Cover image for Private lies
Private lies
Adler, Warren.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow, [1991]

Physical Description:
308 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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When Ken meets the wife of a client, he discovers she is an old flame. Baffled by her non-recognition, he discovers her rich husband has no knowledge of her past.

Author Notes

Warren Adler is a world-renowned novelist, short story writer and playwright. His books have been translated into more than 25 languages and two of his novels, "The War of the Roses" and "Random Hearts," have been made into enormously popular movies, shown continually throughout the world.

Three short stories from his acclaimed collection "The Sunset Gang" have been adapted as a trilogy and shown on Public Television stations. Mr. Adler's 29th and most recent book, "Funny Boys," was released in 2008 by The Overlook Press and his fifth short story collection, "New York Echoes" was published in 2008 by Stonehouse Press. His play "Libido" is scheduled for an off-Broadway production and his stage adaptation of the novel "The War of the Roses" is currently being produced in Italy, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague and countries in Scandinavia.

Mr. Adler is a pioneer in electronic publishing and has acquired his complete backlist and converted this entire library to digital publishing formats. As a novelist, Mr. Adler's themes deal primarily with intimate human relationships--the mysterious nature of love and attraction, the fragile relationships between husbands and wives and parents and children, the corrupting power of money, the aging process and how families cling together when challenged by the outside world. Readers and reviewers have cited his books for their insight and wisdom in presenting and deciphering the complexities of contemporary life.

A product of the New York public school system, Mr. Adler graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School and New York University, where he majored in English literature. Inspired by his freshman English Professor Don Wolfe, Mr. Adler went on to study creative writing with Dr. Wolfe when he taught at the New School. He also studied under Dr. Charles Glicksburg at the New School.

Among his classmates were Mario Puzo, William Styron and many other talented writers. Two collections of short stories "American Vanguard" and "Which Grain Will Grow" were published by Doubleday and represented a showcase of many young emerging authors, who like Warren Adler, won both popular and critical acclaim.

"I wanted to be a novelist since I was fifteen years old," he says. "Throughout my early career, I would write from five to ten in the morning every day before going to my office, a habit that has stayed with me since."

After graduating from New York University with a degree in English literature, Mr. Adler worked for the New York Daily News before becoming Editor of the Queens Post, a prize winning weekly newspaper on Long Island. His column "Pepper on the Side" became a staple of a number of newspapers in the country.

During the Korean War, after basic training he was recruited by Armed Forces Press Service to serve in the Pentagon as the only Washington Correspondent for the service. His Washington by-line went all over the world and was published in every publication put out by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. Prior to his success as a novelist, Mr. Adler had a distinguished business career. He has owned four radio stations and a TV station, has run his own advertising and public relations agency in Washington, D.C. and was one of the founders with his wife Sonia and son David of the Washington Dossier magazine. When his first novel was published in 1974, he became a full time novelist. Today, when not writing, Mr. Adler lectures on creative writing, motion picture adaptation and the future of Electronic Books. He is the founder of the Jackson Hole Writer's Conference and has been Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jackson Hole Public Library. He is married to the former Sonia Kline, a magazine editor. He has three sons, David, Jonathan and Michael and four grandchildren and lives in New York City.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Once again Adler ( War of the Roses ) focuses not on the redemptive power of love but on its capacity for destruction, in this case in the form of all-consuming sexual passion. When Ken Kramer and Carol Stein meet at a dinner arranged by their spouses, it has been 20 years since they ended their incendiary affair. Inexorably, the old erotic flame draws them together, but they are not the same people they once were. She, having failed as a professional ballerina, has married pompous Eliot Butterfield for his money; Eliot had hoped to become the next Hemingway but he's writing advertising copy instead. This is not, however, a story of lost dreams and new chances, for Ken and Carol are not the lone adulterers: antiseptic Maggie Kramer and Carol's formerly stodgy hubby have discovered orgasmic ecstasy in each other. Before the philandering foursome heads off on safari (from which only three will return) of stolen moments among famished crocodiles and stampeding elephants, this elegantly rollicking story loses some of its oomph. The black comedy lurches toward slapstick. Author tour. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Passionate lovers in their youth, Carol and Ken meet again 20 years later, when their spouses develop a business arrangement. They keep their previous relationship a secret, and soon renew their affair, devising a plan to rid themselves of both mates by enabling them to fall in love with each other. This is not the stuff that great romances are made of, and the interest spurred by the story of Ken and Carol's young lives is checked by their development as selfish, flat, middle-aged adults. Even more tedious is their constant whining about unfulfilled, youthful career aspirations, he as a Hemingway imitator, she as a ballerina. Not a credible addition to this established author's large body of work, but expect demand considering that Adler penned the popular book (then film) War of the Roses (Warner, 1981). Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/90.-- Lydia Burruel Johnson, Mesa P.L., Ariz. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.