: Finnish : Book : Fiction Book:Sanaun yokmang / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997.; So, Yŏng-mi. Publication: Sŏul : Chʻaekjung ŭi chʻaek , 1991 Document: Korean : Book : Fiction Book:Der Pirat : roman / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1912- Publication: Frankfurt/M : Ullstein, 1979, ©1974 Document: German : Book : Fiction Book:O pirata / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997. Publication: Portugal : Publicações Europa-América, 1980 Document: Portuguese : Book Book:O machão / Author: Robbins, Harold, 1916-1997. Publication: Rio de Janeiro : Editora Record, 1974 Document: Portuguese : Book : Fiction Book:Sheikki / Author: Robbins, Harold.; Haglund, Anja. Publication: Helsinki : Otava, 1975 Document: Finnish : Book Source: WorldCat
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
Book:The Betsy ; The storyteller ; The pirate / c Harold Robbins. Author: Robbins, Harold, 1912-1997.; Robbins, Harold,; Robbins, Harold, Publication: London : Chancellor, 1994 Document: English : Book : Fiction Source: WorldCat
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
N/A Source: WorldCat
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Harold Robbins was born on May 21, 1916 to a Jewish father and a mother of unknown religious origin. He died on October 24, 1997 of respiratory heart failure. According to other sources, including the previous entry for this author, Robbins's biological parents were of "suspected" Jewish origin (Groseclose). However, according to his agent and lawyer, Paul Gitlin, Robbins knew that his father was Jewish and that his mother was not (Scribner); either way Robbins was an orphan and grew up in a Roman Catholic orphanage located "in the Hell's Kitchen section of New York City" (Scribner). The orphanage named him Francis Kane. Robbins floated in and out of several foster families, but in 1927 a Manhattan pharmacist adopted him and he was given the name Harold Rubins. Robbins attended George Washington High School in New York City until the age of fifteen; when he dropped out, lied about his age, and joined the Navy. After his tour with the Navy, Robbins returned to New York City and took on various jobs. Some of those jobs included working as a runner for a bookie, errand boy for prostitutes, a cashier, and a grocery clerk. At the age of nineteen he borrowed $800.00 and "bought crop options from farmers and sold those options to canning companies for contracts he then sold to grocers" (Scribner). By the age of twenty he was a millionaire. In 1939 when war seemed likely to happen, "Robbins speculated in crop futures and lost" (Contemporary Authors). He had to declare bankruptcy. Eventually, he found a job with Universal Pictures warehouse as a shipping clerk. "When he uncovered overcharges made to the company in excess of $30,000, Robbins was promoted, eventually becoming the executive director of budget and planning" (Contemporary Authors). While working at Universal Pictures, Robbins wrote his first novel and legally changed his name to Harold Robbins. By 1957 Robbins was fulltime writer. According to a 1998 edition of Newsmakers, Robbins earned his place in literary history by pioneering the genre that the London Times called "the airport novel". These "airport novels" follow the exploits of the elite few. His characters are always rich, sex addicted, powerful, and dangerous. Therefore, each novel is filled with graphic sex and violence. "Robbins's success rested not merely on exploiting the public's taste for the lurid and the scandalous, but on a genuine talent for creating sharp-edged, fast-paced narratives that opened a window on the undeniably fascinating world of international high society" (Newsmaker). His novels were so popular that none of them sold less than 600,000 copies. Robbins's books have been translated into thirty-nine languages and sold in sixty-three countries. Many of his works have been adapted for the big and small screen, like The Pirate, which was adapted into a made for TV movie that aired 1978 on USA. Success like this is most likely attributed to Robbins making the declaration that he is the "best novelist alive" (Contemporary Authors). Critics did not always like Robbins's work but he still managed to do well. For a time he lived the same type of lifestyle that his characters enjoyed, parties, sex, drugs, yachts, the French Riviera, private jets, and Rolls-Royces are to name just a few. Robbins was apparently married five or six times (depending on the source one consults) but he would only publicly admit to three marriages. Robbins's agent and lawyer, Paul Gitlin, created "Trident Press, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, to publish hardcover editions of his future works" (Scribner) in the late 1950s. Much later in life, a company was created to help with his expanding business in movies, television shows, his novels, and his interest