Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Pulp Legacy of Sidney Sheldon

I am sure Sidney Sheldon wouldn’t figure anywhere if I were to make a list of my favourite authors. Yet, he’s there always, in my bookshelf, in my imagination. I remember deciding to buy Are You Afraid of the Dark instead of the latest Harry Potter tome. Given that I dote on Harry, this is saying enough.
There are people who snigger at him, with words that I can’t even write here. But hey, give the poor chap a break. It would be an injustice to compare him with highbrow authors, say for example, Ian McEwan. Sheldon was a pulp writer, and the best one at that. And be sure, even those sniggering lot have also read him at least once.
As he passed away on January 30, everyone highlighted him as someone who won awards in three careers —theater, movies and television — before turning to writing best-sellers. The fact is, it was these three previous careers that made him the writer he was, an entertainer. His books are pure fantasy, in a very modern sense, of course. His stories are larger-than-life, even beyond Hollywood imagination, usually with a woman as the protagonist who’ll survive anything and everything. He can make a seemingly improbably situation authentic. He can write fantastic erotic scenes and they are all page turners. What more do you what?

Here’s remembering Sidney Sheldon through some of his best-loved books.

The Other Side of Midnight (1973)
Stars two women, Noelle and Catherine, and an ex-pilot Larry, who betrays the first and marries the later. Noelle traps a Greek tycoon, Constantin to take revenge upon Larry. The plans backfires as the old lovers find themselves back in love. The lady plots to murder her lover’s wife. Then there’s twist as Constantin also have a debt to settle.

A Stranger in the Mirror (1976)
Toby Temple and Jill Castle both want to make it big in Hollywood. Toby succeeds by seducing women as Jill is betrayed. They meet and after some drama, they fall in love and get married. Now, it’s revenge time for Jill, on those who betrayed her.

Rage of Angels (1980)
A love story gone awry as power take the precedence! Jennifer, a lawyer, is caught between her lover Adam, a senator and the father of her son and a mafia don Moretti, whose object of affection she is. As her son is kidnapped, she struggles to maintain Adam’s honour, who is running for presidential election and Moretti’s demands. Finally, she is killed and when Adam comes to learn about his son, it’s already too late.

If Tomorrow Comes (1985)
Ek Haseena Thi! Tracey is betrayed by her lover and goes to jail. Once she is out, all she wants is revenge, and soon turns into a master con woman, matching steps with the conman Jeff, going around the world performing one heist (highly improbable ones) after another.

Memories of Midnight (1990)
The sequel to The Other Side of Midnight. Catherine, who was supposed to be dead, returns, and is offered help by Constantin. However, anyone, who comes to know that she is alive, is murdered. What’s cooking, Catherine?

The Doomsday Conspiracy (1991)
Commander Robert Bellamy is assigned a top secret mission, to locate ten people who is supposed to have seen the crash of a UFO. As the investigation begins, one by one the witnesses are found murdered, and soon the conspiracy tightens its grip around Bellamy. A masterpiece of secrets!

Morning, Noon and Night (1995)
Harry Stanford is a rich man, but not particularly a good father. Then he dies. Was he murdered? As his children gather to claim their share of the wealth, there appears a mysterious woman claiming to be Harry’s daughter and demanding her share.

Tell Me Your Dreams (1998)
It tells about Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Ashley, a victim of child abuse, unwittingly creates two more personalities of her own, dominating Toni and shy Alette. As the three personalities struggle for their individual space, dead bodies start appearing around a confused Ashley. Is it Ashley’s father, who’s the murderer, or someone else?


  1. I love harry too..hope that in the last book JKR doesnt kill him or hermoine or ron, but they said that someone/one of the friends will die and harry may die too.. July 21st we will get to know! Anyway, there was a time not so long ago when i read every single of sheldon, rage of angles was one of my favorites and then there was if tomorrow comes.. there is something about his female characters, uber sexy and ultra cool and to top it deadly assassin on the prowl to take revenge! Awesome..we all love women who can kill while wearing Manolo Blahnik shoes! :P

  2. Oh..i hav no clue why ur blog wud take my name as adaa..weird! but hope u know who it is..saltandsaffron.