Nothing could make me like this book. I am sorry.
A thief, Peter Lake, falls for a young woman, Beverly Penn, who is dying of consumption. Following her death, he acquires magical powers.
The premise was indeed promising but sadly fell rather flat. The book is over 600 pages long and for the most part, none of it seems relevant. The ‘love story’ between Beverly and Peter just felt a bit flat and lame. I didn’t feel the emotional pull of the story and this made me lose interest very quickly.
I really don’t have anything to sat which is positive. I only really read the book because of the film adaptation and the book has put me off watching it. Its extremely frustrating skipping masses of pages and realizing that you have missed little in the poorly-developed plot-arc.
If you want an overblown, self-important book with indifferent storyline and boring characters to read on long car journeys (or to avoid awkward conversations during those long car journeys)…then go ahead and read this book. Helprin was probably trying to be poetic most of the time, and failing constantly. I would have loved to feel sad about Peter’s enduring love (??!) for Beverly or the inevitable ending to Peter’s life journey but I just couldn’t. I had just stopped caring by that point. I don’t think I’ll be watching the film.
MY RATING: * / *****