in the music business; Ray Brown and Quincy Jones were his business partners (Scribner). According to The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Robbins suffered a slight case of aphasia after a stroke in 1982. In 1985, he fell while leaving his shower; one hip was crushed and the other hip was fractured. He underwent surgery to correct his injuries but he suffered severe nerve damage. Eventually, Robbins was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. In the 1990s he was fairly successful in resurrecting his career. On October 24, 1997 Robbins died of respiratory heart failure in Palm Springs Florida and was buried in the Palm Springs Mausoleum. The year following his death a novel, The Predators, was published posthumously (Contemporary Authors). The continued popularity of Robbins's novels ensures that like the author V.C. Andrews, he will continue to publish, with the help of a ghost writer, new novels even after his death; like the novel Sin City published in 2002 (Bowker's Books in Print). [SOURCES CITED] "Contemporary Authors Online" Gale 2006. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farming Hils, Mich; Thomas Gale. 2006. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC "Harold Robbins". Almanac of Famous People, 8th ed. Gale Group, 2003. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.; Thomson Gale. 2006. http://galenet.galegroup.com/ serclet BioRC. "Harold Robbins". Newsmakers 1998, Issue 1 . Gale Group, 1998. Reproduced in Biography Resources Center. Farmington Hills , Mich.; Thomas gale 2006. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC "Harold Robbins". The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, volume 5; 1997-1999. Charles Scribner's Sons, 2002. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale 2006. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC Robert L. Gale. "Robbins, Harold". American National Biography Online. Sept. 2000 Update. Copyright (c) 2000 American Council of Learned Societies. Oxford University Press. Privacy Policy. Access Date: Wed Apr 5- 22:14:28 2006 "Harold Robbins". Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Robbins>
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
THE PIRATE, by Harold Robbins, did not have many reviews during its time of publication. This may be due to the fact that by the time THE PIRATE was published Harold Robbins was already a wildly popular author. He was one of those authors that people always bought. Therefore, many of the reviews focused on how this book would not disappoint Robbins fans. Gene Lyons stated in his review of the novel that, "?Robbins is more a product than a writer and is marketed as relentlessly as a vaginal deodorant spray" (Lyons 51). This is not a very flattering statement but I think that Lyons' point was that the work of Harold Robbins is a staple and people will always purchase things that are viewed as staples. Barbara Bannon of PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY began her review by stating that, "[n]othing less than a turnaround in the reading taste of millions will keep this white hot thriller from vaulting to the top of fall bestseller lists" (Bannon 64). Once again a reviewer is pointing out that Robbins has a following and a writing style that millions enjoy. Another focus is that reviewers seemed to find the plot of the novel a little hard to believe but at the same time it echoed the era's current events. In a review by Paul Gray, published in a November 11, 1974 issue of TIME, he stated that he felt that the main character in THE PIRATE may have been modeled after Abdlatif Al Homad. Gray also states that, "[Robbins] shrewdly blends in topical interest to create a sort of nonfiction fiction" (Gray 112). This seems to be something that many reviewers agreed on. Robbins apparently had a habit of lacing his novels with current events and characters that resembled real people. The final point that these reviewers made was that the novel is vulgar. Lyons writes that, "?islands of matchless Robbins crudity, most of them sadly unquotable, remain dotted throughout the text like dog droppings on an Astro-Truf lawn" (Lyons 51). This is defiantly not a flattering statement but at the same time Lyons predicts that, "this novel is going to sell like crazy, and the pretense of outrage is difficult to maintain" (Lyons 51). In other words the general reader likes vulgarity in their books and at the same time it can be easy to ignore. All in all the reviews for THE PIRATE are mostly positive with a few negative statements laced throughout. The reviewers mainly disliked the unbelievable storyline of the novel and the vulgarity found in it as well. However, the reviewers felt that the novel would meet the expectations of Robbins fans and the general reading public at large. [SOURCES] Bannon, Barbara A. "PW Forecasts". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Publisher's Weekly 206.4 (22 July 1974):64. Emerson, Sally. "Books Noticed". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Books and Bookmen20.4 (Jan. 1974):79. Feaver, William. "Bang up to date". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Times Literary Supplement (25 October 1974):1183. Gray, Paul. Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Time: the weekly magazine 104 (11 November 1974):112 Lyons, Gene. Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. New York Times Book Review 79 (27 October 1974):50-51. Straub, Peter. "Hot & Cold". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. New Statesman 88 (1 Nov. 1974):627.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
