Friday, July 25, 2008

Book 49 of 52 -- Stephen L. Carter's Palace Council

"Palace Council" is Carter's third novel.

His first, "Emperor of Ocean Park" was a wonderful novel about the wealthy and influential African-American community.

Those who lived on Sugar Hill in Harlem and summered at Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard.

Doctors, lawyers, university professors, the cream of African-American society, and his second book, "New England White" depicted the same crowd - a little less successfully, I thought - and both books were set, more or less, in the present.

In the new book, Carter writes about a different time-frame - the Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies - and incorporates real figures - Langston Hughes, Richard Nixon, J Edgar Hoover, among others - with his fictional ones, many revisited from his previous two novels.

The book is ambitious, long, but not at all rambling and everything fits together, as a good story should.

You're interested enough in the characters to care about what happens to them and I thoroughly enjoyed it as much as I did his first book.

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