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Summary

Kate Blackwell is the symbol of success, the beautiful woman who parlayed her inheritance into an international conglomerate. Winner of a unique position among the wealthy and world-renowned, she is also a survivor as indomitable as her father, who returned from the edge of death to wrench a fortune in diamonds from the hard South African soil. Kate surveys the family she has manipulated, dominated and loved; the fair and the grotesque, the mad and the mild, the good and the evil - her winnings in life. Is she the master of the game?

Sidney Sheldon was a masterful storyteller, who during his lifetime penned over 200 television scripts, 25 major motion pictures, six Broadway plays, and 17 novels, including The Naked Face, The Other Side of Midnight, The Sands of Time, Memories of Midnight, and The Stars Shine Down, together selling over 300 million copies, making him one of the world's most prolific authors.

©1982 Sheldon Literary Trust (P)2009, 2016 Phoenix Books

Critic reviews

"A master storyteller at the top of the game." ( USA Today)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Narrator was terrible

Would you try another book written by Sidney Sheldon or narrated by Shannon Engemann?

Would like to listen to this story and others by the author but NOT BY THIS NARRATOR. Narrator rushed and as a result little pauses or drama. Was so off-putting I couldn't listen any more.

What will your next listen be?

Not sure

What didn’t you like about Shannon Engemann’s performance?

Felt like the reading was rushed, little in the way of pauses, Drama and accents were poor. Very off-putting.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment because I wanted to hear the story and purchase the further books in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific story. Awful narrator.

The story line is fast moving & very interesting. However, this has to be the worst narrative I have ever listened to. There are pauses in all the wrong places & this took a while to get used to. Nothing wrong with the readers voice just the way the book was read aloud. Never heard anything as bad before & hope this is just a one off.
Still the book is very good. I got to know & understand the characters. If you can overlook the narration it still is a good tale.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant story with lots of twists and turns

Fabulous book covering several generations...... I could not stop listens As I wanted to know what happened next ........
10 out 10 for Mr Sheldon..... he never disappoints

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Nicholas
  • 06-11-16

Reader destroys the storytelling

What did you like best about Master of the Game? What did you like least?

The book passes the time in traffic nicely, but I'm reluctant to try Sidney Sheldon again after this. The story seems like sprawling soap opera, which is fine, but a bit more subtlety and nuance would help a lot. I think I could have enjoyed the book more if the reader hadn't gone out of her way to kill what was left of enjoying the story.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator is so rushed in her reading of this book it's as if she's late for a flight and trying to get it done before she has to leave for the airport. Then there are the weird pauses. Seven second pauses repeatedly in the middle of a thought or an idea. This happens every few minutes or so and does not pass for a paragraph break. Unbelievably bad. Then she performs the antagonist's dialogue in exactly the same imploring and sensitive voice that she uses on the protagonists, eg If a villain says "you must do this" , it reads and sounds different to a protagonist imploring "you must do this". This concept is lost on this reader.My advice to the reader, if you're going to do something in life do it well or don't do it all. There are lots of good readers on audible, listen and learn. I have to say I also feel like the best readers have pre read the book and know how to approach ambiguous sections of the story - this reader was winging it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • 09-12-17

Mixed feelings.

The book is broken into four parts - the lives of different generations in the family.

I loved the first part - Jamie’s story. He goes to South Africa to find diamonds.

The second part was ok about Jamie’s daughter Kate.

The third part was depressing - Tony’s story. Kate does evil things and permanently harms her son Tony.

The fourth part was about Eve and Alexandria - identical twins. That was the most troubling. I was depressed reading this part. Eve is an evil sociopath. She tries many times to kill her twin and harm others. She lies and is always believed. Too one-dimensional to be interesting. I did not like reading about Alexandria who was stupid because she never suspected Eve was trying to harm or lie to her. Alexandria was supposed to be a lovely sensitive smart woman, but her stupidity at believing everything Eve wanted her to believe was TOO STUPID TO LIVE.

I don’t want to read about smart people who do stupid things. And I want justice in the end. This book had some justice but I didn’t feel good enough at the end. I was angry and depressed.

Sexual content: Several sex scenes occur and a couple sadist-rape scenes occur but they are referred to, no details shown.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Shannon Engemann does not know how to narrate. She needs to listen to Will Patton, Dick Hill, and Frank Mueller to learn. It’s like she is fast reading. She doesn’t pause with feeling or wonder or interest.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: mild. Setting: 1883 to 1982 various locations in South Africa, Europe, United States. Book copyright: 1982. Genre: fiction.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • p
  • 16-09-16

Bravo! Sidney does it again

once again another home run for the king of story telling. bring on the next novel

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff Irish
  • 17-12-17

Master of Suspense

I get bored easily, but this book kept me wanting to hear more and more and found myself in my car arrived at my destination, but unwilling to get out of the car until I knew what happened.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Coloradolady
  • 29-11-17

Fantastic story - horrible narrating!

I read this book back in the 1980s. Loved it! But the narration is way too fast so I slowed it down to .75 which helped a lot since I could not have listened otherwise. BUT, there are horrible pauses that are in the strangest places all throughout. I love this story so I put up with it but it would cause those who have never read this book to return it immediately. PLEASE have it read again with a current narrator. It would be so much better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • W2
  • 11-12-18

Read page by page

The story itself is fine, not one problem with it. It’s the performance of the reader that is horrible. You can tell that this was read page by page, just as it appears. And when the page ends, long pause. No pauses where they would actually be necessary. Whomever edited the recording, or produced the recording, did the reader no favors.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DuchessM
  • 15-09-18

I love love this book and the narrator, Amazing!

I've always enjoyed Sydney Sheldon's books and this is definitely no exception. Bloody hell it kept me away from my course materials but it was definitely a sweet distraction, exactly what my brain needed to prepare for the semester lol. The narrator did a fine job with it. her voice was just the right one for each character. I totally enjoyed every single piece of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-09-18

Great story

What a delight, I read this book maybe 20 years ago and I liked it. So I thought I would listen to it. I had forgotten most everything about it except for a few details. It was really fun listening to it again after all these years.Although I forgot the whole storyline it was great to listen to it it was almost like the first time. I would highly recommend it.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chantal Noordeloos
  • 30-07-18

Not a great narrator

Awkward pauses and rushed sentences really didn’t do the book any justice. I will avoid further books narrated by this lady, even though she actually has a pleasant voice. It was just so unprofessional.
The book itself is a fun little read. Not terribly well written, but the exciting story makes up for a lot! It’s a bit of a mixed bag, this one

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chicky
  • 06-02-18

Odd pauses

Would you listen to Master of the Game again? Why?

Not sure.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Still too new, don’t have a favorite.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Theere are these odd pauses with the narrator of the book. I’ve never experienced with any book on audible. It’s as though the narrator is pausing while they turn the page. Most annoying!!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I could.