Rapturous epic of the city, as magical as Helprin's great Winter's Tale even if it is not a fantasy. It is as immersive as anything ever conjured up from fairyland. 1946 New York City is the equal to Lud-in-the-Mist, Narnia, Middle Earth, Wonderland and Looking-Glass World, Gormenghast. Veteran Harry Copeland's return home and to the family business is perturbed when he meets singer Catherine Thomas Hale and they fall for each other. She chases him as much as he chases her through Broadway, Long Island, the high and low haunts of the city's criminals. But her finance won't give her up without a fight, and Harry has to summon the courage he found in the war to win her.
I've decided to add some new shelf tags to my blog.
Firstly, inspired by "Lincoln in the Bardo," (which I have not yet read) I'm going to add a shelf called "What the Heck," or, "WTF?" This shelf will be dedicated to books whose premise, or plot, or characters are weird enough for me to say, "What the heck did I just read?" And that's usually a good thing.
Top of the list: Mark Helprin's "Winter's Tale." Also on the list (or soon to be): Nabokov's "Pale Fire" - perhaps the ultimate WTF novel. Probably some stuff by my beloveds Chabon and McEwan. You get where I'm going here.
"Winter's Tale" also reminds me of another tag that's important to my literary life and needs to be added: "New York Stories." I've only visited the city once (what a trip), but it's held a huge place in my reader's imagination throughout my life. I need to remember to tag my New York Stories as I read them.