“Robbins’s books are packed with action, sustained by strong narrative drive, and are given vitality by his own colorful life.” —The Wall Street Journal
Based on a $100 bet with his boss that he couldn’t write a novel, Harold Robbins penned his first book, Never Love a Stranger. Not only did Robbins win the bet, the novel became a best-seller, was adapted into the classic noir gangster film of the same name starring John Barrymore and Steve McQueen, and launched the career of one of the world’s best-selling authors of all time.
Never Love a Stranger, still considered one of Robbins’ most powerful books, tells the story of Francis “Frankie” Kane, an orphan growing up in the dirty world of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. After being kicked out of a Catholic orphanage when it is discovered that he is of Jewish descent, a confused and deeply distraught Frankie turns to a life of crime, the only life he knows, and he’s good at it. Frankie quickly makes a name for himself and becomes one of New York’s most dangerous men, ruling the city with an iron fist and indulging in his passion for sex, power and the best things life has to offer—regardless of whether they’re for sale. But Frankie’s childhood friend, Jerry, grows to become an ambitious, tough-as-nails district attorney—determined to bring Frankie down.
In Robbins’ writing debut, he takes an unflinching look at the menacing New York of a bygone era when the syndicate ruled without mercy—and the world was introduced to a writer who would influence pop culture worldwide for decades to come.
More than 25 New York Times best-sellers later—many, like his most famous novel, The Carpetbaggers, reaching the #1 spot—and with over 750 million copies sold to date, Robbins became one of the most successful authors of all time. This is the novel that started it all—giving the world its first taste of Robbins’ world of sex, corruption, and intrigue.