REVIEW: Winter’s Tale – Mark Helprin

BdnyZlyCMAA6Pp-.jpg largeIt has taken me almost two whole months but as of last night I have finished Winter’s Tale. I blogged about this book before when I got stuck about half way through and all the things I said still stands but now I’ve finished the beast I thought I’d try my hand at a “proper review.”

Now I need to give a brief synopsis of this book… this is going to be hard…

Winter’s Tale is set in New York (though not the New York we know) and is about a Peter Lake, a thief who (when breaking into her family’s house) falls in love with Beverly Penn. They fall madly and deeply in love, but Beverly is dying. In a twist of fate Peter falls from a bridge in the late 1800’s and we then join him in the late 1900’s, where he doesn’t know who he is and he hasn’t aged a day. There’s also a flying horse and a magical bridge.

(Yeah I thought this summary thing wasn’t going to work – trust me it’s better than it sounds)

This book is weird and wonderful. It has beautiful writing and descriptions that make it a joy to read but those same beautiful descriptions can also make it a bit of a drag.

The characters are intriguing (mostly because for a lot of the book you know and understand even less than they do) and I especially liked Beverly and Virginia Gamely.

The story spans over a hundred years and has many characters that interact with each other at different times in those hundred years so it is sometimes a bit hard to keep track of whose who and what’s their relationship to each other.

That all being said, I am glad I read this book. I won’t lie seeing the trailer for the film adaptation late last year is what got me interested in the story (I have yet to see the film but am certainly intrigued at how they adapted this 750 page beast for screen)

All in all I would give Winter’s Tale 3/5 as even when I struggled with this crazy story I still loved some of those beautiful sentences.


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