The Emperor's Children

The Emperor's Children

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Emperor's Children 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 97 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The title is a quote from this novel, and I could not have asked for a more appropriate line. This novel focuses on a group of people that seemingly classify themselves as the 'social elite' of the ever popluar New York. What they really are is a group of people lacking a conscience, and conscienciousness, for their surroundings, their loved ones, and life in general. Their only concerns are selfish, though they pretend to all, including themselves, that they are of a higher moral level than anyone else on the planet. Their personal relationships are false and shallow, as are their lives. I believe the main aim of this book was for the author to congratulate herself on her extensive vocabulary, thus perpetuating the idea that this novel is only for the most elite of the literati. Guess what - I am a normal American citizen with a decent, though not Ivy League, education, and I know all of those words, too. I also worry about normal things like car payments,the weather forecast and what I need to buy at eh grocery store, unlike Messud's characters who never have these concerns. If you like to pat yourself on the back for reading a drab novel about self-important characters, than this book is for you. If you like novels that not only entertain but open up a new point of view or dialogue on interesting subjects, please, move on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We have six members in our book club. I was the only one able to finish the book. Everyone else gave up. Please do not waste your money. This was the most boring book I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
-Pentabulous More than 1 year ago
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.
cathy_dawn More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
More than anything I was captivated by the slow and subtle development of the characters, all of whom reminded me of people I have known .. somewhat ordinary people living NOW in that 30-40 age group who are educated and in some sense worldly and sophisticated, and yet have not quite found themselves. I thought it very well written - there were some very lovely turns of phrase - and there were enough surprises to keep me interested. Finally I liked it for the fact that it made me think: about the nature of relationships, of heroes, of fallibility and of humanity.
Benecap More than 1 year ago
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!
cea391 More than 1 year ago
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.
M_S75 More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent novel. To potential buyers turned off by other reviewers, many of them admit they didn't finish the book. The ending makes the novel.
Hazel-LMS More than 1 year ago
I couldn't get past page 37. The author thinks in commas- what a horrible waste of mind space. I found myself twitching and hyperventilating from the torture of commas and paragraph long sentences. Just couldn't take it anymore and threw the book in the trash at page 37. I can become very engaged in any book, on any subject matter if it is well written. This was pure torture.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unlike everyone it seems, I really enjoyed this book. Yes, the beginning was long and it took awhile for the plot to unfold but once I got through it, it was difficult to put this book down. The ending was amazing, not what I expected but a good ending. It was hard to read at first, as each chapter started with a new character. Once you caught on though it is a great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A luminously written novel of very young "adults" trying to find their way and their identities in New York.
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