Monday, January 19, 2015
"Misc. Monday": Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, 768 pages
Price: $8.59 ebook, $8.96 paperback (at time of posting)
Publisher & Date: Mariner Books, September 20, 1983
Book Link: Click Here
Listed Rating: .3
Price I Paid: $0- Reason I rented the ebook using my Kindle Unlimited Subscription
This book was a novel, I say novel due to it's length. It's almost a triumph to say I read this book, like one brags about reading war and peace. Truly the story is complex and strange, yet a wonderful story to read. I however feel as if too many people would not make the time or don't have the time to sit and enjoy the story in its enormity. So if you thought to read it for the love story, like the movie or the previews led you to believe, it's that but so much more and then some.
The setting of the book is of this world and yet not, the time and place is of its own place and time yet seems to parallel our world in some sense. The books world is set amidst a strange timeline with forces of a mist that changes the stories reality, time, location and people. With that in mind, the author begins his story in a time in history or place in America a reader can envision, as it seems like "our world", that's when he entwines his characters and creates this whole world and story revolving around a man named Peter Lake. He is in essence the linchpin to the entire plot line of the story and each section of the book.
Peter Lake is a man who is a survivor, from his beginnings to his end he had to learn, adapt, and fight to survive. His moment of happiness is when he finds true love in Beverly Penn. It's from that moment on that many things fall into place and lives are intertwined, enchanted, and changed in the present, past and future. Cryptic I know, but the plot is more than just about Peter Lake. Many more characters and their lives and the circumstances of their past, presents and a bit if their futures are brought into the plot. Each character is special and represents something that is used to build the "city of the just."
Overall this book was a good read it's deep and reflective. I caution that a reader needs to have time to truly enjoy this book and take the time to contemplate what is going on in in the story and why each event is taking place. This book, as a whole, is a literature book with it's plot complexities and imagery, it could be considered a modern classic. I'm just sad that the author didn't think to make the book into a series to make the novel more welcoming to the general public. Hence the low rating because of it's length, I know not many people will not take to the book because of the length like they could have, and it's truly a shame. Perhaps if the book is read in a book club confusion at parts can be weeded through more easily when discussed out loud and with people. I myself used my sister as a sounding board, and she in return, because this book definitely needed further discussion once finished.