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Publisher's Summary

This is a book about the beauty and complexity of the human soul, about God, love, and justice, and yet you can lose yourself in it as if it were a dream. You will be transported to New York of the Belle Epoque, to a city clarified by a siege of unprecedented winters. One night, Peter Lake—orphan, master-mechanic, and master second-story man—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 affair between the middle-aged Irish burglar and Beverly Penn, a young girl who is dying. Because of a love that at first he cannot fully understand, Peter, a simple and uneducated man, will be driven “to stop time and bring back the dead.” His great struggle, in a city ever alight with its own energy and beset by winter, is a truly beautiful and extraordinary story.
℗ 2008 by AudioGO / © 1983 by Mark Helprin / Motion Picture Artwork © 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
©1983 Mark Helprin (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America
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Critic Reviews

"This novel stretches the boundary of contemporary literature...is a gifted writer's love affair with the language." ( Newsday)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By David on 04-11-11

Great book and narrator - bad technical glitch

I am almost finished with this recording, and it has been a pure joy all the way. That is, until Chapter 5 of Part 4. Suddenly, I was listening to a duplicate of an earlier part of the story. I skipped ahead to Chapter 6 and was hearing new text again, but I can't be sure what, if anything, I have missed. So I've tried to redownload Part 4 to see if it comes out right. Unfortunately, it stalls out at 119 mb and I'm having a hard time getting past that.

This kind of thing really fouls up the experience...

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50 of 50 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By P. Carson on 03-20-12

NYC 2000 as imagined in 1983

Posted to Goodreads on 3/19/12:

This book was written in 1983 but released again in 2008 as an audiobook, which I picked up from Audible at a very good price. I liked the fantasy, magical sequences of the story and the portrait of New York City from the late 1800s to the year 2000 (the future, as of 1983). The story was slow to get going, although the "Gangs of New York" style of the beginning held my interest. Once some of the main characters really take the stage (Peter Lake and Beverly Penn), the pace picks up. On the whole, however, some of the fantasy borders on the juvenile, similar to the movie Polar Express, and some of the history seems incorrect. Also, when the author tries to imagine New York of the future and a cataclysmic event that could destroy the city, he does not reach his goal. That a character tries to build a bridge to see the face of God is difficult to consider seriously.

The book is really too long, but if you have the time, you may like the early approach to magical reality. The book has some similarities with Chronic City.

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26 of 27 people found this review helpful

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