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Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

Winter's Tale (original 1983; edition 2005)

by Mark Helprin

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3,152931,782 (4.13)206
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 (92)  Italian (1)  All languages (93)
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
There is no doubt that Helprin is a magnificent writer who knows what he's doing when he starts writing, but by everything that is holy, this was a snoreathon.

I'm not going to lie, I didn't finish it. After about 20 pages describing in in depth detail a white horse running through Manhattan, I just couldn't push myself to continue. It's very likely that I will try reading this again in the future, but for now:

  Aly_Locatelli | Jan 26, 2015 |
This was one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. It was also one of the slowest, being both exceptionally descriptive and containing very little actual plot. It's a book to read purely of the beauty of it. Settle in, be prepared for the long haul, and enjoy. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
I tried. Hard. But I simply could not enjoy this one enough to finish it. ( )
  Debra_Armbruster | Jan 20, 2015 |
The description and poetry about the city and winter are superior to the story. It is a beautifully written book though incredibly challenging to read given the non-linear story, massive list of characters and dense writing. A good but not great novel. ( )
  lincolnpan | Dec 31, 2014 |
As the story begins, we meet Peter Lake and the horse Athansor, both on the run from Lake's mortal (immortal?) enemy, Pearly Soames. We don't yet know who Peter Lake is or what he did to earn Soames' wrath, but we cheer his hard-won escape. Later, Peter Lake breaks into a stately home with the intent of burglarizing over the winter holidays when the family is away, but instead finds that Beverly, the lovely, consumptive daughter of the house, remained home. Despite the awkward circumstances of their meeting, Beverly and Peter Lake waste no time falling in love.

Overall, my reaction is one of feeling misled. The story line that initially piqued my interest abruptly ended a quarter of the way into the book, and what followed was a jumbled mess of magical realism involving characters that were not particularly likable. Winter's Tale is obviously popular for some reason (or is it a case of the mediocre being heralded as profound?). It's quite possible that my analytical brain isn't capable of appreciating the mystical elements. In any case, it wasn't the book for me. ( )
  ryner | Dec 31, 2014 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:25 -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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