THE PIRATE, by Harold Robbins, did not have many reviews during its time of publication. This may be due to the fact that by the time THE PIRATE was published Harold Robbins was already a wildly popular author. He was one of those authors that people always bought. Therefore, many of the reviews focused on how this book would not disappoint Robbins fans. Gene Lyons stated in his review of the novel that, "?Robbins is more a product than a writer and is marketed as relentlessly as a vaginal deodorant spray" (Lyons 51). This is not a very flattering statement but I think that Lyons' point was that the work of Harold Robbins is a staple and people will always purchase things that are viewed as staples. Barbara Bannon of PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY began her review by stating that, "[n]othing less than a turnaround in the reading taste of millions will keep this white hot thriller from vaulting to the top of fall bestseller lists" (Bannon 64). Once again a reviewer is pointing out that Robbins has a following and a writing style that millions enjoy. Another focus is that reviewers seemed to find the plot of the novel a little hard to believe but at the same time it echoed the era's current events. In a review by Paul Gray, published in a November 11, 1974 issue of TIME, he stated that he felt that the main character in THE PIRATE may have been modeled after Abdlatif Al Homad. Gray also states that, "[Robbins] shrewdly blends in topical interest to create a sort of nonfiction fiction" (Gray 112). This seems to be something that many reviewers agreed on. Robbins apparently had a habit of lacing his novels with current events and characters that resembled real people. The final point that these reviewers made was that the novel is vulgar. Lyons writes that, "?islands of matchless Robbins crudity, most of them sadly unquotable, remain dotted throughout the text like dog droppings on an Astro-Truf lawn" (Lyons 51). This is defiantly not a flattering statement but at the same time Lyons predicts that, "this novel is going to sell like crazy, and the pretense of outrage is difficult to maintain" (Lyons 51). In other words the general reader likes vulgarity in their books and at the same time it can be easy to ignore. All in all the reviews for THE PIRATE are mostly positive with a few negative statements laced throughout. The reviewers mainly disliked the unbelievable storyline of the novel and the vulgarity found in it as well. However, the reviewers felt that the novel would meet the expectations of Robbins fans and the general reading public at large. [SOURCES] Bannon, Barbara A. "PW Forecasts". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Publisher's Weekly 206.4 (22 July 1974):64. Emerson, Sally. "Books Noticed". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Books and Bookmen20.4 (Jan. 1974):79. Feaver, William. "Bang up to date". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Times Literary Supplement (25 October 1974):1183. Gray, Paul. Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Time: the weekly magazine 104 (11 November 1974):112 Lyons, Gene. Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. New York Times Book Review 79 (27 October 1974):50-51. Straub, Peter. "Hot & Cold". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. New Statesman 88 (1 Nov. 1974):627.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Harold Robbins' 1974 novel, The Pirate, became a bestseller because of two things. First, Robbins uses current political events to serve as a focus in the novel. Secondly, The Pirate follows an established formula for a Robbins bestseller. The November 11, 1974 issue of Time Magazine features Yasser Arafat is on the cover, as well as Paul Gray's review of The Pirate. Gray points out how Robbins uses current events in the novel when he states Robbins, "?shrewdly blends in topical interest to create a sort of nonfiction fiction" (Gray 112). The Pirate, then, is an example of how Robbins incorporates current events into the creation of his book. In a 1974 review of The Pirate featured in the Times Literary Supplement, William Feaver states that, "The Pirate is very much up to the minute. It surveys the Middle East