The Emperor of Ocean Park

The Emperor of Ocean Park

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Emperor of Ocean Park 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 121 reviews.
Avid-ReaderCM More than 1 year ago
I was impressed with" The Emperor of Ocean Park" and have become a fan of Stephen L. Carter. The book was an excellent fusion of mystery, espionage and personal relationships. It included relations between husbands and wives, parents and children, siblings, friends and co-workers. It touched upon family secrets, the effects of birth order and sibling rivalry. "The Emperor of Ocean Park" also included looks at competiveness in the political arena, in the academic circle and in the world of competitive chess. I most enjoyed Stephen L. Carter's depiction of educated, articulate, professional African Americans interacting and challenging all of those worlds. Mr. Carter obviously enjoyed displaying his extensive vocabulary. I sometimes had to run and get my dictionary to get definitions of some of the legal and chess terms that he used. All in all, it was an excellent mystery with many twists and turns. I have also read his subsequent novels and enjoyed seeing characters from "The Emperor of Ocean Park" reappearing.
MelJam More than 1 year ago
An exceptionally well-written and well-researched novel. As I re-read it(discovering about the upcoming motion picture) again felt it over-detailed as did some of the other reviewers. The characters were well developed, sometimes too much so, and the descriptions involved, again, too involved; however, this novel kept me reading. I was handed a dictionary when I began reading as a young child, and told to underscore any words I was required to define, and, I admit, I was required to "look up" a few of his words and phrases. I felt as if sometimes, Mr Carter was using his extensive vocabulary as a means to mandate one's utilization of a thesuarus thereby educating his audience. I appreciated his "education" but often times felt as if I was being condescended. Ultimately, I enjoyed Mr Carter's novel, his insight into the "Gold Coast", and await his next undertaking into fictional literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love a book that I can't wait to get back to, and this was definitely one of those. Beautiful, insightful, intelligent writing that took me on a journey I savored every step of. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Carter's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unreadable.... I hate to say this, but I just wasn't feeling this book. The prose was so clunky and convoluted, it was mentally exhausting. I didn't finish it.
sugarpy18 More than 1 year ago
Stephen L. Carter is a brilliant writer with a unique writing style that draws you in from the very beginning and doesn't let you go. In this book he deals with such topics as the US legal system, how an Ivy League faculty really works and a disintegrating marriage, all while giving the reader an enduring mystery with enough twists to make one's head spin. This book is a must for anybody who's interested in a great thriller.
kerns222 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you want to get lost in layers and layers and layers of story, this is it: black/white race relations; upper class, gold coast black community one-upping, dominating father/recovering children; Law school faculty back biting-stabbing; political wrangling; husband/wife dying flames fanning; criminal coverup twisting; congressional hearing baiting; CIA leftover hitman still hitting. Whew. And tight disciplined but oh so human writing. Written by the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale Law School. This is one to read if you like people, and not just plots, in your mysteries.
NeedMoreShelves on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thick, dense, deeply ambitious and richly layered, this is one of the more rewarding reads I have experienced in a long time. The plot unfolds slowly, requiring patience, and the characters are extremely flawed and, frankly, not very likable. This novel will not be for everyone, but I found it to be a fantastic read.
phyllis.shepherd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A privileged African-American family struggles to work through their father's death and the cryptic messages they receive regarding the "arrangements" he had made. A great legal thriller with complex characters and side plots.
debavp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
OMG, AWFUL!! Took me 4 years to finish this and it was torture :(
piefuchs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A grand and length mystery focused on law and chess and upper middle class African American society. Not a great book, but I found it engaging, addictive, and highly readable with excellent character development. Perfect for a plane ride or the beach.
aliciamalia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To enjoy this book it's necessary to forget that the story is a mystery. The writing and characters are quite good, the plot long-winded and at times hard to follow. Once I resigned myself to just being along for the ride, I liked it quite a bit.
sofree on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Emperor of Ocean Park is a "Beautifully Written" masterpiece. I am completely and utterly amazed by the language Carter writes with. This book makes me fall in love with words and writing. Though some my think that this book is to long or wordy, I believe that it represents pure talent and literary imagination. Carter goes to extreme's to express his thoughts. And from reading the first few chapters of The Emperor my vocbulary has broaden immensely.
natblaze on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A captivating, well-written book, filled with real-life references, and the on-going conflict of jousting intellect. I absolutely loved this book. Carter takes us on path of mystery, conspiracy, and suspense. The writing itself was great, really easy to read, although some sentences in the book are rather lengthy. I particularly enjoyed how the game of chess was interwoven into the plot. The characters and the world they inhabit provide a look into wealthy and cultured African Americans. The Emperor of Ocean Park is a story of a brilliant legal mind, Judge Oliver Garland, with a dark and shadowy past. When Judge Garland passes away, he leaves some mysterious "arrangements" to his son Tal. Unfortunately, Tal has no idea as to what these "arrangements" might be, but it seems some very important and possibly dangerous. During the story, we follow Tal/ Misha as he tries to discover what his now deceased father wanted him to do. I enjoyed the writing style and could not put this book down. At the end of the book, I was hoping Carter¿s next book would be about Addison.
