Customer Reviews for

The Emperor's Children

Average Rating 2.5
( 97 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(37)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Great, sly book!

I'm not sure where the reservations about the author's elegant prose style come from. The sentences are long but well-constructed and don't require rereading. If you can negotiate Dickens, Austen--or Philip Roth, for that matter--you'll be fine. And the vocabulary ...
I'm not sure where the reservations about the author's elegant prose style come from. The sentences are long but well-constructed and don't require rereading. If you can negotiate Dickens, Austen--or Philip Roth, for that matter--you'll be fine. And the vocabulary isn't particularly demanding. However, the book is partly a satire, and if you require a character with whom you can identify, you might find the book off-putting for that reason. Messude is poking fun at these shallow people.

posted by Anonymous on April 21, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

I won't finish it

I've been trying to like this book, really I have. The long, protracted sentences with the stream-of-consciousness asides between the dashes have driven me nuts. I keep waiting for it to get better, and came here to read reviews to see if I had something to look forward...
I've been trying to like this book, really I have. The long, protracted sentences with the stream-of-consciousness asides between the dashes have driven me nuts. I keep waiting for it to get better, and came here to read reviews to see if I had something to look forward to. Apparently not - the characters remain as self-absorbed and stereotypical as I have already assumed, and apparently nothing clever happens through the rest of the book. I won't finish it - there are too many other books waiting!

posted by Anonymous on August 18, 2008

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    A Snapshot of Dysfunctional Lives

    Claire Messud is a brilliant writer with great descriptive powers. She has crafted a snapshot of several months in the lives a group of friends living in New York City. The problem for the reader is being able to care about any of these dysfunctional characters enough to make the book rise above the tediousness of their self-centered lives.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2009

    Decent Read

    This was a good book- a decent read though a little long winded at times. The characters were intertwined and the stories wove into each other and kept me interested.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    I found this book to be very good. Everybody complained about th

    I found this book to be very good. Everybody complained about the character development and the story line but i found it to be entertaining. Maybe that's what the author had in mind. This didn't have to be some deep, moving novel about a group of thirty somethings in New York. It could have simply been an entertaining look about the shallow , overly dramatic lives of a bunch of upper class people living in the city and i found it amusing. For me it played out the like a soap opera on paper. It's all in good fun. Yes the author did have long winded sentences with an enormous amount of vocabulary but what's a story about shallowness and pretension without a little of it thrown in the writing style? In my opinion the book had me hooked on that whole story line and the shallow, egotistical characters. And for those who say the story line was slow just give it a chance until all the characters start to interconnect. That's when things really start to get interesting.

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Okay

    The book was long-winded and went slowly for the first half of the book and it became engrossing in the last half. If the author could have more quickly engaged the reader in the beginning it could have been a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2007

    Great Writer - Horrible Characters

    This author is a terrific writer. I really enjoyed her narration and descriptions. I wish that she had not wasted her talents on such vile characters. Not one of them is likeable. They are all self-centered folks, none of which I'd even like to have coffee with. As someone who struggles with my weight, I also found the constant negative references to overweight people offensive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2007

    Doesn't live up to full potential -- okay overall

    I struggled to read this book at first, but I read it all the way through. I agree that the author shows off her vocabularly a bit too much. I think once you make it past page 125 or so, the plot picks up. The characters, though, never become particularly likable, which is perhaps the book's greatest challenge and its most important point. I wish the characters weren't so one-sided, but I think the book achieves the goal of looking at power struggles and insecurities among seemingly secure people. I didn't love the ending, but I'm glad I made it through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2011

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    Posted January 6, 2012

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    Posted September 18, 2010

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    Posted March 30, 2011

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    Posted January 6, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2009

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