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The Emperor of Ocean Park | [Stephen L. Carter]

The Emperor of Ocean Park

An extraordinary fiction debut: a large, stirring novel of suspense that is, at the same time, a work of brilliantly astute social observation. Publishers Weekly predicts this "will be the talk of the political in-crowd this summer," and Booklist's starred review calls it "a roman à clef with fascinating insights into the behind-the-scenes machinations of racial and power politics." Don't miss this one!
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Publisher's Summary

An extraordinary fiction debut: a large, stirring novel of suspense that is, at the same time, a work of brilliantly astute social observation. The Emperor of Ocean Park is set in two privileged worlds: the upper crust African American society of the eastern seaboard - old families who summer on Martha's Vineyard - and the inner circle of an Ivy League law school. It tells the story of a complex family with a single, seductive link to the shadowlands of crime.

The Emperor of the title, Judge Oliver Garland, has just died, suddenly. A brilliant legal mind, conservative and famously controversial, Judge Garland made more enemies than friends. Many years before, he'd earned a judge's highest prize: a Supreme Court nomination. But in a scene of bitter humiliation, his nomination collapsed in scandal. The humbling defeat became a private agony, one from which he never recovered.

But now the Judge's death raises even more questions - and it seems to be leading to a second, even more terrible scandal. Could Oliver Garland have been murdered? He has left a strange message for his son Talcott, entrusting him with "the arrangements" - a mysterious puzzle that only Tal can unlock. Talcott must risk his career, his marriage, and even his life, following the clues his father left him.

Intricate, superbly written, often scathingly funny, The Emperor of Ocean Park is a brilliantly crafted tapestry of ambition, family secrets, murder, integrity tested, and justice gone terribly wrong.

©2002 Stephen L. Carter; (P)2002 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This thriller, which touches electrically on our sexual, racial and religious anxieties, will be the talk of the political in-crowd this summer." (Publishers Weekly)
"A roman à clef with fascinating insights into the behind-the-scenes machinations of racial and power politics. An elegantly nuanced novel, with finely drawn characters, a challenging plot, and perfect pacing." (Booklist, starred review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (160 )
5 star
 (31)
4 star
 (49)
3 star
 (55)
2 star
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Overall
3.5 (17 )
5 star
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Story
3.9 (17 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark Warner, NH, USA 06-22-03
    Mark Warner, NH, USA 06-22-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    455
    ratings
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    108
    19
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    Overall
    "An Extradordinary Story"

    Carter is always insightful and articulate and with "Emperor" he proves he's a master storyteller. Unlike much of what passes for popular fiction these days, Carter invites the reader's intelligence into the story. If you're not engaged, you're just not paying attention! He weaves social observation and commentary into the storyline and combines them with a well-develop mystery. This one is worth listening to/reading more than once!

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Adams Horseshoe Bend ID 03-07-03
    L. Adams Horseshoe Bend ID 03-07-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    9
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    Overall
    "The Emperor of Ocean Park"

    Fast-paced and suspenseful. It was a bit difficult at times to know if I was in the 'present' or flash-back but it grabbed me from the beginning and held me tight.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 12-24-04
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 12-24-04 Member Since 2002

    Life long fan of the mystery story. I like books where something actually happens, so history and biography are favorites of mine also. I also think that even good books are improved tremendously when an actor performs the narration.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    127
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    Overall
    "Too Dull"

    Not enough action or character development to hold my interest. Scott Turow or John Grisham are better choices for those looking for behind the scene court room drams.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenvictoria VA 09-05-04
    Jenvictoria VA 09-05-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    4
    2
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    "Disappointing"

    Not what I expected. Like a watered down version of a Grisham novel and often very boring during sections. Not recommended.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriel mckinney, TX, United States 12-09-07
    Gabriel mckinney, TX, United States 12-09-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
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    Overall
    "not great"

    this book will not keep you in the car for an extra minute trying to finish off a particular scene, but it is passable with a push

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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