delphica on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(#1 in the 2004 Book Challenge)This is a novel, written by a guy who is a law professor at Yale (if memory serves). He's obviously an excellent writer, his other books are all non-fiction lawyerly type stuff, and is a super smart, articulate guy. The book reads very well, his language is nice and precise and flowing. The setting is also interesting -- historically well-to-do African-Americans, so it's got a lot of that stuff about Jack and Jill, and the paper bag test, and the Inkwell on Martha's Vineyard, etc. I made a mental note that I want to read some more non-fiction about the history of this particular group. However, there's a conspiracy/mystery that's central to the plot, and I'm sad to report that Mr. Carter doesn't quite measure up in this area. Literary mysteries should be BOTH literary AND mysterious. All the clues and red herrings and whatnot are a bit clumsy. It's one of those mystery solving books where there are WAY too many steps that aren't necessary at all.This is also a long read, mostly because the language is demanding, but in a good way. Overall, I give it a B+. It's just missing out on an A- because of the faulty conspiracy.
welburn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A law professor tries to solve the mystery of his father's death. About 2/3rds of the way through, the action seemed to falter and I just wanted to know the resolution.
navidad_thelamour More than 1 year ago
See the rest of my reviews at The Navi Review! www.thenavireview.com and follow the blog on Twitter to get all the latest reviews first! @thenavireview The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter hit the shelves with guns blazing over a decade ago, spurred by a multi-million-dollar book deal and rave reviews. His debut fiction novel, it stood out from the pack in that it’s written around the most highly educated of black society’s upper echelon and, more so, because it was written by a member of that very caste rather than by an outsider trying to immolate the nuances, prejudices, experiences and insights that could only be accurately and convincingly portrayed by one of their own. (Think Jhumpa Lahiri and Hanif Kureishi—this too can be considered a cultural exposé, imbedded within a brilliant thrill ride, in the same vein.) The demographic that Carter writes around really is a lesser-known, lesser-publicized world of its own that necessitates candid unmasking by a member of the tribe itself. This novel was a combination of mystery and conspiracy thriller, complete with antagonists lurking in the dark, the hint of extramarital affairs, academic and political betrayal and the scent of conspiracy in the air. Was murder involved or natural death? Was The Judge wrongfully accused and disgraced or was he secretly deserving of his fate, the baddest of all bad guys behind closed political doors? This one also featured eloquently delivered, thoughtful prose that had the definite lilt of a law professor’s seriousness without being staid. Indeed, it was emotive where it needed to be while still offering those sharp references to societal issues—I am old enough to remember when few black women of her age wore their hair any other way, but nationalism turned out to be less an ideology than a fad being one of my personal favorites and certainly representative of his tone—that are jolting and appreciated for their wit, insight and stunning logical clarity. Chess was at the center of this novel—a true Chess Master’s feast. It enveloped the plotline with an inventory of references that were brilliantly tied into the mystery and intrigue of the work, rather than simply being intellectual props for show. Carter even wove these allusions into his social commentary in way that was graceful and not ostentatious, though some might consider it mildly pretentious—and why not? He’s writing with a hint of pretentiousness that makes his voice his own. I appreciated that voice and found his method, his cadence of tone, to be thrilling in a new way. I love a great thriller with heart-quickening twists and turns as much as the next thriller junkie, but an author who can write in this genre while evoking serious social deliberation and eloquence of finesse? It’s a feat often tried but seldom achieved with greatness, and I was caught off guard by the magnitude of his writing, by the eloquence of innuendos and by the fact that he managed to uncover this “hidden” world to the masses while still making it feel like a secret. In fact, I’d venture to say that a reader who could follow his intention, and who appreciates a view into the inner workings of dirty American politics, would feel that they’d been let in on a secret. And who doesn’t love to be let in on a secret? While this novel is easily one of my all-time favorites for the plotline that kept me guessing and the delivery that made me a fan, it isn’t without its own Achilles’ heel. The Emp
SUEHAV More than 1 year ago
Picked this book up at a thrift store for $1...I was robbed! Way too long & wordy. I think the author used the word "semiofician" 5 times. I forced myself to finish it because I couldn't believe it could be worse than "New England White" WRONG...hated them both.
rose57rm More than 1 year ago
suspense & smart writing makes for a great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The aurtor seems more interested in preaching than in telling a good story,
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