Ultimate Prizes

Ultimate Prizes Book three of Susan Howatch s extraordinary sequence of novels Ultimate Prizes is a brilliantly readable story a riveting exploration of the interplay of past and present in the human psyche and of t

  • Title: Ultimate Prizes
  • Author: Susan Howatch
  • ISBN: 9780006178002
  • Page: 180
  • Format: Paperback
  • Book three of Susan Howatch s extraordinary sequence of novels, Ultimate Prizes is a brilliantly readable story a riveting exploration of the interplay of past and present in the human psyche and of theor sin and salvation in the human soul.

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    • Ultimate Prizes ¦ Susan Howatch
      180 Susan Howatch
    • thumbnail Title: Ultimate Prizes ¦ Susan Howatch
      Posted by:Susan Howatch
      Published :2019-07-08T07:57:57+00:00


    About “Susan Howatch

    • Susan Howatch

      Susan Howatch b 1940 is a British novelist who has penned bestselling mysteries, family sagas, and other novels Howatch was born in Surrey, England She began writing as a teen and published her first book when she moved to the United States in 1964 Howatch found global success first with her five sagas and then with her novels about the Church of England in the twentieth century She has now returned to live in Surrey.



    292 thoughts on “Ultimate Prizes


    • "Ultimate Prizes" offers the reader a rich and fascinating view into the life of a Church of England archdeacon (Neville Aysgarth), who, at the story's outset, appears to have it all. A position of high authority with the prospect of future advancement, a loving, supportive wife and 5 children. But, during the course of a dinner party given by his Bishop, Dr. Ottershaw, in the late spring of 1942, Aysgarth makes the acquaintance of a vivacious young woman (Diana Dorothea Tallent, otherwise known [...]


    • The third book in the Starbridge, Ultimate Prizes is for me, the most moving and profound book in the entire series. It's the one that I think sort of lays out what Susan Howatch was trying to accomplish.Narrated by Neville Aysgarth, an ambitious archdeacon it is the story of his lifetime quest for the "ultimate prizes." He is by far the most fascinating character of the series for me. Just when I think I have him all nicely figured out he throws me a huge curve ball. I love the way Howatch desc [...]


    • The third book in the Starbridge series. So far each book has been narrated by a clergyman who goes off the rails and has to be nursed back to spiritual health by someone outside his ecclesiastical comfort zone. In Glittering Images the Neo-Orthodox scholar is under the care of the mystic. In Glamorous Powers the Mystic is restored by the modernist. InUltimate Prizesa broadchurchman is put back together by Anglo-Catholics. No plot spoilers here. Like the other novels, the protagonist has issues [...]


    • Pretty good but not up to the first two Starbridge books. I wanted to punch Dido in the head. Also now I have to read about religious Liberalism and the problem of evilading Howatch always gives me a lot of homework to do!


    • This is the 3rd book in the "Church of England" series. Another real look at real problems real people face. Honestly, Howatch's characters are so believable, I forget it's fiction I'm reading. I personally love the theme of this book--only true repentance leads to forgiveness and freedom, and getting there involves calling sin sin, not just "ringing down the curtain" on it!!Again, there are many memorable characters in the book, including:Neville Aysgarth"Crisis?" I said. "What crisis? The cris [...]


    • Enter Neville Aysgarth, Stage right. Life (or in this case, death, happens - wide number 1 - exit normal life, Stage left. Full of clerical pretentiousness, testosterone and ambition, and a Man in pursuit of Ultimate Prizes. As a reader, this is like watching very expensive cars crash - addictive and absorbing. On a deeper,even, lots to be pondered and reflected on about love, forgiveness, war, peace, rehabilitation and the schisms in the Church of England. Fabulous - like plain chocolate and a [...]


    • I'm beginning to think that once you've read one Starbridge book you've read them all. That's not to say they aren't compelling, but I've yet to find one that deviated from the pattern of a clergyman's marital/sexual crisis leading to personal breakdown, following by an encounter with a powerful spiritual mentor, who leads said clergyman to uncover painful truths about the past. Newly reconciled to the truth about himself, the clergyman sets out on a new life of personal sacrifice and service to [...]


    • As with the previous books in this series, I enjoyed Howatch's skill in crafting complex characters and weaving together psychology and spirituality to explore human relationships. I appreciated seeing characters who were central in previous novels playing supportive roles in this one, passing along the learning and insights they've attained earlier. It's also been fascinating to see how she depicts the Church of England evolving through the course of history, as a result of both internal change [...]


    • Really enjoying this series about clergymen in the Anglican church. The main character in each book suffers a spiritual and emotional breakdown, usually related to his childhood and past hurts. The path to new life means facing the pain, becoming honest, and accepting responsibility. I find these books to be deeply touching and encouraging in my spiritual journey.


    • really enjoyed this but I do not believe there has been a change in Neville. so I peeked ahead to the next in the series and I do believe i'm right!


    • Another re-read. You always know what you're getting with these: racy, compulsively-readable, healthy dose of theological controversy.


    • One review of Howatch's books is probably enough, or at least a comment on the Starbridge series that I have read. They won't everyone's cup of tea because they are set in England and everybody is white and pretty much upper class, the plots revolve around Anglican clergy. If Howatch doesn't have a doctorate in divinity someone should give her an honorary one.I read these years ago, and I recognized one in ten names of the theologians her character discuss I read them while I was taking a distan [...]


    • I did not expect to like, let alone love this book. It sat on my shelf for more than a year, and although I picked it up several times, I could never get past the back cover. It did not feel like a book I wanted to read (an archdeacon struggling with adultery thanks), but I was wrong. The book takes place in England during the 1940's, and from the very start I was drawn in by the history of the Church of England. I have aways been fascinated by the evolution of the Evangelical church over Cathol [...]


