Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

A book review

My love: ♥♥○○○

It is really had to review this book. Specially since I have very mixed feelings about it. I will not comment on the writing since it’s genius and beautiful and shiny and filled with words I truly can not comprehend unless I read them three times. Now onto the review. At first I was very enthusiastic with the idea of it. The magical realism, the white horse, the love and the eternal winter. I was followed by disappointment, then again amazement, then disappointment. Peter Lake was a wonderful character which I would have loved if he had more talking lines. But most of his scenes are mere action and description of all he saw. His romance with Beverly was beautiful, short and sad, she is not given that much scenes or lines either. She becomes a sort of ghost for most of the book, which is sad. Her family however takes up the rest of the story.

I have to say the description of the book is very very misleading. It is not a story about love, it is a story about winter, machines, lakes in the clouds and a god-like white horse. There is some time travel involved, which I understood from the very first description of the cloud. Somewhere in the book, if you push enough to get there, one of the characters explain what the cloud is and what it isn’t. It makes sense if you like the whole idea of how some thing just will remain a mystery forever, like what’s inside a black hole. No matter what you can theorize, or study, or even send, you never get the full answer. The antagonist, was well made as a balanced character, and you can deduct by the text who he really is and what the book in the end is about. Which I won’t give away. These are the reasons you must read such books and forget about silly movie remakes which have nothing to do with the actual novel.

There were some moments in the book where I found myself reading and happily enjoying. Other parts just got me grumpy through the day, like pointless history on the newspaper battle or the three pages of how people skate on the frozen lake. At some point I gave up and began just skimming them. The story develops further with the secondary characters, plenty of randomness and snow. Annoyance at the whole thing, a few struggles not to give up, the horse again… pointlessly like a god. Random luck strikes (it seems every single character in this book is lucky except for Beverly). The end was as confusing as the book. Though at about page 600 I felt back to where I started. I was enjoying it though it didn’t make much sense and there is much I can’t write here without spoiling it.

I did not enjoyed this book as much as I hoped, because there was no plot, the description was misleading (I constantly waited for Beverly to reappear just to be disappointed like a child who gets a hot-wheel while he wanted a control remote monster truck.) and there word cold was repeated without limit through the book. I do not recommend it (except for the writing) nor the movie. Unless you want to study about descriptive narrative, then is one of the best I’ve read, beautiful, crazy, confusing, a through and through ride of senses and lack of emotions. Though there, the author focused more on the descriptive so the emotions seemed forced.

“He says books stop time.”

she writes