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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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    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 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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 23, 2009

    See it through

    I'd heard this was a marvellous book, but thought the characters were shallow and spoiled for the first few chapters. I stuck with it, and the depths of their stories were revealed. Truly amazing people, in normal lives (albeit priveleged and quite 'new york'), experiencing the frailities and struggles everyone does but with an intelligent quizzical mirror held up against themselves. You know their faults, admire their strange and marvellous achievements, and you see their mistakes coming, cringe for them, and sometimes hope for them (even the ones you find distasteful). When I finished I sat still for about 1/2 an hour, just stunned by how affected I was by their stories and by Messud's gentle, thoughtful, deeply quiet and quietly deep writing.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2012

    Are we reading the same book?

    I rarely read a book twice. But I will be doing so shortly. This book I found hard to put down. The characters are real. The egos easy to see if you have ever been in the business world.

    Danielle reads like someone I knew. As others have ask. Read the book through!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2008

    Absorbing and elegantly written

    The author really delves into the flawed personalities of the various characters. I enjoyed the way the narrative occasionally broke off from dialogue to a description of what is going on around the characters. A delight to read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    Loved this book...

    Beginning of book left me luke warm, but curious. So glad I stayed with it! The characters were fleshed out nicely in the second half. I read the second half straight through, and hated to see it end. The next day, found myself 'missing' the characters, wishing for a sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2008

    Insightful and Illuminating

    I can't believe the knocks this title seems to be getting. I was enthralled with this book all the way through. Anyone who has lived in New York or struggled to find ways to make their lives meaningful and filled with integrity will have a lot to relate to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2007

    Brillant! Thank you Ms Messud!

    I am shocked by the reviews on this page! And actually I wonder how much literature these 'reviewers' have read. I loved this book. It is a long one, and I could not put it down. The characters and scenes walk off the page. I didn't want it to end.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2007

    Since all the reviewers here are haters....

    I don't often write reviews because I'm not a reviewer, I'm a reader. Nevertheless I felt I had to jump in here to counteract some of the bad reviews posted. This book is suitable for someone who likes modern literary fiction. Those fans of Stephen King and Tom Clancy probably should not bother. Perhaps that would explain why so many are 'bored'. Books like this are not about the 'plot'. They're about people in the world. The writing is exquisitely beautiful. The characters are fully drawn and highly believable. Or maybe you have to be a New Yorker as I am. If you like beautifully written, character driven literary fiction, you can't beat Messud.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2007

    Brilliant!

    I agree with the reviewer who said this book was the best thing she had read since 'On Beauty' (except I would add 'The Inheritance of Loss' also). It is refreshing to find a talented writer who combines engaging characters with lyrical writing. It is also rewarding to read a book that has been well-edited, a growing rarity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2006

    The best book I've read since On Beauty

    This is not only good literature, it's a page-turner. I would recommend it to people who love books and those who don't think they do.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2006

    A charmer

    They became friends at brown University and remain close almost a decade later. At college, each thought they would make it to the big time in the chosen endeavor before they turned thirty. However, they remain struggling and much of their youthful enthusiasm and confidence is replaced by despondency and fears of failure as thirty is just around the corner.------------ Danielle Minkoff struggles to make it as a TV documentary maker Julius Clarke is failing as a freelance critic wannabe author Marina Thwaite resides with her parents while her work ¿The Emperor's Children Have No Clothes¿ remains somewhat bare. Still they have each other, which keep them from going to far over to the dark side. That is until the Australian Ludovic courts Marina as a means to destroy her father who he hates and Marina¿s cousin pseudo-intellect Frederick 'Bootie' Tubb enters the group.---------------- Claire Messud brings Richard Sheridan¿s satirical play on manners The School for Scandal from late eighteenth century London to post 9-11 New York as the author skews the pretentiousness of locals that insist Manhattan is the center of the universe. The cast is a delightful ensemble, who live up to the title of Marina¿s non-book as each is literally stripped bare (think Carlisle¿s clothing theory of man). This is an intelligent amusing stripping away of the affectations used by society to hide flaws and blemishes.------------------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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