    • This time it’s 1945, and it’s the turn of Archdeacon Aysgarth to enter the limelight and be plunged into the irrationality of valuing a perfect life (family and career) whilst utterly endangering what he professes to so cherish, by his pursuit of and tormented satisfaction in an adulterous relationship.I had picked up the first two books of this series out of curiosity. This, third, volume I deliberately hunted out on the shelves of my local bookshop; basing the timing of my search on the pu [...]


    • This is book 3 of Susan Howatch's Starbridge sequence.As are the others, this book is a powerful exploration of the character of an ambitious but flawed clergyman (Charles Aysworth). Set in tween wars england, the book starts with Charles realising he has "almost" committed adultery, and then traces the events that lead up this event and the events leading on from it. The book ends up in a fairly predicable Fall / Crash / Redemption sections.Susan Howatch looks at the way Charles's theology inte [...]


    • Book Review: Ultimate Prizes by Susan Howatch (Church of England #3) - This whole series is well worth reading. But is not traditional Christian Fiction. It is more about the way sin seperates us from God and how often we stray from what God wants for us. But how God can work through us anyway. Ultimate Prizes is about an Arch Deacon that gets the Ultimate Prize he is looking for, but finds it wasn't want he really wanted. The full review is on my blog at bookwi/ultimate-prizes/Eventually I will [...]


    • Third in the Starbridge series about Church of England ministers in the middle of the 20th century.This book is written from the perspective of Neville, an Archdeacon, whose habit of 'ringing down the curtain' on all unpleasantness has led to enormous amounts of repression, and a near nervous breakdown.Believable, if dramatic, with interesting digressions into the theological debates of the times, and attitudes to the wars. Shocking in places, but definitely recommended. Enjoyed all the more eve [...]


    • It took me a while to finish this one (we went on vacation and I had the large print from the library and didn't want to haul it to GA) and I think they are much better read quickly. Same interesting elements as the other books-sex, lies, past issues, church and world history, and spirituality. I think this one had a lot more in depth theology plotting Modernism against I guess what we would call today-Fundamentalism, but she called Crisis theology. I really liked how this book brought out info [...]


    • This is the third book in the Starbridge series. Neville Aysgarth has a seemingly successful life as a young priest and father of five children. Yet with all of Howatch's books, there is much that lurks under the surface of this glittering veneer of perfection. Neville is a particularly fascinating character because he is so universally disliked by the other characters in the series. Even as he narrates his descent into the abyss, the reader wonders how much he can be trusted. It's a truly compe [...]


    • As with the other Starbridge novels that I've read, Ultimate Prizes is a fascinating look at a powerful man driven to the brink of self-destruction by guilty secrets. I found this one to be most interesting because it immediately precedes Scandalous Risks, a book which I fell in love with several years ago. Now that I've read the first three novels in the Starbridge series, I look forward to re-reading Scandalous Risks with a fuller understanding of the dark, twisted history behind it. This was [...]


    • Neville Aysgarth is a young and ambitious Archdeacon of Starbridge during the Second World War. After being widowed and remarried, he too (like everyone else in this series) undergoes something of a breakdown but ultimately is rescued by Jonathan Darrow, a recurring character.It is hard to explain why this series is so compelling but I don't think I am alone in finding it addictive. For those who are English and Anglican, I would guess there is probably the added pleasure of guessing who some of [...]


    • This is set in 1940s England. Neville is an archdeacon who deals with life by 'ringing down the curtain' on anything unpleasant, including his entire childhood and a row he had with his mother as an adult. His life gets to a point where that's no longer working, and he has to face up to why he acts like he does, and what really happened all those years ago. The author is rather insightful about human delusions and God's mercy. This is an excellent, thought-provoking book.


    • Really enjoyed this book. Having been passed it in a bundle of second hand books I had ignored it for ages and wasn't at all tempted to pick it up. Having started it though I polished it off within a few days and ordered an earlier book from the series straight off. I was fascinated by the main protagonist Neville Aysgarth and his struggles, even when he was being quite horrible and had a good cry at his final crisis in Brighton.


    • Re-read the book in January 2013. I was bored in the first section because I find the character of Dido Tallent incredibly boring. But the rest of the book, as Norman Neville Stephen Aysgarth goes through his history and the relationships with mom/dad/ and Uncle Willoughby is quite a good rehash of the Fordites and Darrow helping him through the crisis.Was going to go down to 3 stars due to beginning, but now going to stick with 4.


    • The third book is Susan Howatch's series of psychological novels about priests in the Church of England, this book focuses on a modernist priest going through a marital crisis at the end of World War II. Although this book is as well-written as the others in the series, I found the main character to be less likable, so the book was slightly less successful overall.


    • Very compelling, very interesting, and very real. It wasn't buttered up, and since it was done in first person, it felt easier to sympathise with the main character. There was a lot of religion talk, but it also used historical facts. It also sounds how easy it is for a single person to be able to make such a large impact on people's lives


    • Each book follows the same general group of clergymen from the Church of England. This one is filled with psychology as well as spiritual aspects. Getting to know these characters one at a time, and then seeing how they interact from book to book is great. I had read this series when it was being written, so am enjoying the re-reading so many years later.


    • It's wonderful and terrible to be hooked on a series like this. I'm On book 3 of six. Each book really could be read independently, but as (so far) each book is told from a different first-person narrative, you get a lot of insight on the characters. I the reader know things that the narrator in each story DOES NOT KNOW. Howatch is a first class story weaver.


    • Having read these out of order, I'd been mystified as to why Aysgarth was in one novel as Neville with a perfect wife, and in another as Stephen with a peculiar one - was it even the same. person? This filled in those blanks vet satisfactorily.


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