Book Reviews of California Gold

California Gold
California Gold
Author: John Jakes
ISBN-13: 9780345385499
ISBN-10: 0345385497
Publication Date: 4/24/1993
Rating:
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0 stars, based on 0 rating
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

10 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed California Gold on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
John Jakes is a great storyteller. This is a story about James Chance who dreams of becoming a rich Californian. It tells about his adventures along the way. You read about William Randolph Hearst and other powerful men of the era.
reviewed California Gold on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Love all John Jakes books. A lot of great historical information in a wonderful fiction plot. It's about the early days of California.
reviewed California Gold on
Helpful Score: 1
True to John Jakes fashion. What a wonderful read.
reviewed California Gold on + 15 more book reviews
Good reading book hard to put down Gene C
reviewed California Gold on + 14 more book reviews
This is an historical novel, well-written, involving and informative. If you are curious about California and like a good narrative, I recommend it.
JD
reviewed California Gold on + 5 more book reviews
California, supposedly "the world's paradigm of hope and opportunity," is Jakes's ( North and South ) setting for this novel about Mack Chance, an underdog whose ascent from poverty to affluence is a classic American success story. Like so many ambitious dreamers, Mack, an indigent Pennsylvanian, arrives in San Francisco in 1887 determined to make his fortune. To his dismay, he finds hardship, violence, bigotry, lawlessness and a city caught in the stranglehold of rapacious Southern Pacific railroad tycoons. Mack meets two bewitching women--rich, emotionally unstable Carla Hellman and dynamic Nellie Ross, a reporter for W. R. Hearst's San Francisco Examiner. After striking oil and becoming an orange grower, Mack prospers, but is left heartbroken when career-oriented Nellie won't marry him. He impulsively weds Carla, with disastrous results, while alienating many influential men by championing liberal causes. With strong commercial appeal, the novel potently conveys the raw, irrepressible vitality of California, but the historical backdrop (especially the 1906 earthquake) outshines the conventional rags-to-riches plot. Jakes's impressive research, plus his lively depictions of Hearst, Ambrose Bierce, Leland Stanford, Teddy Roosevelt and others, enriches the story considerably.
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abridged
reviewed California Gold on
This is a very good read and so full of California history! I really liked it and I'm sure you will too.
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From Publishers Weekly 2 cass. - 3hrs

California, supposedly "the world's paradigm of hope and opportunity," is Jakes's ( North and South ) setting for this moderately satisfying novel about Mack Chance, an underdog whose ascent from poverty to affluence is a classic American success story. Like so many ambitious dreamers, Mack, an indigent Pennsylvanian, arrives in San Francisco in 1887 determined to make his fortune. To his dismay, he finds hardship, violence, bigotry, lawlessness and a city caught in the stranglehold of rapacious Southern Pacific railroad tycoons. Mack meets two bewitching women--rich, emotionally unstable Carla Hellman and dynamic Nellie Ross, a reporter for W. R. Hearst's San Francisco Examiner. After striking oil and becoming an orange grower, Mack prospers, but is left heartbroken when career-oriented Nellie won't marry him. He impulsively weds Carla, with disastrous results, while alienating many influential men by championing liberal causes. With strong commercial appeal, the novel potently conveys the raw, irrepressible vitality of California, but the historical backdrop (especially the 1906 earthquake) outshines the conventional rags-to-riches plot. Jakes's impressive research, plus his lively depictions of Hearst, Ambrose Bierce, Leland Stanford, Teddy Roosevelt and others, enriches the story considerably. Literary Guild main selection; Readers Digest Condensed Book main selection; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Book Description

Jakes's biggest bestseller yet is a panoramic saga of one man's fortune and fate in the "promised land" of California during 1870-1913. 2 cassettes.
reviewed California Gold on + 17 more book reviews
If you want a 'historic' Danielle Steele, this is your book. But don't rely too much on the 'historic' facts as presented in this book, they are muddled to say the least. Gwen Bristow did this far better in her Calico Palace and Jubilee Trail. Plus her characters were far more believable and likeable than the cardboard cast in this book.

Any one who has driven across Nevada or thru New Mexico/Arizona can easily acknowledge that walking across these areas would require a LOT more carrying capacity (food/water) than one man could manage by himself. Yes people did 'walk' (instead of ride) west, but they usually had a wagon with supplies for all (humans/animals). And this blatant oversight is just the most obvious reason to loose any and all credibility with this story. And (lame) story it is.

PS, as a 4th generation born in California (since 1880s), this is a slap in the face to the history of this state. (my first relative in California was a trail scout that crossed this way 2 or 3 times. He would burn this book before he read it).