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Visible Empire


An epic novel—based on true events—of love, grief, race, and wealth.
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Discuss Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard:
Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

Created: 08/07/19

Replies: 26

Posted Aug. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1946

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Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?


Posted Aug. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 179

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I liked this book, particularly the fact that it was based on an actual event. (I vaguely remember hearing about it as a child). It held my attention while reading, but truthfully, when it ended I wasn't sorry like I am with most really good books. I guess I would have given it about a 3+.


Posted Aug. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 192

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

It was ok but not a book I would recommend to friends. When I read a book I really get into the characters and they become my best friends, not the case with this book. Really did not like any of the characters. I did not know about the horrible plane crash and now I do. So did learn some history.


Posted Aug. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 47

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I cannot rate this book as highly as I would like to because I found the story slightly disjointed and had some trouble sorting things out from time to time. I enjoyed the concept and the characters, but wish the story had been told in a more straightforward fashion.


Posted Aug. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 97

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

Like some other readers, I found it interesting but did not love it. It was not really character driven in that each chapter seemed like a little separate vignette even though each of the characters' stories were connected. I was not aware of the original event and the book did give an idea of what effect such an event could have on the people of a city.


Posted Aug. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teacher reader

Join Date: 02/14/18

Posts: 29

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I grew up in downtown Atlanta, and I clearly remember the plane crash. Therefore I was a little bit disappointed in the book in that it was not what I expected. The characters of P.T. Coleman, Lily, Robert, and Piedmont were well drawn, and I could relate to their stories. The story of Genie seemed out of place in the big picture. This is not a book that I would highly recommend.


Posted Aug. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ritai

Join Date: 02/15/17

Posts: 17

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I liked the book but did not love it. I could not relate to most of the characters. I did not know about the plane crash so I did learn a little about the history. Not so much from the book itself but with a little research I did on my own. It is a quick easy read, though.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
AmberH

Join Date: 05/09/18

Posts: 30

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I really enjoyed this book! I was not familiar with the plane crash, so I enjoyed reading about the event. I liked the cast of characters and all their different dimensions. The book was also pretty quick and easy to read.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suze

Join Date: 08/14/19

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I was not a fan and like someone said earlier, I was relieved when I was finished reading it. I felt that the author tried to introduce too many themes making the book feel disjointed. At times, I felt like parts of the story were missing and kept reading thinking that somehow the author would bring it all together. Sadly, for me at least, that didn't happen and I was left feeling dissatisfied with the entire book.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 401

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I liked the book and am glad I read it, but as other readers have already said, I wouldn't categorize this as a book I LOVED or one about which I would say to my friends, "You must read this." I would not rate it as a 5 star for me, but definitely a 4 out of 5. I thought each section was interesting, and yet I found myself forgetting about the previous vignettes. In some way I longed for a deeper exploration of each character.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lois Irene

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 69

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I agree with most reviewers that this was a book that I liked but didn't love. I was drawn into the historical time frame and setting. Although I have been to Atlanta, I was not familiar with this crash, the elite social groups or the racial dynamics of Atlanta at this point in history. Most of the characters were interesting, though not at all admirable. If the ending had been unpleasant, I wouldn't have given this book a good recommendation, despite its strong use of language and vivid setting.


Posted Aug. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickio

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 13

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I’m glad to read that i wasn’t the only one who found the book just ok. I picked it because i had cousins who perished in the crash and thought i might get some insight about how the crash changed Atlanta life. But the book definitely didn’t do that. In fact, it made no mention of the art museum that was eventually built as a tribute to the victims. That could have been woven into the story.

The book never really held my attention and i struggled to finish it. I didn’t care about the characters - they seemed like caricatures and lacked dimension. I found the story a little disjointed. I liked some of the dialogue but not the long descriptions.


Posted Aug. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cathyoc

Join Date: 04/26/17

Posts: 61

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I found the subject matter very interesting as I did not remember that event. I related more to some characters than to others, I would recommend the book to some friends. I would not recommend it to my book club as I know some readers may find it a more difficult read.


Posted Aug. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Rosieglitter

Join Date: 10/16/16

Posts: 40

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I didn't find the book very interesting. I would not recommend this book if someone asked if they should read it.


Posted Aug. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 163

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

This was a very good book...IMHO. Well written, plots well put together and interesting characters. It was a tumultuous time in our country - not just Atlanta. This story puts all of the angst of the time in one place. We really have never 'recovered' from that time and its horrors.