crisis?" (Feaver 1183). The Pirate deals with current events by focusing on the lives of Arab and Jewish main characters. The novel begins with two couples lost in a sand storm. One is a rich Arab couple taking shelter in tents with their entourage, and the other is a Jewish couple traveling by donkey. Both couples are expecting a child. The Jewish couple is traveling to the holy land with hopes that their child would be born there, but they lose their way and supplies in the storm. The Arab couple is returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca, where they asked Allah for a son, when the storm started. While waiting out the storm the Arab wife goes into labor and she is worried that she will have another girl. Meanwhile the Jewish husband wanders into the Arab camp with a his pregnant wife. His wife eventually dies, but because the Arab husband is a doctor, he is able to save the child. His own daughter, however, dies during birth. Because the Jew's wife is dead and he cannot care for the child, he tells the doctor to keep his son and raise it as his own. This is how a Jew grows up as the heir to a sonless Arab prince. The Arab doctor names the boy Baydr. By the time Baydr reaches adulthood, he acquires a lot of power and influence. When he grows up , for example, Baydr decides to have a movie about the life of the Prophet Muhammad created. When the idea for this movie is introduced in the novel, Baydr mentions that Jews control Hollywood and they do not want a movie about the Prophet created. The director who would take such a risk would be committing career suicide. Therefore, Baydr choose someone who is quietly anti-Semitic and would be willing to create the movie without fear of a backlash from the Jews in Hollywood. By the end of the novel, Baydr's rebellious daughter, from his first marriage, with the help of her terrorist friends, kidnaps Baydr's second wife and two sons. Baydr must enlist the aid of an Israeli General and his soldiers. This General happens to be his biological father. The terrorist group that Baydr's daughter is involved with want to reclaim the holy land and start a war with the Jews. This novel is laced with opinions from each side of the conflict. At one point in the novel, the character Yasfir tries to convince Baydr that their way is the best way to deal with the Jews by trying to bribe him. However, Baydr does not feel that bloodshed and money will solve anything. At one point in the novel, he thinks? This is the weakness of the Arab world. Corruption and graft had become an integral part of their commerce. Out of ten million pounds, only six million pounds was going to be used for the benefit of the people. And that benefit was highly questionable. What people needed was food and education, not guns. And certainly they did not need to enrich their leaders at their own expense. (Robbins 61) There are ideas in this novel that are similar to the one quoted above. It is a way for the author to express his views on the matter. The political message of this book is that Muslims and Jews do not have to fight in order to understand each other and to work with one another. They just need to find what they have in common and then proceed from there. The novel ends with the general dying and with his last breath he says, ?There is but one God?' (408) The point of this quote is to allow the reader to come to the conclusion that Jews and Muslims already have a common ground in their belief that there is only one God. Since the Jews and Muslims devote their lives to the same God, they should be able to live in harmony together through that belief. A current political issue is something that will keep a reader interested. When a particular issue is in the news, that issue is often earmarked as a good choice for incorporating into a novel. The public will find it interesting. Eventually that novel may make it to the bestseller list. This explanation can be applied to Harold Robbins' The Pirate. The Harold Robbins formula consists of characters that resemble real people, violence, and descriptions of explicit sex. These characters are typically extremely rich and they spend their time flying in private jets all over the world from party to party, exotic place to exotic place. The Pirate features the same types of characters that Robbins likes to place throughout his novels. In his Time Magazine review of The Pirate, Paul Gray, states, that he believes the main character, Baydr, "?might just be modeled on Abdlatif Al Hamad, the oil sheikdom of Kuwait's money manager" (Gray 112). The belief that Robbins models characters on real people is shared by the author Kathy Acker. In her 1990 article, "Dead Doll Humanity", written as a response to accusations that she plagiarized The Pirate in her work The Adult Life of Toulouse Lautrec, Acker states that Robbins modeled the main character's wife, Jordana, after Jacqueline Onassis. Acker seems to be