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Riders – tekijä: Jilly Cooper
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Riders (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 1985; vuoden 1986 painos)

– tekijä: Jilly Cooper (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
5041335,845 (3.67)13
This steamy book blows the lid off international show jumping, a sport where the brave horses are almost human, and the humans behave like animals.
Jäsen:LoobyLou
Teoksen nimi:Riders
Kirjailijat:Jilly Cooper (Tekijä)
Info:Corgi Adult (1986), Edition: New Ed, 919 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
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Riders (tekijä: Jilly Cooper) (1985)

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» Katso myös 13 mainintaa

Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 13) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Great escapism, although I did put my lippy on before I drove past the local stables just incase of any passing Rupert Campbell-Blacks! ( )
  boobellina | Jul 12, 2017 |
Great escapism, although I did put my lippy on before I drove past the local stables just incase of any passing Rupert Campbell-Blacks! ( )
  boobellina | Jul 12, 2017 |
Oh, Jilly Cooper. Remembered so fondly from when I was a teenager. Big fat page turning books stuffed full of ponies and sex. And indeed, they are still big fat page turning books full of ponies and sex. But oh, I am older now, and read more critically, and they are not as comfortable as they once were. Or that's a lie, they are _just_ as comfortable as they once were, but that causes its own guilt. All the debates around 50 Shades, of what it says that women are enjoying reading romance where the relationship is so clearly Evil Bad and Wrong could all have been had just as much with this book, if not more so.

It is a book with a host of colourful characters, but it is primarily about Rupert Campbell Black. Rupert Campbell Black is, by any objective standards, unbelievably awful in this book. He beats a man unconscious and leaves him tied up and naked, because he was letting down the tires on his car. It is hard to find a reading of the foursome scene that does not conclude it's rape - Helen says 'no' and is crying. He picks up teenage girls for one night stands knowing full well many of them are underage. He cheats on his wife, and when he gives her an STD, lies and says she must have given it to him. He bullies Jake outrageously, not just when they are school children, but also when he joins the team. He whips his horse to a pulp until the animal has to be sold because he doesn't win and is angry. He arranges to be away show jumping when his wife gives birth to their first child, and is a horrifically unfair father, showering attention on his youngest daughter and having no interest in his elder son. He drives a wedge between Helen and the only friend she has when she has her first child, and then sleeps with the friend just because he can. He beats Helen up when he finds out she has slept with Jake. And so it goes on.

But, oh! The mind bending, worrying and disturbing thing about this book is how much, in the skilful hands of Jilly Cooper, the reader ends up adoring Rupert. He does horrifically cruel things - but he's so beautiful! He's so rich! His stately home glows in the evening summer sun! He's so witty! He's kind to Billy and he loves his dogs! He couldn't really help it, and the person he was cruel to was annoying/stupid/frigid/had hairy legs, delete as appropriate. The story is about lots of people, but the Grand Finale is Rupert, his wife has run away, he's dislocated his shoulder, he is under impossible strain and pain, and he shows that Good English Stiff Upper Lip that built the Empire, and he rides out and wins the Olympic Gold Medal, for himself and for the Whole British Team. And the crowd goes wild, and everyone adores him. Including me.

Which is awful, if you think about it too much. Or at least a bit... complicated.

Interesting as a slice of another time as well. Lots of views on marriage which I think have subtly shifted now. Billy drops Fen like hot cakes to go and make things work when his wife comes back, even though it was her that cheated on him, and they get the baby and a happy ending. Helen runs off with Jake and it Doesn't Work, their fantasy romance doesn't survive the real world with no money and nowhere to live. Jake goes back to Tory and realises it was Her He Loved All Along.

(And they all seem so Young now! I am 33, when I first read it they were Impossibly Grown Up, and now they are my age or younger. Awfully young, Jilly writes sexually active teenagers in a way you could probably do more easily in the 70s than you can now)

Jilly definitely seems through my eyes to write with more sympathy for her male characters than her female characters. Yes, Helen is highly strung and needy, and incredibly stupid for her timing of telling Rupert about Jake. But Jake is a stupid idiot for drunkenly proposing to her and then leaving everything hanging. Yes, Janey is a bit of a slob, and not great at supporting Billy. But Billy is a bit of a slob and no more use at supporting Janey.

Still, everyone bounces around and shakes down into their happy ending. Jake gets his Olympic medal, Tory doesn't die and they live happily ever after with the kids. Fen gets the consolation prize of someone to who isn't Billy to love, who will put a wedding ring on her finger, as Billy and Janey have a baby and none of their problems are mentioned again. Helen gets a consolation prize of someone to love who is finally clever enough to understand her. And Rupert - Rupert gets his gold medal, the adoration of the entire country, a nomination for parliament, and to seduce both another attractive woman and their attractive teenage daughter. Ah, Rupert.

Lots of fun. Deeply problematic. But still a big fat page turner full of sex and horses ( )
4 ääni atreic | Jul 13, 2016 |
Nederlandstalig gelezen, zeer spannend, wil wel meer van zelfde schrijfster lezen. ( )
  Kivia | Jul 26, 2015 |
I would just like to point out that this came off his shelves - our owning this is nothing to do with me. Published in the mid 80s this is very much of its time. I felt my hair perming and my shoulder pads extending as I read this. In essence its a tale of two men who are very different and loathe each other. That they both follow the same career path - into show jumping - means they cannot avoid each other. And so they clash. Several times. Rupert Campbell-Black is the classic upper class cad about town, apparently irresistible to women (times have changed, I'd have slapped his face) who rides effortlessly and seduces women with the same ease. He seems to me very much a man of his time and to the modern mind comes across as a complete twat. His opposition is Jake Lovell, part gypsy, loner, dark and mysterious and poor. Unlike Rupert he does not charm women from the trees (although he does manage when he puts his mind to it). Mixed up in this tussle you have their wives, neither of whom are in what you might call a happy marriage, although I'd rather Tory's drudgery than Helen's neglect. Then there are the friends, family, grooms (almost exclusively female) the chef d'equipe, the other jockeys and the dogs.
Many of whom seem to leap in and out of bed at a drop of the hat.
For reasons that escape me.
I'm not sure that the modern mind would read some of the relationships without censure that is markedly absent here. A girl not yet 17 has a relationship with a man easily old enough to be her father and no-one bats an eyelid. Even if it isn't presented negatively, it sits uncomfortably. It all ends in a bit of a tangle with desertion (of a wife and a team) at the Olympics in LA. From there is sort of tales off and you find yourself just wishing the last 30 odd pages to go by so you can put it down.
If I'm charitable, it hasn't aged well. If I'm being honest it probably never was great literature. The early 80s weren't a great era (I was there, I had spots, was overweight and tried to wear Lady Di colllars and ra-ra skirts. A time best forgotten). And while this smacks of the time, it feels stuck in that time and doesn't make you care for the characters involved. Do I care where they are now? no. They can stay between the sheets and keep out of the real world - I feel they'd not cope. ( )
2 ääni Helenliz | Mar 30, 2014 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 13) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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This steamy book blows the lid off international show jumping, a sport where the brave horses are almost human, and the humans behave like animals.

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Keskiarvo: (3.67)
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