“You’ll be up all night reading American Pop; rich, Mississippians loose on the world, committing hi-jinks, and with a lovely satisfying ending. A great read.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This is the story of the making of Pan- Cola, a mythical soda company that rivals coke and Pepsi and at one time is the industry leader. The Forster family are the makers of this brand of pop and Houghton Forster the inventor.
Through flashbacks our story moves back and forth for almost 100 years as it tells the story of this very powerful family, built around a popular drink with a secret ingredient that no one knows but the inventor, and his dilemma throughout the story is to find a member of his family trustworthy enough to know the secret and continue running the company after he is gone. His own three children all don’t make the grade for one reason or another, led by the eldest son Montgomery who originally shows the most promise. Then there are the grandchildren and one appears to possibly be the choice but it is a long road ahead to find the answer to his problem.
I enjoyed the story the most when it was about Houghton. The way he meets the girl who will be the love of his life, and the radical thing he will do to save his marriage. His relationship with his children and grandchildren is something to read about as he deals with his final decision.
As the flashbacks really go all over the place jumping back and forth in time but not in any particular sequence means you really need to pay attention to remember where exactly in the story you are.
The plot is a good one. I could only think if this book had been written 50 years or so ago, and Harold Robbins or Irving Wallace would have gotten ahold of it, we would have had a 700 page epic with a lot more detail, scandal and sex, but the author does a credible job getting the story across up to and including its ending. I just don’t know which version I would prefer.
Added 5th April 2019