the only person that published this belief, but it shows that modeling characters after real people is something common to the Robbins formula. Another theme that is common throughout The Pirate is violence, and this violence is usually coupled with sex. In chapter four, Baydr slaps his wife because she does not acknowledge the birthday present he places by her pillow. In chapter thirteen, there is a flashback involving Baydr having sex with his wife. This moment in their life takes place shortly after they were married. He degrades her through sex and in the end, he makes her realize that she is nothing more than his property. This theme of explicit sex is a common throughout Robbins' novels. In the 1974 New York Times Book Review, Gene Lyons points out one particular scene "?involving a well-endowed black man, a lust-crazed white woman, a jar of cocaine and a handful of amyl nitrate capsules?" (Lyons 51). Kathy Acker uses this same scene from the book in her work The Adult Life of Toulouse Lautrec. Lyons continues to say that "[b]y now Robbins is more a product than a writer and is marketed as relentlessly as a vaginal deodorant spray" (51). From the reviews, one may get the impression that people familiar with Robbins work would not be surprised by the explicit and vulgar nature of his writing. "Their heads were between one another's legs, their mouths and tongues viciously devouring each other when suddenly they rolled over one on top of the other and the twin half-moons of a pair of white buttocks was shining up at him?" (Robbins 28). This is an example of the type of explicit language that the reader will encounter in The Pirate. Further, down the same page the novel continues with a detailed description of how Baydr readies himself and one of the girls for anal intercourse. This scene introduces the reader to Robbins' writing style. The reader learns very quickly, what to expect, regarding the way certain subjects will be presented. The scene in The Pirate that reviewer Gene Lyons quotes and Kathy Acker uses in her work seems to be a scene that many feel to be quite shocking. Yet there are many more shocking scenes in this book, and one is located in chapter ten. This particular scene involves Jordana and a stranger aboard Baydr's yacht during her birthday party. Jordana helps him masturbate by the railing of the yacht. This scene on the yacht takes place much earlier than the scene that Lyons and Acker mentions, but it is just as shocking because Jordana, the main character's wife, performs this task while on a yacht full of party guests and her husband. The description of explicit sex is a part of the Robbins formula. If you are a Robbins fan then you expect to find the theme of sex in the book. A recognizable formula in a book is something that readers enjoy. If they know what to expect they will continue to seek it out. This idea can be seen in television shows. After the success of the first reality television show, every television network developed similar reality shows. The reason for this is that ratings show that audiences like this type of entertainment and they will watch things just like it. This is the same for novels. If one formula works, readers will seek out books that follow either the same exact formula or a similar formula. This is why the reviewer from Books and Bookmen closes the review for The Pirate with "[a] good value all-in package tour to Harold Robbins's land" (Books&Bookmen 79). The familiarity of the Robbins formula contributes to The Pirate being a bestseller. This novel became a bestseller because it attracted readers by making current political events a focal point in the novel, and by successfully applying a formula developed by an already multiple bestselling novelist, Harold Robbins. [SOURCES} Acker, Kathy. "Dead Doll Humility." Postmodern Culture. 1.1 (September 1990). http://muse.jhu.edu.proxy2.library.uiuc.edu/journals/postmodern_culture/ Bannon, Barbara A. "PW Forecasts". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Publisher's Weekly 206.4 (22 July 1974): 64. Emerson, Sally. "Books Noticed". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Books and Bookmen 20.4 (Jan. 1974): 79. Fare, Diane. "Kathy Acker." The Literary Encyclopedia. 10 Sept. 2006. The Literary Dictionary Company. 30 March 2006. http://www.litencyc.com Feaver, William. "Bang up to date". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Times Literary Supplement (25 October 1974): 1183. Gray, Paul. Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. Time: the weekly magazine 104 (11 November 1974): 112 Lyons, Gene. Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. New York Times Book Review 79 (27 October 1974): 50-51. Straub, Peter. "Hot & Cold". Rev. of The Pirate, by Harold Robbins. New Statesman 88(1 Nov. 1974):627. Robbins, Harold. The Pirate. Simon and Schuster: New York, 1974.
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