Review: Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Perhaps, I’d feel differently if I’d read the book instead of listened to the audiobook, but Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin is a novel that’s overly dense, without being especially weighty. For the first half / twelve hours of the novel, I found it enjoyable. Helprin writes with a style that takes pleasure in metaphor and seeks them out in every description. To use a metaphor though, Helprin’s writing is a bit like a Victorian house, it’s ornate to the point of distraction. What started out as fun became tiresome. Not every description needs to be exaggerated. What does that level of description do? Is Helprin creating a more magical landscape or does he not know when to stop? Whichever the case may be, it created a narrative that lumbers forward. Action and pace slow, caught up in the Candyland-like quagmire of imagery, somewhere between Molasses Swamp and Lake of the Coheeries.



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