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Old 21st Jan 2005, 19:16   #1
Maggie
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Default Stephen L. Carter: The Emperor Of Ocean Park

Since we are on the subject of LARGE books and since I know that most readers here are not "put off" by anything that is over 400 pages, I am going to ask if anyone has read "The Emperor Of Ocean Park"?

The book was published in 2002 and came out with a lot of hoop-a-la. Got good reviews and booksellers were pushing it at every customer who waltzed through the door.

I have the advanced reader edition. It is in paperback which is an impressive 657 pages in length. I like big books, in fact, there was a time when I was flat broke, my kids gave me a gift certificate for a bookstore., I picked out a book titled "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All" by Allan Girganus. I picked this particular book because it was the biggest book on the shelf, at that time. 718 pages with small words !

Anyway, I've been pondering on what to read next and Carter's book is in the TBR stack, it is winter and we were just discussing BIG books.

Anyone familiar with this one ??


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Old 22nd Jan 2005, 14:48   #2
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I read this some time ago. It is an efficient and intelligent thriller and tackles the genre from an refreshingly unusual viewpoint as the characters are all affluent African Americans, and really quite affluent at that.

It is a page-turner that belies its length but, not wanting to give anything away, it does have a bit of a Scooby Doo ending where the villain is revealed and decides to tell everyone how he did it before trying to get away.

I suspect the book was a big disappointment for the publishers who paid a fortune for it. I know it sold quite well in the States but only moderately here and, a couple of years on, no one is really talking about it with any lingering buzz.

Worth a couple of days reading though.
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Old 22nd Jan 2005, 15:11   #3
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Yes, the interesting thing is that in hardback it was published by a literary imprint (Cape) with a stylish-solemn cover and sold as this year's Big Accessible But Brainy Read. A friend of mine bought it under this impression but I don't think she ever read it. Then in paperback it was published in A-format (ie Archer-size) with a blocky cover and touted as an out-and-out thriller, with even - erk! - a Grisham plug. As wildsheep says, I can't remember hearing anyone talking about it since.

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Old 22nd Jan 2005, 15:54   #4
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Maggie, how did you find Gurganus's book? I liked it very much.
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Old 22nd Jan 2005, 18:54   #5
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R.C.

I was still working at a bookstore before the book was published and we were sent the advanced reader copy. We have an organization called "Book Sense" and every month they release a publication to independant book stores with reading recommendations. These recommendations come from owners or employees of independant stores. Every month the organization sends out a box of advanced reader copies.The idea is to read as many as possible and send in some reviews . After reading all the reviews "Book Sense" picks out what they consider the best reads and publishes their little flier, which is available free at your local bookstore. "The Emperor Of Ocean Park" was in one of the boxes.
Needless to say, it wasn't one of the books our store sent in a review on as it was too long. I hung on to the book and just started giving it a look over now.

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Old 22nd Jan 2005, 19:31   #6
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Yes Maggie. I was asking about Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, the one you bought with a gift certificate.
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Old 22nd Jan 2005, 20:19   #7
Maggie
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OH The Gurganus book ? Forgive me, I'm a bit tired. Babysat with ill Mom last night.

I bought the book in 1989 right after it was published ! It IS a good book. One of my favorites in fact. I've read some of the books Gurganus published after "Oldest Living Confederate.........." and they aren't nearly as good.

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Old 22nd Jan 2005, 20:24   #8
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P.S. Like I said............I picked the book because it was big and had small words. I was VERY broke at the time and my kids had all chipped together to give me a gift cert. It turned out to be a very good choice.

Since then I HAVE added other criteria for choosing books :)
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