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Winter's Tale (1983)

by Mark Helprin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,7301422,410 (3.98)268
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.
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» See also 268 mentions

English (139)  Italian (2)  All languages (141)
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
Started, abandoned.
I felt like I was in someone's masturbatory fantasy. It was a physical icky feeling.

And it seemed to just go on in that drooling stream of words, on and on and on.

Memoir from Antproof Case was unique and great. Read that. ( )
  fotmasta | May 23, 2024 |
Listening to Oliver Wyman read this, I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of light, skies, cityscapes, snowscapes...I guess all of the descriptions really, were poetic--I've never heard better descriptions..yet, I wasn't over-the-moon in love with the entire story because it seemed too long (22 discs/27 hours of reading) and it lost me several times with time jumps and several nonsensical analogies. Cataloged entries of this book include "reincarnation" as a subject heading: I don't personally feel that was a point trying to be made. The book seems full of mysterious illusions--sometimes like it's written in code, but it seemed more to be stressing a continuity of life, relations, love, and time; that everything is happening at the same time; and suggesting that thereby some sort of uncomprehensible justice results. But I can see the urge to include reincarnation as a subject addressed in the story---explaining why would spoil it if you haven't' read it. For all it's confusing parts though, it is worth reading (or listening to); you'll certainly want to become acquainted with Athensore! (It's a movie now too, so I guess I'll tackle that next). ( )
  TraSea | Apr 29, 2024 |
Literally one of my top ten books. Nothing has ever made me love language, or New York City, or fantasy more. Twenty years later I cannot look out at the river and clouds in New York and imagine Peter Lake and his white horse galloping through the streets. Romantic. Deep. Powerful quotes on justice that I carry with me to this day. Read it! ( )
  Bridgeboston1 | Mar 22, 2024 |
I tried to finish reading this book. I thought a great challenge would be nice. I also am not fond of overly historical books. This book went beyond what I would ever understand, and the only way to understand it would be to pull out maps and watch videos so I could relate to the umpteen places through which this plot gallops (like the gorgeous white horse character which I did love). It is TOO LONG! It uses every long and antiquated word it could find from every form of language from several countries. Seriously, any teacher who would assign this to even upper-level high school academic students would be an abuser, at best! I am a Southern gal raised to believe that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. (Sorry, Mama!) I actually went to Goodreads reviews first, wondering if anyone would agree with me. I don't usually see 1-star reviews. I saw a LOT of them! Most were saying exactly what I thought. I finished nearly 500 pages of this nearly 800-page book. Don't torture yourself further by getting it in print, as the actual book is very hard to hold. I have a background in Education. I won't tell you how many pages I would read six times each. I have three other books I needed to be reading, so after struggling on and off a month to finish this, I decided to call it quits. I had already gotten to the point of the story where the beginning-of-the-story characters came back into the plot. Instead of being excited, I thought, "NOT AGAIN!" If this book was re-written to flow better, explain more, use more simple language, and focus more on the interesting parts of the characters, this might be more of a success. I was OK with the mythical part. I LOVED the imagery until it was overused ad nauseam. Too many details, rambles, does not tie together well. I loved the title, the story about Peter Lake and Beverly Penn, and the majestic white horse. Pull out those characters, rewrite the story leaving out some of the unnecessary characters in the beginning, and you might have a romantic winner! I did think the artistic references and bridge engineering references were magnificent but really didn't tie into the theme. In fact, since I stopped reading Winter's Tale, I have no CLUE by over halfway through the book what the theme is. Well, at least I am ready to move on and read something more digestible. I will always attempt to read anything at least once! ( )
  doehlberg63 | Dec 2, 2023 |
Long, rambling, beautiful, tedious, surreal. Didn't quite deliver in the end, but I'm very glad to have read it. Who read this and thought it would make a good movie?! ( )
  mmparker | Oct 24, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
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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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Epigraph
"I have been to another world, and come back. Listen to me."
Dedication
FOR MY FATHER
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.
Quotations
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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