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Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

Winter's Tale (original 1983; edition 2005)

by Mark Helprin

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3,4111061,584 (4.06)234
Title:Winter's Tale
Authors:Mark Helprin
Info:Mariner Books (2005), Edition: First edition., Paperback, 768 pages
Collections:Your library

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Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (1983)

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English (105)  Italian (1)  All languages (106)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
I get it. A “Winter’s Tale” is something that is told around the fire at night while you are snowbound for months in your longhouse, or cabin, or cave, or whatever. It should be a series of stories… and have a cast of hundreds… and feature doomed lovers, flying horses, hidden villages, ridiculous dwarves, and time travel. Hearing someone tell you this tale would give you hope to make it through winter… hope that there is a golden light to be attained somewhere in a just city….

But at a novel? It doesn’t work at all. There are so many things wrong it makes my head hurt to think about listing them.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
I read this after seeing the movie of the same name. This is one of those books that you have to suspend your beliefs and enjoy the journey you are taking through the book. ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
I cannot stand this book.

I read it back in the late 80s, and remembered disliking it. I'm re-reading for book club. I'm at 16% and am wondering if I'm going to bother plowing all the way through... my mind has already been fully refreshed as to WHY I disliked it so very much.

I think I'm going to downgrade from two stars to one star... I have a feeling that my dislike softened over the years along with my memory of the details.

Incidentally, this dislike is actually unrelated, so far, to Helprin's politics. I just don't appreciate the way he writes. The author clearly thinks he is oh so witty, and that his cartoonish fable version of New York is just so amazing... and reading it, I feel like I'm listening to fingernails grating on a chalkboard.

Update... I tried to read a bit more of this today, and subjected myself to yet more verbose, pseudo-profound whimsy. I dearly love my book club, and if I hadn't read this before, I would slog through. But I have already read it, and know it's not going to get any better.

In closing, I will borrow a Shakespeare reference, and one far more apropos than Helprin's (it's a true stretch to compare this book to the play of the same title): "It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing."
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Oh my goodness, I loved this book! Part 3, page 401-402 will forever be my favorite quote. ( )
  Erika.D | Jan 28, 2016 |
A grand, sometimes poetic (and other-worldly) tale into a snow-covered world that might have been. This book is hard to categorize since it resembles a fantasy, but also waxes philosophical and is almost gritty at times. Some of its images stick with you long after you finish it. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Helprin, Markprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marcellino, FredCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, WilliamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"I have been to another world, and come back. Listen to me."
No One Knows the City Better
First words
A great city is nothing more than a portrait of itself, and yet when all is said and done, its arsenals of scenes and images are part of a deeply moving plan.
Winter, it was said, was the season in which time was superconductive - the season when a brittle world might shatter in the face of astonishing events, later to reform in a new body as solid and smooth as young transparent ice.
A tranquil city of good laws, fine architecture, and clean streets is like a classroom of obedient dullards, or a field of gelded bulls - whereas a city of anarchy is a city of promise.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156031191, Paperback)

New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake--orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side.

Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter Lake, a middle-aged Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young girl, who is dying.

Peter Lake, a simple, uneducated man, because of a love that, at first he does not fully understand, is driven to stop time and bring back the dead. His great struggle, in a city ever alight with its own energy and beseiged by unprecedented winters, is one of the most beautiful and extraordinary stories of American literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:29 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When master mechanic Peter Lake attempts to rob a mansion on the Upper West Side, he is caught by young Beverly Penn, the terminally ill daughter of the house, and their subsequent love sends Peter on a desperate personal journey.

(summary from another edition)

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