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The Emperor's Children

Messud, Claire, 1966-

(Book - 2006)
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
The Emperor's Children
Print
Random House, Inc.
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 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 decisions—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.

Baker & Taylor
Three friends on the verge of their thirties--beautiful, sophisticated Marina Thwaite, daughter of a noted journalist; Danielle, a quiet TV producer; and Julius, a cash-poor freelance writer--make their way through New York City, until Marina's idealistic, college-dropout cousin, Bootie, arrives to complicate all of their lives. Reader's Guide available. 100,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
The Emperor's Children is a 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 decisions - and their stunning, heartbreaking outcome - that will change each of their lives forever.

Baker
& Taylor

Three friends on the verge of their thirties--beautiful, sophisticated Marina Thwaite; Danielle, a quiet TV producer; and Julius, a freelance writer--make their way through New York City, until Marina's idealistic cousin, Bootie, arrives to complicate their lives.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006
ISBN: 9780307264190
030726419X
Characteristics: 431 p. ; 25 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

Privileged Manhattanites strut and fret through Messud’s humorous and parodic yet morally exact portrait of pre-9/11 social life.


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Jan 22, 2015
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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.

Aug 26, 2014
  • reissja rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.

Jun 19, 2014
  • geezr_rdr rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

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.

Feb 19, 2014
  • LyndaLovelyWright rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

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

Apr 04, 2011
  • CindyL rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

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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