#44 ~ The Emperor’s Children


The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

This book makes September 11 anti-climatic. It is pretentious, is written using the most convoluted grammar I’ve ever seen, and was about unexceptional, yet self-righteous and stuck-up, characters. This is by far the worst book I’ve read this year. I would gladly read Perfect Match again without complaining just for the joy of caring about a character again.

As I wrote earlier on Literate Housewives’ Book Club, The Emperor’s Children is death by character development. Stay away from this book. Pretend that coming within 10 feet of this book will kill you.


  • At 2007.11.07 17:13, b*babbler said:

    I’m laughing and laughing and laughing and laughing here.

    Love the tags.

    I just can’t. get. back. into. this. book.

    Last year my husband and I thought we’d go to the Canadian Opera Company’s restaging of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. We had the tickets for close to three years it was such a big deal. After the first opera we were like “eh”. After the second we were dying. We never made it to the rest. In the car we looked at each other and said perhaps we weren’t sophisticated or pretentious enough for Wagner.

    That is exactly how this book made me feel. I read the reviews. I’ve read a lot of good, literary books. This book firmly put me in my place.

    • At 2007.11.07 20:34, Literate Housewife said:

      Would you even want to be the type of person who would – dare I say – enjoy this book? Opera isn’t my favorite either, but it is art. I don’t think this book comes anywhere near it. I can understand why people might enjoy might enjoy opera. Even just recognizing the talent of the singers. Just because you can write a complex grammatically correct sentence doesn’t qualify you as an artist. It does not make your writing worthy of sharing with anyone at all. I’m curious to go back and find positive reviews and see WTF they were thinking. Maybe they didn’t want to seem like they lack sophistication so they bent over. I won’t be doing that.

      • […] not grab me in any way. The first third of the book reminded me in tone and content a great deal of The Emperor’s Children that it made me wonder if  I could make it through this relatively slim book. There was this […]

        • At 2012.01.09 21:42, While I Was Away said:

          […] my beloved readers, is that my vacation was prolific. I finished The Madonna’s of Leningrad, The Emperor’s Children, and The Virgin’s Lover (all books that I had started before we left). I also read The […]

          (Required, will not be published)

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