The Emperor's Children

The Emperor's Children

Book - 2006
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"The Emperor's Children is a dazzling, masterful novel about the intersections in the lives of three friends, now on the cusp of their thirties, making their way--and not--in New York City. There is beautiful, sophisticated Marina Thwaite--an 'It' girl finishing her first book; the daughter of Murray Thwaite, celebrated intellectual and journalist--and 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 decision and their stunning, heartbreaking outcome--that will change each of their lives forever. A richly drawn, brilliantly observed novel of fate and fortune--of innocence and experience, seduction and self-invention; of ambition, including literary ambition; of glamour, disaster, and promise--The Emperor's Children is 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, c2006
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION MES
Characteristics: 431 p. ; 25 cm


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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.

LyndaLovelyWright Feb 19, 2014

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

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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