The Emperor's Children

The Emperor's Children

Paperback - 2006
Average Rating:
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From a writer "of near-miraculous perfection" (The New York Times Book Review) and "a literary intelligence far surpassing most other writers of her generation" (San Francisco Chronicle),The Emperor's Childrenis a dazzling, masterful novel about the intersections in the lives of three friends, now on the cusp of their thirties, making their wayand notin New York City. There is beautiful, sophisticated Marina Thwaitean "It" girl finishing her first book; the daughter of Murray Thwaite, celebrated intellectual and journalistand her two closest friends from Brown, Danielle, a quietly appealing television producer, and Julius, a cash-strapped freelance critic. The delicious complications that arise among them become dangerous when Murray's nephew, Frederick "Bootie" Tubb, an idealistic college dropout determined to make his mark, comes to town. As the skies darken, it is Bootie's unexpected decisionsand their stunning, heartbreaking outcomethat will change each of their lives forever. A richly drawn, brilliantly observed novel of fate and fortuneof innocence and experience, seduction and self-invention; of ambition, including literary ambition; of glamour, disaster, and promiseThe Emperor's Childrenis a tour de force that brings to life a city, a generation, and the way we live in this moment.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307264190
030726419X
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 431 p. ; 25 cm.

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From Library Staff

Three friends, all on the cusp of their 30's, whose lives are intertwined. A tour de force of a novel.


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r
Readingon
Nov 12, 2015

I found this writer's style very hard to read. Her sentences are filled with commas, semi-colons, brackets, etc. Consequently, most sentences went on for many lines. There were some very good reviews on this book and I really wanted to give it a chance but after a few tries, I finally put the book down for good.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 22, 2015

A parody of the self-possessed and self-important Thwaite family, living the good life in Manhattan. Their comedown is unkind; poignantly brought about by a plumpish, confused young nephew, Bootie, who can't decide whether he loves the Thwaites, or actually despises them.

reissja Aug 21, 2014

Can't believe this book received such a lukewarm reception from my fellow Wilmette readers. I just glanced at three comments. Alas, having read Messud's novel long enough ago not to recall its details in super-sharp focus, all I want to say today is that I found The Emperor's Children a masterpiece. For me the book ranks right up there with Donna Tartt's chef d'oeuvre, The Goldfinch. Maybe I should glance at Wilmette reviews of Tartt's bestseller to see how my neighbors feel about it. I only wish Messud's novel had been a bestseller! For that matter Messud's The Woman Upstairs is also vastly pleasing, though it lacks Tartt's slick veneer.

geezr_rdr Jun 19, 2014

I thought the writing was OK. The first half of the book is like "Sex and the City" and then it transitions into an attempt at resolution, but doesn't quite get there. A stronger ending would have made for a much better read.

l
LyndaLovelyWright
Feb 19, 2014

Couldn't get into it. Last interest in first few pages. Returned unread.

c
CindyL
Apr 04, 2011

I found this book hard to relate to. The characters were totally out of my life experience. Two of the 3 "friends" supposedly came from middleclass America. All aspired to be New York upper class. All could not see themselves taking on a job that was not somehow important and significant. Maybe it is just "yuppie" meeting "Gen X" that caused the disconnect. Anyway, I kept hoping for the book to become meaningful, it never did---even with 9/11 thrown in to the mix.

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