Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Review... Winter's Tale

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For those of you who know me, you know I love, Love, LOVE to read and that I pretty much go through books like you would not believe.  It is rare that I find a book that I have trouble finishing and I can usually find some redeeming quality in every book I read.  That being said, I had the HARDEST. TIME. EVER. reading Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin.  I don't know what it was about this book but I just could NOT get into it (which might explain why it took me almost 2 months to read all 748 pages of it).

Winter's Tale chronicles the life of Peter Lake and his journey from thief, turned lover, turned whatever it was that he turned into by the end.  It is set in NYC starting in the 1900s and ends in NYC at the millennium... during which time Peter Lake pretty much never ages.  Peter's life changes when he meets a gorgeous (I am not sure the horse is gorgeous, but in my mind he is gorgeous) white horse Athansor who he uses to escape from the Short Tails gang who is out to kill him.  During his travels on Athansor and after an attempt to rob a wealthy family, Peter falls in love with the owner of the house's daughter Beverly Penn.  Beverly had always been a strange and sickly girl and upon her death Peter disappeared never to be seen again.

Except he is seen again... nearly 80 (I think it was 80... or 80ish) years later not having aged a day.  This time he emerges in NYC at the turn of the millennium with no clue as to who he is.  He starts working for The Sun newspaper as a mechanic, not knowing that it is the paper that Beverly's father had owned and that her younger brother Harry now runs.  Peter knows he must have been a mechanic at some point in his life, but that is about all he can remember.  As he slowly gains memories back, the Short Tails reemerge and are on his tail once again, determined to kill him.

During all of this Jackson Meade is lurking around with his two cohorts, Cecil and the Reverend getting ready to try to build some sort of fantastical bridge.  Jackson was also around in the beginning of the book... back in the 1900s and was building bridges even then.  Jackson seems to be a visionary who has helped to make the US what it was throughout the century leading up to 2000.

And who could forget the love story of Virginia and Hardesty or their trip to the Lake of Coheeries where their daughter gets really sick.  Or how Hardesty basically goes insane trying to save the life of his daughter.

As you can see, the book contains a lot of stories within the story.  Each section of the book seems to focus on different characters, but in the end everything ties together and ties back to the main character, Peter Lake.  It had a love story, drama, stories of pain and suffering, and action among other things all packed into one.  It was the past meeting the future.... in a very strange way.

I think people suggested this book to me/thought I would really enjoy it because I LOVE Ayn Rand... The Fountainhead hands down one of my favorite books of all time.  To me this book does not even hold a candle to The Fountainhead or even Atlas Shrugged for that matter.  Not that I am saying that this was a bad book, it just wasn't the book for me and it is something that I will probably never pick up to read again.  That being said, I am still a bit intrigued by the movie because I feel like it had to be super difficult to pack all of this into a movie and I am not sure how a movie would flow from this book as there is a lot of back and forth.  I may have to think about redboxing the movie if I ever see it in there!

Have you ever read "A Winter's Tale"?  What were your thoughts on the book? Has anyone seen the movie? Is it worth seeing?

PS, Sorry for probably the shortest and worst book review I have ever written on here.  I just can't even explain how much I really didn't like this book and don't even know how to describe it to people because to me it was just that strange of a book. I promise I will do better on my next book review... promise!

2 comments:

  1. Ok so now I'm kind of glad I didn't buy the book after the whole hype over the movie came out. It sounds super confusing! PS: Have you read the Fault in Our Stars yet? I have it but I just haven't been able to get into it. I think I might be in a little bit of a book-reading funk haha.

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  2. I got this book from the library a few months ago when I first saw the movie was coming out, but I never got to reading it and it doesn't sound like I missed out on anything! Thanks for sharing this review!

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