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The Emperor of Ocean Park Audiobook

The Emperor of Ocean Park

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Publisher's Summary

Set in the era of the Nixon and Reagan presidencies, this novel examines the American conscience while inviting us into the glittering world of the East Coast legal community. Stephen L. Carter's book follows black Ivy League law professor Talcott Garland as he investigates the death of his father, Judge Oliver Garland, the eponymous "Emperor."

When Judge Garland received a Supreme Court nomination, a nationally televised humiliation forced his withdrawal, a scandal from which he never recovered. Now his sudden death hints at an even more terrible scandal that links this privileged Martha's Vineyard family to the shadowlands of crime. To follow the clues left by his father, Tal risks everything, and uncovers a tapestry of ambition, family secrets, and justice gone terribly wrong.

©2002 Stephen L. Carter; (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A thrilling read, driven by a cocktail of plot and character." (The Observer)
"An elegantly nuanced novel, with finely drawn characters, a challenging plot, and perfect pacing." (Booklist)
"[A] complex literary thriller. Carter deftly weaves together several strands, from the relationships of father and sons and husbands and wives to the politics of the Nixon and Reagan eras." (Bookpage)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (102 )
5 star
 (38)
4 star
 (32)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (51 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (47 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Maria 04-23-04
    Maria 04-23-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    6
    3
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    "Not a bad book but where was the editor?"

    A decent storyline and plausible characters but way to long and repetitive. This book could easily have been condensed in half without reducing the value. I found myself not really listening especially the 2 middle parts and in hindsight it might have been better to get the abridged version.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Kells, Co MeathIreland 06-05-04
    Terry Kells, Co MeathIreland 06-05-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    127
    ratings
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    111
    7
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    1
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    Overall
    "Long, drawn-out and not particularly satisfying"

    This is a curious book - it's not really a thriller as the plot is too thin and there's little action. But then it's not really a literary novel either, which is what it seems to have pretensions to be. As others have commented, the narrator evinces littles sympathy. In fact, none of the characters does. A more self-centred, obnoxious bunch you'd be hard-pressed to find. Where the book works best is in the description of a troubled marriage and the narrator's relationship with his three-year-old son, but this has precious little to do with driving the plot along. There's some good writing scattered throughout the book, but there is way too much padding and pointless meanderings. The abridged version is almost certainly a better bet - this is one title that could be cut to a third of its length without harm.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Winston Salem, NC, USA 01-14-05
    James Winston Salem, NC, USA 01-14-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    4
    3
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    Overall
    "Oh my goodness put me out of this misery"

    Do not waste a book credit or even 37 cents on this audio book. The plot has some interest at times, but, goodness it goes on forever along tangents that are incomprehensible. The author wrote some wretched dialog and I'm still trying to figure out why the law professor husband didn't just sue and divorce his adulterous wife. Character development was non existent. I never did listen to the end and I don't even care.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evelyn M Kloepper 01-21-08 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
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    556
    11
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    "not for everyone"

    it is interesting to see the wide spread of opinions about this book. people seem to love it or hate it, and I am firmly in the first camp. Yes, the book is long, but what a fascinating world the author presents. I was thoroughly engrossed and grew fond of the protagonist despite (or perhaps because of) his foibles. Can't wait to read the author's second book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alice Kaltman 05-14-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Wore me out."

    At first I liked this book because the narrator was so unlikeable - smug, self-centered, clueless - and yet because of his obvious weakenesses I identified with him. And it is so rare to see an unlikeable narrator in genre fiction. But as the book went on and on, the narrator's ponitification (his presentation of pet peeves as dire warnings of social decay) wore me out. Ultimately, what could have been an enjoyable and informative read, became an apologia for self-serving and passive melancholy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luis 02-06-11
    Luis 02-06-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    65
    3
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    Overall
    "Slow. Very slow, and not very interesting."

    Reading The Emperor of Ocean park is an exercise in endurance. It is a very long listen by any standard (26 hours!) which is made even longer by a plot that develops at glacial speed and the flat personality of the main character. The descriptions of places and characters are unnecessarily belabored. There are very few "aha!" moments for the reader. The final scenes (the final hour or so) pick up a little steam, start flowing a little better and holding your attention a little more, but the ending was, in my opinion, disappointing.

    If you are interested in gaining a view into the "glittery lives of Ivy League professors, etc. etc." (paraphrasing from the publisher's description), perhaps this would be an interesting read -- but it may feel more like homework.

    If you are looking for complex characters, a suspenseful plot that leaves you hanging and eagerly waiting for the next chapter, and a shocking finale... look elsewhere.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William B. Sorensen, Jr. 06-19-04 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    3
    2
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    Overall
    "Outstanding"

    The Emperor of Ocean Park is an excellent book, both suspenseful and rich in characters. The narrator does an outstanding job, as well. I would highly recommend this audiobook.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren 02-11-16
    Lauren 02-11-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    13
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    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Still a masterpiece"

    I love this read (listen) just as much the second time around, as when I read the hardcover when this was first published in 2002! Excellent performance by the narrator. He brought all of Mr. Carter's flawed (but enticing) characters to life, better than I imagined could be done. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chandra Urbana, IL, United States 12-30-15
    Chandra Urbana, IL, United States 12-30-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Book"

    This was a very long book but it wasgood. The book jumped around alot and had lots of characters , still good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronda White Overland Park, Kansas, USA 08-04-14
    Ronda White Overland Park, Kansas, USA 08-04-14 Member Since 2014

    Love to read for pleasure. Love to read to learn. Love to read for me.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really really long ... but a good story"
    Would you listen to The Emperor of Ocean Park again? Why?

    It would be difficult to listen again because it was so long. However I realized too late that I had the unabridged version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The mystery of the story was very good.


    Which character – as performed by Richard Allen – was your favorite?

    Talcot


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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