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A Millionaire of Yesterday   By: (1866-1946)

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A Millionaire of Yesterday by Edward Phillips Oppenheim is a captivating novel that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the twisted world of wealth, deceit, and redemption. Set in the bustling streets of early 20th century London, the story unravels the life of Richard Vanderpole, a man who seemingly had it all – money, power, and prestige – but ultimately lost everything overnight.

Oppenheim successfully portrays Vanderpole as a complex character, torn between his ruthless pursuit of fortune and his desire for a meaningful existence. Through vivid descriptions and intricate plot developments, the author manages to sustain an air of mystery and suspense throughout the narrative, leaving readers engaged and eager to uncover the protagonist's fate.

One of the novel's strengths lies in its compelling exploration of the consequences of obsession and greed. Vanderpole's journey from rags to riches exposes the dark underbelly of society, where moral boundaries blur and alliances are formed with ulterior motives. Oppenheim's writing style is elegant and atmospheric, effectively immersing readers in the opulent world of the wealthy elite while also shedding light on the despair and disillusionment that often underlie their glamorous façade.

Furthermore, the character development in A Millionaire of Yesterday is truly commendable. Vanderpole's transformation from a cold-hearted tycoon to a man seeking redemption is both believable and heartfelt. Oppenheim successfully captures the internal struggle within Vanderpole, making him a relatable and sympathetic figure despite his flaws. The interactions with supporting characters also contribute to the depth of the story, each serving a purpose in furthering Vanderpole's emotional growth.

While the novel certainly excels in numerous aspects, some readers may find certain plot twists predictable or clichéd. Additionally, the pacing occasionally falters, with certain sections feeling slightly drawn out. However, these minor shortcomings do not detract significantly from the overall enjoyment of the story, as Oppenheim's mastery in crafting intricate characters and captivating settings compensates for any drawbacks in the plot structure.

In conclusion, A Millionaire of Yesterday is a thought-provoking and engaging novel that delves into the human desires for wealth, power, and personal redemption. Oppenheim weaves a captivating tale filled with suspense, moral dilemmas, and unexpected twists, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the very end. It is a book that will leave readers pondering the true value of material possessions and the price one pays for their pursuit.

First Page:


By E. Phillips Oppenheim


"Filth," grunted Trent "ugh! I tell you what it is, my venerable friend I have seen some dirty cabins in the west of Ireland and some vile holes in East London. I've been in some places which I can't think of even now without feeling sick. I'm not a particular chap, wasn't brought up to it no, nor squeamish either, but this is a bit thicker than anything I've ever knocked up against. If Francis doesn't hurry we'll have to chuck it! We shall never stand it out, Monty!"

The older man, gaunt, blear eyed, ragged, turned over on his side. His appearance was little short of repulsive. His voice when he spoke was, curiously enough, the voice of a gentleman, thick and a trifle rough though it sounded.

"My young friend," he said, "I agree with you in effect most heartily. The place is filthy, the surroundings are repulsive, not to add degrading. The society is er not congenial I allude of course to our hosts and the attentions of these unwashed, and I am afraid I must say unclothed, ladies of dusky complexion is to say the least of it embarrassing."

"Dusky complexion!" Trent interrupted scornfully, "they're coal black!"

Monty nodded his head with solemn emphasis. "I will go so far as to admit that you are right," he acknowledged... Continue reading book >>

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