Winter's Tale - Mark Helprin

Title: Winter's Tale
Author: Mark Helprin
Pages: 768
Published: 2005 (first published 1983)
Challenges: Chunkster, Historical Fiction
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal library

Description: New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake, orphan and master-mechanic, 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 love between Peter Lake, a middle-aged Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young girl, who is dying.

Peter Lake, a simple, uneducated man, because of a love that, at first he does not fully understand, is driven to stop time and bring back the dead. His great struggle, in a city ever alight with its own energy and besieged by unprecedented winters, is one of the most beautiful and extraordinary stories of American literature. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I bought this book because I had hoped to go and see the film version of this book, which was released in North America on Feb. 14, and I had started out with high hopes for the book.  Based on how the book started out, I had hoped that this book would live up to the expectations that I had built up for this book and I ended up being a bit disappointed.

While I did like the author's use of words and how he described the rich atmosphere of the book early on in the book, I felt that it just kinda fell flat and by the end I just wanted the book to end.  I realize that this was my first foray into paranormal fiction and so I didn't really know what to expect and how I would react to such a book.

It's not that I didn't have times where I enjoyed reading the book, its just that I felt that it was maybe a little too long and that the book could have been much more effective and cohesive if somebody had cut 200-300 pages; it didn't really need the 700+ pages to describe what it did.

Bottom line:  If you absolutely love paranormal fiction, you maybe should give this one a try.  I realize that this a very long book, but one really does get swept up into the story and at times you really don't feel like you are reading so much.  Otherwise, I would probably give this one a pass and read something that I would enjoy. Recommended.  As for me, I really gave this book a chance and this genre a chance and I honestly don't know if I could read much more of the paranormal genre.

Rating: 3/5

Pages for 2014: 2366

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