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The Emperor of Ocean Park: A Novelby Stephen L. Carter
Synopses & Reviews
In his triumphant fictional debut, Stephen Carter combines a large-scale, riveting novel of suspense with the saga of a unique family. The Emperor of Ocean Park is set in two privileged worlds: the upper crust African American society of the Eastern seabord — families who summer at Martha's Vineyard — and the inner circle of an Ivy League law school.
Talcott Garland is a successful law professor, devoted father, and husband of a beautiful and ambitious woman, whose future desires may threaten the family he holds so dear. When Talcott's father, Judge Oliver Garland, a disgraced former Supreme Court nominee, is found dead under suspicioius circumstances, Talcott wonders if he may have been murdered. Guided by the elements of a mysterious puzzle that his father left, Talcott must risk his marriage, his career and even his life in his quest for justice.
Superbly written and filled with memorable characters, The Emperor of Ocean Park is both a stunning literary achievement and a grand literary entertainment.
"[S]leek, immensely readable....Carter connects all this irresistible hugger-mugger with great skill, building toward a series of staggered climaxes that explode over the final 150 pages. Few readers will refrain from racing excitedly through them. A melodrama with brains and heart to match its killer plot." Kirkus Reviews
"Despite Carter's disclaimer, some readers are sure to suspect this is a roman a clef with fascinating insights into the behind-the-scenes machinations of racial and power politics. An elegantly nuanced novel, with finely drawn characters, a challenging plot, and perfect pacing." Booklist (Starred Review)
"[A] first-rate legal thriller....This thriller, which touches electrically on our sexual, racial and religious anxieties, will be the talk of the political in-crowd this summer." Publishers Weekly
"Carter writes powerfully about such virtues as love, faith and forgiveness...and offers a strong commentary on race as seen through the relationships between his characters." Philadelphia Inquirer
"The book is overlong and reads more like a composite view of Carter's ideology than the legal thriller it could have been. Those who enjoy a leisurely pace to their suspense and subscribe to Carter's philosophy of conservatism will enjoy it. The rest will stick with Grisham, Martini, and Margolin." Library Journal
"A light thriller for the beach; a wicked satire of academic politics; a stinging exposé of the judicial confirmation process; a trenchant analysis of racial progress in America." The Christian Science Monitor
"A dense, dark legal thriller....Talcott's clear-eyed observations of his peers, both white and black, give Emperor a social conscience that most books of its ilk lack." Time
"An admirable debut....Mr. Carter's storytelling skills are impressive." Wall Street Journal
"A delightful, sprawling, gracefully written, imaginative work, with sharply delineated characters who dwell in a fully realized narrative world." New York Review of Books
"A thriller as heady as it is hefty....Using...wry descriptions of place, power and privilege, Carter keeps attitude spinning....With Emperor, Carter fills the gap between intrigue and intelligence." People
About the Author
Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, where he has taught since 1982. He is the author of seven acclaimed nonfiction books, including The Culture of Disbelief and Civility. He lives with his wife and children near New Haven, Connecticut.
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