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The Emperor of Shoes

A Novel
Narrated by: Josh Bloomberg
Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From an exciting new voice in literary fiction, a transfixing story about an expatriate in southern China and his burgeoning relationship with a seamstress intent on inspiring dramatic political change

Alex Cohen, a 26-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in southern China, where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory. Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, but as he explores the plant’s vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realization: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt, and Alex’s own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line.

When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift. She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow laborers. Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite?

Deftly plotted and vibrantly drawn, The Emperor of Shoes is a timely meditation on idealism, ambition, father-son rivalry and cultural revolution, set against a vivid backdrop of social and technological change.

©2018 Spencer Wise (P)2018 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • karen
  • Chicago, Il United States
  • 06-14-18

Compelling story!

This book is loaded with tension of cultures, class, politics and father-son relationship. Hard to put down. The narrator makes the characters come alive, all with different dialects and easy to differentiate. Narrator also creates the emotional tone which adds to the compelling nature of the read. Karen

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Was Not Worth Finishing

I listened to this selection for book club, and not one single person in our group of ten enjoyed this book. The story lacks depth, and seems like it never gets to the point and chases itself in circles of bits and pieces that have no point. By the ninth chapter, what we could tell of the plot is that a spoiled and self absorbed main character that lacks a moral compass, who is chasing a strong woman who desperately wants freedom which the main character has but doesn't realize its importance. You can tell that the author simply wasn't as attached to the material as he could have been. Unfortunately I can't get my money back for this, but I slightly recommend you don't waste yours.

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Really enjoyed the depth of the story

The book is very well written, with a timely plot and a strong protogonist, with whom you build a connection from the first pages and watch his development throughout the story. All the characters are well developed. The political background is well researched and allows the reader to learn so much about the work exploitation in modern China.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful