Harold Robbins (1916–1997) is one of the best-selling American fiction writers of all time, ranking 5th on the World’s Best-Selling Fiction Author List just behind William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie. He wrote over 25 best-selling novels, sold more than 750 million copies in 42 languages and spent over 300 weeks combined on The New York Times best sellers list. His books were adapted into 13 commercially successful films and also television series that garnered numerous Oscar®, Golden Globe® and Primetime Emmy® nominations starring Steve McQueen, Elvis Presley, Laurence Olivier, Bette Davis, Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones and more.
The self-proclaimed "world’s best writer in plain English," Robbins wrote novels that resonated with audiences due to their graphic depictions of sex, violence, power and drugs, and the multilayered complexities of his characters, as evidenced by his best-selling novels Never Love a Stranger, The Carpetbaggers, Where Love Has Gone, and The Adventurers. He once said in an interview: "People make their own choices every day about what they are willing to do. We don’t have the right to judge them or label them. At least walk in their shoes before you do."
Robbins’ personal life was as fascinating to the public as his novels. An enthusiastic participant in the social and sexual revolution of the 1960s, Robbins cultivated a "playboy" image and maintained friendships with stars including Frank Sinatra, Clint Eastwood, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dino De Laurentiis, Robert Evans, Ringo Starr, Barbara Eden, Lena Horne and Quincy Jones, and was one of the first novelists to be prominently featured in gossip magazines, earning him the title of "The World’s First Rock Star Author."
From the author of The New York Times #1 best-selling novel The Carpetbaggers comes a hard-edged look at the seductive, high-stakes and often hypocritical world of religious revivalism and televangelists.
Spellbinder is the story of a genuine and charismatic believer simply known as "Preacher," who returns from the foxholes and horrors of Vietnam with a simple goal: to spread the word of peace, love and charity. He immediately attracts a following as he moves from California communes to small surfing towns. "The Church," as his mobile flock is now known, is a culture that centers as much on sex and drugs as prayers, sacraments and salvation.
Despite a growing following, The Church is bordering on broke. As they reach what is surely the end of the line in Texas, a powerful billionaire witnesses Preacher and likes what he sees. Promising a platform where Preacher can reach millions at once—not dozens—Preacher takes the leap into the new world of mass broadcasting the gospel.
Before long, Preacher becomes one of the most powerful televangelists in the country, making influential friends and building a vast empire as the newest religious superstar. He finds his new success and status as "the" rock star entertainer of big-top religion intoxicating. Deep inside, however, he realizes that he’s become just another "over-the-airwaves" televangelist selling everlasting salvation for an earthly price.
With a burning conscience, he knows that he must make a gut-wrenching decision: preserve his empire to continue to spread the word or make the ultimate sacrifice to expose the hypocrisy that surrounds him.
With five weeks on The New York Times best sellers list, this groundbreaking Harold Robbins novel tackles the culture of televangelism and big-money churches head-on. With a message that is still relevant today with reality TV shows like Preachers of LA, Spellbinder showcases the opulence and narcissism of these supposed men of God.