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Extended Audio Sample Gods of Newport Audiobook, by John Jakes Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.93 out of 52.93 out of 52.93 out of 52.93 out of 52.93 out of 5 2.93 (15 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Jakes Narrator: Jack Garrett Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9781442343054
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In the late nineteenth century, Newport, Rhode Island, was a cauldron of money, excess, and unapologetic greed, where reputations were made and lost in a whirlwind of parties and fancied slights. But amid the glamour of yacht races, tennis matches, and costume balls raged undeclared class warfare, scandalous doings, even madness.

In 1893, railroad mogul Sam Driver, one of the few surviving robber barons of the lawless years after the Civil War, knocks on the door of fabled Newport with his daughter, Jenny, determined not to be turned away. In the past, his "new money" was tainted by his rapacious reputation, and even now, an enemy with a pedigree of wealth and position vows to slam every door in Sam's face. But he is determined to win a place in the strange rarefied world of Newport's brief summer season, presided over by social gadflies Ward McAllister and the androgynous Harry Lehr, both of whom will assist the Drivers...for a price.

The Gods of Newport brings this gilded age of excess to thrilling life. It was a time and place whose extremes of greed, conspicuous consumption, and social striving have an astonishing resonance and relevance for the America we see around us today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Jakes is a fluent storyteller, and his meticulous reconstruction of fin-de-siècle excess will have fans savoring the lavish details of jewelry, fashion, food and follies.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The prolific Jakes scores with a lush new historical saga set on the glamorous, windswept shores of late-nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, the summer playground of the fabulously wealthy…Jakes displays his characteristic flair for class melodrama when he parallels the world of the rich and careless with the world of the hardscrabble underclass who work tirelessly to enable their ‘social betters’ to indulge in their summer idylls. He has fashioned yet another breezy, easy-to-read piece of historical fiction, sure to please his many fans.” 

    Booklist

  • “Historical personages blend nicely with the fictional in Jakes’ neatly organized saga, and the folly and ambitions of a father and rapacious businessman are exposed and forgiven.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 4/21/2011

    " It was a little hard to get into but then you could almost imagine being in the 1800's and how they lived with horse and carriage and boats the main mode of transportation. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nancy | 4/8/2011

    " I listened to this in the car over a month-long period, while doing errands. I generally like John Jakes' books, but this one wasn't very good. But, of course, I had to know how it ended, so I listened to the whole thing! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 1/7/2011

    " Listened to Audio Book - Story of Father and Daughter with life and loves in social Newport RI in late 1800s - Not enough detail of the city but kept you going because of the personal drama. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Collsells | 10/24/2010

    " Loved the story line, loved the setting, time period, etc. It was a bit confusing at first, with who's who, but ultimately the story was wonderful. This is the timeperiod I'd love to dive back in time and live a day. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ro | 8/5/2010

    " Just could not get into this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 6/21/2010

    " light... easy... breezy. exactly what I expected. exactly what i wanted. not amazing "literature" but a fun read after spending a tourist-y weekend in Newport recently. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rick | 5/8/2010

    " The book was a bit too shallow for my tastes. The characters were one-dimensional and their behaviors were too predictable. I read it because I've been to Newport many times and I am aware of its history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pat | 12/3/2009

    " Fast reading. About the rich and famous in Newport. . . . old money, not new. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Galesplace | 11/3/2009

    " I just love newport in the summer so I love it's history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 9/2/2009

    " I love John Jakes! I had forgotten how much because it had been a long time since I'd read any of his writing. I'm hooked again. And now I want to visit Newport! Read this book and enjoy! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janet | 8/21/2009

    " Not captivating me the way his others did. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 7/7/2009

    " After seeing Newport and the mansions this fall I got a much clearer picture of just exactly how wealty these people were. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wendy | 7/3/2009

    " Liked the setting in Newport and New York City but the story was rather lame and predictable. I thought John Jakes was a better writer than this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeri | 6/22/2009

    " This was good when I started it, but I had to turn it back in to the library and have not had the desire to pick it back up again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Parkerspammy | 3/14/2009

    " This book is pretty predictable; however, it does include a lot of the social life of Newport. "

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About the Author
Author John JakesJohn Jakes (b. 1932), the author of more than a dozen novels, is regarded as one of today’s most distinguished writers of historical fiction. His work includes the highly acclaimed Kent Family Chronicles series and the North and South Trilogy. Jakes’s commitment to historical accuracy and evocative storytelling earned him the title of “the godfather of historical novelists” from the Los Angeles Times and led to a streak of sixteen consecutive New York Times bestsellers. Jakes has received several awards for his work and is a member of the Authors Guild and the PEN American Center. He and his wife, Rachel, live on the west coast of Florida.
About the Narrator

Jack Garrett’s voice is immediately recognizable from his work in commercials and as a personality on radio stations in the West and Southwest. In addition to guest appearances on television, he has performed in dozens of theater productions on regional and New York stages, including Guys and Dolls, Hallelujah Breakdown, Prelude to a Kiss, Cast a Spell, and Bongo Fever.