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Publisher's Summary

While America struggles to define its destiny, beautiful and ambitious Caroline Sanford fights to control her own fate. One of Vidal’s most inspired creations, she is an embodiment of the complex, vigorous young nation. From the back offices of her Washington newspaper, Caroline confronts the two men who threaten to thwart her ambition: William Randolph Hearst and his protégé, Blaise Sanford, Caroline’s half brother. In their struggles for power, the lives of brother and sister become intertwined with those of Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt, as well as Astors, Vanderbilts, and Whitneys - all incarnations of America’s Gilded Age.

“Mr. Vidal demonstrates a political imagination and insider’s sagacity equaled by no other practicing fiction writer. Like the earlier novels in his historical cycle, Empire is a wonderfully vivid documentary drama.” --The New York Times Book Review

©1987 Gore Vidal (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Empire: A Novel

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A Really Interesting And Well Written Historical Fiction by An Iconic Author

This is a really good historical fiction which begins at the end of America's war with Spain. The novel is well crafted and well written. There is a lot of wry and ironic wit. There are many allusions to history, art, culture, etc., many of which I needed to look up. I enjoyed that exercise and learned a lot. This may not appeal to some readers.

As far. The narration, Grover Gardner is excellent in this book, and is one of my personal favorite narrators in general. I read the book while listening simultaneously and the narration is faithful to the text. Thank You...

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Interesting heroine

Glad to finally have a part of this series told through one of the female characters. While I can’t say that I would have been close friends with a Caroline, I do think this book was one of the most compelling and engaging of the series because of her. One of the novel’s effects has been to spark my curiosity about the roles of J. Hay and H. Adams in events of the times. Mr. Vidal certainly lends a new-to-me perspective on history.

Throughout the series, I have enjoyed the style of Mr. Vidal’s written narrative, while Gardner seems inherently able to give the characters the life Vidal intended. However, I looked more forward to opportunities to listen to this novel than I did other novels of the series.

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A great series continues!

Gore Vidal's wit, sharp-as-a-tack characters, and wonderful historical details make Empire a great story. The political machinations make it very relevant. Grover Gardner provides another exceptional interpretation. Pitch perfect here as in the previous novels. Such a satisfying listen.

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Empire without greatness

The fourth novel in this loosely linked six book series about the American presidency and the upper echelons of yankee society is not a high point of achievement. Far too much time is spent on society parties and the like and too little attention is paid to those that aspire to that lonely and highest office.
High society pleasantries, sentimental meanderings and a love story with a hint of Mìlls & Boon about it too often take precedence over Vidal's witty and insightful portrayals of Teddy Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst. Another fine reading by GG.

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  • K. Golding
  • 01-21-22

Great listen.

I'm a lifelong lover of Vidal's work. This series of books on American politics is full of great characters and insights. Fictional characters mingle with real life ones (Teddy Roosevelt is particularly well done) as we see how the idea of America having its own empire gradually took root. My favourite in the series remains Burr but this is a worthy entrant
Perfectly read by Grover Gardner, the unsurpassable narrator of Caro's biographies of Lyndon Johnson too.

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