This is a book about the beauty and complexity of the human soul, about God, love, and justice, and yet you can lose yourself in it as if it were a dream. You will be transported to New York of the Belle Epoque, to a city clarified by a siege of unprecedented winters.
One night, Peter Lake - orphan, master-mechanic, and master second-story man - 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 affair between the middle-aged Irish burglar and Beverly Penn, a young girl who is dying. Because of a love that at first he cannot fully understand, Peter, a simple and uneducated man, will be driven "to stop time and bring back the dead". His great struggle, in a city ever alight with its own energy and beset by winter, is a truly beautiful and extraordinary story.
©1983 Mark Helprin; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America
"This novel stretches the boundary of contemporary literature...is a gifted writer's love affair with the language." (Newsday)
I am almost finished with this recording, and it has been a pure joy all the way. That is, until Chapter 5 of Part 4. Suddenly, I was listening to a duplicate of an earlier part of the story. I skipped ahead to Chapter 6 and was hearing new text again, but I can't be sure what, if anything, I have missed. So I've tried to redownload Part 4 to see if it comes out right. Unfortunately, it stalls out at 119 mb and I'm having a hard time getting past that.
This kind of thing really fouls up the experience...
No, not Homer Simpson, though you will find many side-splitting laughs to rival Marge's tubby hubby.
Helprin is the best living writer in the English language, maybe any language. This epic adventure defies any description of the plot which is so magnificently constructed, so sublime as to compare to any masterpiece (architectural, pictorial, sculptural, technological). One can appreciate it, but recounting it diminishes its artistry, beauty and grandeur. If you are fortunate enough to have a hard copy, then read, listen, read, listen. Your efforts will be rewarded, your soul enriched, and you will be restored to your proper senses. In reality, this praise applies to the five titles that I have read.
The reading on this audio is well done and captures the spirit of the story throughout.
Winter's Tale is a complex, engaging and thought-provoking novel. I think it demonstrates that the love of language, the love of ideas, and the ability to create characters who speak to us across time is still at the heart of great novel-writing. I read this book twenty-plus years ago and was impressed with its depth and sincerity then as I am now. AND it is good to hear it read by a gifted interpreter!
This may be my favorite book. When it was on the best seller's list (in the go-go 80s) I made all my friends buy and read it and then of course we read everything else Helprin ever wrote (including the New Yorker stories).
When I saw it was finally on Audible, I actually did a little happy dance. Wonderful to "read" it again after so many years. Who writes like this these days?
If you love New York, or if you just love beautiful images and very interesting characters rendered in prose, then this is the book for you. What if time really could be conquered by courage and love?
I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...
Timeless. Another sweeping epic of New York City but with magic and intelligence. I defy you not to love this book. Years after reading it I'm thrilled to have it on audio.
This is a wonderful story that spans the 20th century and tells the tale of an alternative New York with some magical additions such as an enormous natural formation of clouds that often blocks in the city and into which characters disappear only to reappear, unaged, decades later. The narration is excellent and the story of Peter Lake is interesting and full of excellent twists and turns.
I'm giving the story the benefit of the doubt since so many people love it, including my dad and several close friends, but I could not get into this audiobook at all, because the reader utterly fails to work for me. I see that Mr. Wyman has performed many prominent books, and perhaps his style works for some of them, but for this tale of magical realism I felt his reading took all the magic away and actively prevented me from believing in or caring about the story or the characters. My friend got a different audio edition from the library, and I wish Audible offered that one because it sounded a lot better.
In a mythical New York, Helprin creates characters and otherworldly backdrops that are unforgettable. His prose is gorgeous, his imagery will transport you; however, if you prefer fiction neatly tied up, that adheres to some kind of logic, this isn't for you. This is fantasy, and there are many loose ends at its cryptic conclusion.
The description of this book is about one small storyline and is hardly a part of the plot. We meet the girl Peter loves, she's there for about a chapter and then gone for the rest of the book. The story meanders, multiple characters are introduced and barely touch the story, only my insane need to finish a book I've started kept me going until the end. The description should be changed and imply that the story is about the mystery of Time and New York in the 1900's. A story of human interaction with a touch of magic and engineering.
Truck driving biker, former submariner in the Navy. Ex-bouncer and night club owner who loves a good read, and enjoys writing and art.
While beautifully written, I just could not care about the characters or the story. It was choppy and disjointed. I'm not really sure what genre this was supposed to be, but I kept hoping to figure it out. It just took WAY too long to set up a terrible ending. I will admit the author has a way with words, but in this book, he just doesn't tell a good story or create characters you can relate to. I just came away not knowing what I had just read, and that is not how I like leaving a story.
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