Posted Aug. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 157

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

This was a good book. I expected something else but that doesn’t negate the book’s quality writing and skillful presentation of facts and fiction.


Posted Aug. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
colleena

Join Date: 07/18/18

Posts: 20

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I was interested in reading this book especially because I lived in Atlanta and knew about this tragedy. I was expecting the storyline to adhere more to the after effects of such an event on the city. A Memorial Arts Center, including the High Museum, was built and dedicated to the memory of those lost in that plane crash.
There is a story to be written about this event but this book was not it.


Posted Aug. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 157

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

This is not the book I had hoped to receive during this round of requests. I am glad I was offered the chance to read this, though. I knew nothing about this crash, and the history of the Civil Rights Movement usually focuses on Alabama or Mississippi. I thought the author's idea was a unique way for telling the reader more about both.

Unfortunately, she did not accomplish what I thought she would. By switching the point of view with every chapter, the focus was more on personal problems and weaknesses. The crash may have brought those to light, but I was much more interested in how Atlanta recovered as a whole, or how Atlanta's Civil Rights progress was slowed/ignored (or did it proceed like the Civil Rights movements in all the other southern cities and states) by a city-wide preoccupation with the loss of 120 wealthy residents. That would have engaged me more than Coleman, Robert, Anastasia, Genie, Ivan, and Lulu- -some of whom weren't really great human beings.

The Civil Rights issues moved in a parallel line to wealthy, white Atlanta until they met at the Fourth of July party. I expected to feel more passion or indignation or inspiration from her writing on this topic. I didn't feel as much as I wanted to. I do think the author's chapters focusing on Piedmont were some of her strongest.

I love books written about or taking place in the south by southern writers. This felt like neither.


Posted Aug. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 235

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I liked most of the main characters (Lily, Piedmont, Anastasia, even Robert. However, it sometimes seemed a bit disjointed. There were some surprises, such as Anastasia helping rob Genie. There was quite a cast of supporting characters such as Coleman, Ivan & Lulu, Raif, etc. I agree with most that I liked the book, but didn't love it. I would have liked more revealed about the characters relationships to those they lost in the crash.


Posted Aug. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jennie r

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 17

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

It was interesting and I stuck with it, but I wish the characters had been more likable or even relatable. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars, if rating it. It’s not a book I’ll recommend to friends.


Posted Aug. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
swchis39

Join Date: 09/26/12

Posts: 78

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I found it a difficult book to read and I couldn’t warm up to the characters.


Posted Aug. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 53

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I'll echo what many have said, I liked this one, didn't love it. I do think it was well-written, but the story did not pull me in like I would like and the characters were not so interesting that I couldn't wait to see what would happen. I'm still glad to have read this one.


Posted Aug. 23, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kkb

Join Date: 04/22/19

Posts: 12

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I had a hard time starting it, but once I started I had to keep reading, otherwise I lost track of who was who! I loved learning about a part of history I knew nothing about, but feel I will get more of that out of some of the sources cited. It really brought home the fact that a huge part of Atlanta society was lost, just like that, and whether you liked them or not, many friends and relatives were lost in one day. I can't even imagine that happening. I recommended this book to a friend that grew up in Atlanta, but otherwise I'm not sure I will recommend it to other book clubs. Just a bit disjointed and hard to follow at certain points. Loved the characters of Piedmont and Lily, though.


Posted Aug. 24, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
wendyf

Join Date: 05/11/11

Posts: 27

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I'm with many others in that while it held my interest, I didn't think it was great. I thought it was disjointed and was hard to pull the full story together.


Posted Aug. 25, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teresaw

Join Date: 03/05/17

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I also chose this book because I’m originally from Atlanta; this book could have been so much more. There were some great characters and issues to deal with but the author just barely scratched the surface. There were race issues, gay and lesbian issues, women’s rights. Because of this I didn’t get to know the characters well enough to care about them and in many places found myself skimming wanting more. This could have easily been a 400 + page book


Posted Sep. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 202

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RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

As others have said, I liked but didn't love the book. I didn't like Anastasia, Skylar, Tito, Genie, Coleman, or even Robert very much. I somehow found myself wishing for more from Lily, Piedmont, Raif, and even Lulu. I'd give the book between 2 and a half and 3 stars.


Posted Sep. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
suelizbeth

Join Date: 01/15/17

Posts: 19

RE: Overall, what do you think of Visible Empire?

I did not like this book. It was too disjointed and too hard to keep track of who was who. I have to admit that I still have not finished it and I don't know whether I will.


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