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One of the best books I have been reading for while so far! Very detailed but it doesn't start to bore you at all.
I recommend this book to everyone who wants to enjoy some very exciting evenings.
The only thing that saves this horrible book is the interesting (to a white girl) descriptions of black upper-middle class life in the ivory towers. Other than that, I'd have to say it was one of the worst novels I've ever read: bloated, pretentious, unlikeable characters, etc... and I really like Stephen Carter's nonfiction work, which is why I picked this up in the first place. He should stick to his day job!
To be honest, I struggled to stay with the story the first quarter of the book. Wordy and detailed...at times I put the book down for another day. Yet, once into the story, the characters, the chess theme and the unpredictable twists carried me through to the end. Stephen Carter was careful and thoughtful with his first novel. Take your time with this one...and if you are patient you will enjoy it until the very end.
Ignore the NY Times review and read this book. True, there's a cliff hanger at the end of every chapter and that is what makes it so much fun to read. The story is complelling, the mystery is suspenseful.The author puts you inside the head of the protagonist so that we get to know Misha as well as anyone we have ever known ... even more. Take your time, read it as it was written, chapter by chapter. You will have a great time and you will meet characters that you will unlikely meet in your real life ... but characters so true to life that it's scary. I really enjoyed it and rank it right up there with The Correctons.
A very good read--and a great mystery novel. Yes, it takes a bit longer to read than most, but it's definitely worth the time and effort. The motif of chess is well done and thoroughly explained so that even a "chess dummy" like me could get it. The setting and characters are all interesting and realistic and just so different. Read it! Then you too can get in on all the hot discussions of this very hot (bestselling) mystery.
This book is not for a person in a hurry. I decided to take what ever time it took to enjoy, and time it took,about 3 weeks. I read every word to make sure a wouldn't miss any important information. I 'm not sure i understood every part of the plot, but enough to enjoy it. Have a lot of time READ IT.
Lynn M. F
At first I found the window into the world of the priveledged "darker nation" a wonderful, eye-opening vista. I loved the beautiful descriptions of Kimmer and Misha's feelings for her.But the verbosity of the book finally began to wear . Too much talk, too many ill drawn characters who became hardly memorable, too many hooks at the end of each chapter. It might have been Dickens; serialized over many weeks. Which is, indeed how long it took me to read. Normally I finish a book in days of intense enjoyment............this book was a long months journey with little pleasure.
Emperor of Ocean Park was a book that I had a very hard time putting down. Stephen Carter writes with such an exactness that I found myself reading each word, sentence and paragraph as if it were a 7 course meal; wanting to digest and ruminate on each and every syllable in the text.
The moral/reliqious values are hard to miss in this narrative, but Carter delivers them all without preaching, but with sensitivity and concern.
The touches of humor throughout the book are wonderful and some of them had me rereading the paragraphs a couple times so as to appreciate the writing over and over.
Finally, I loved the book for it's universal appeal to all readers: whether one is black, white, oriental etc; I think all readers can find much in this book to identify with and appreciate.
Hopefully, a sequel to Emperor won't be too long in coming.