The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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Harold Robbins

One of the biggest bullshitters of all time and, like all famous writers, brilliant at inventing a personal history for himself that sold books (but was not true), Harold Robbins was a consummate flim-flam man. He claimed he was raised as a circumscribed Jew in a Roman Catholic orphanage, when, in fact, he was brought up in Brooklyn by immigrant parents.

Alan Whicker in his 1971 documentary (available as part of Whicker’s World), perfectly captures the essence of Robbins, a man without integrity, quintessentially American, a person who would scam anyone naive enough to believe him. What does it means to pull yourself up by your bootstraps? It is summed up in these words: no lie is too big or outrageous if it achieves your ends.

Still, we must honor him. He had balls bigger than anyone. Harold Robbins may not have invented pulp fiction, but he was certainly the master of it.

1 comment

1 Jann Robbins { 07.11.11 at 9:18 am }

I am the widow of Harold Robbins. Your vitriolic assessment of Harold is inaccurate and crude. My book about him “Harold & Me” tells the real story. Please do your research before you make a character assassination.