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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 January 17, 2011

    A Struggle to get through!

    This book came to highly recommended and was on so many book of the year lists, I was really looking forward to reading it. However, I found the characters uninspired, shallow and boring. I found the authors imagery and voice forced. By the end, I really just wondered what the point of the almost 500 pages was. Would not recommend this book and will not be reading anything else by this author.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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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 July 22, 2008

    Disappointing

    Verbose, predictable plot and characters. Did not leave a lasting impression or food for thought.

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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 April 15, 2008

    Awful

    Insipid, selfish characters, a non-existent plot, and never-ending sentences make this novel a total failure.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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 14, 2008

    Pompous and over punctuated

    I didn't even read this book. A friend occasionally reads me excerpts so we can talk about how awful it is. There is a comma every five words whether there should be or not and it looks like once the book was written the author or editor used a thesaurus on EVERY possible word. I was annoyed just hearing about it.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2007

    Boring and Disappointing

    I had such hope for this book that I would like it more than what the reviews were saying. Well, the reviews were accurate.It was very boring and difficult to finish. I did like the fact that it took place in New York City which I could relate to. I felt that the last third of the book was not as bad as the rest. I did become slightly interested in what would happen to the characters. Overall it's always a bummer to me when I read a book that is not so great.

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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 December 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book is over-hyped, over-done and unreadable. The incomprehensible sentences make reading and rereading a chore and the pompous writing style is boring. Thwaite is a flimsy, poorly drawn character. Hygely disappointing novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    Too wordy and boring

    My family recommended this book to me, but I stopped reading it after page 100 because it was too verbose and boring. I really didn't care what happened to the characters. I love to read and hate to drop a book, but this one failed to captivate me. I agree with other readers that this author is trying to impress us with her thesaurus.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2007

    A literary failure

    How disappointing. As someone who was raised and educated in New York City, I thought I would be able to relate to this book. Unfortunately the characters were without depth and definetly do not represent the 30-somethings who call New York home. There was no character development and the characters' conversations and interactions were unbelievable and trite. A tremendously unlikable group of people. I found it very difficult to sustain interest in this book and consider it a sad waste of time and money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2007

    What a waste of time!

    I am really sorry that I didn't read other people's reviews before reading this book. It was vacuous and could have been written in 100 pages or less.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    poor

    They don't get much worse than this requiem to the author's self-indugence. Neither plot nor character driven, the novel is overwhelmed with overly wordy and convolted sentences and archaic vocabulary. Difficult to read, difficult to sustain interest. Nothing compelled me to turn the pages. I finally gave up after suffering through three-quarters of the novel. Save your money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    As someone who is familiar with the literary circles in New York, I could not wait to get my hands on this book. I expected it to be a page-turner, or at the very least, interesting, and so I was that much more disappointed to discover it an exceptional waste of time. The story is plodding and pointless, the characters obnoxious and unrelatable. And the dialogue (oh the dialogue!) is laughably bad. Conversations consist of obscure words strung together in complicated yet grammatically perfect sentences that would not be believable if attributed to the most pompous, well-educated aristocrat. I read the book in its entirety with the hope that it would redeem itself in the end. It did not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2007

    Boring

    The characters in this book were very unappealing. The writing is overly verbose and the unattractive, self-involved characters made it difficult for me to sustain interest. I could not relate to the characters or their problems and found the plot line boring. There is a smugness to the author's writing that made me feel like I was being lectured to. Nothing about this book appealed to me. I kept hoping it would get better. Unfortunately it didn't and I struggled to finish it.

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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 November 6, 2007

    PLEASE SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!!!!

    First of all let me start off by saying that this is probably the WORST book I have ever read (and I have read many many books in my lifetime) and I will NEVER EVER EVER read another book from this author. If you do buy the book you will need to have a dictionary with you also as half the words this author uses are words I have never heard before in my life. Mind you I consider myself pretty well educated. I don 't understand what she is trying to prove with the verbage she uses, that she knows a lot of big words? I felt at times I was reading another language. The plot of this book is also very boring as are the characters. Please do not be fooled by the reviews on the cover of the book, it stinks!! What a waste of money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book was so boring and the grammar was so convaluted that it was torture to force myself to finish it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book was horrible. The charaters were vile and the writing was stiff and unnatural. It is several hundred page too long given the fact that there is no plot.I wish I could recommend this novel, but the only thing I can recommend is to not bother.

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 97 Customer Reviews
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