"Splendidly entertaining . . . Joyce and Nabokov could produce verbal astonishments as readily. Not many others come to mind."Time
An old American sits in a mountain garden in Brazil, writing his memoirs. As he reminisces and writes, placing the pages carefully in his antproof case, we learn that he was a World War II ace who was shot down twice, an investment banker who met with popes and presidents, and a man who was never not in love. He was the thief of the century, a murderer, and a protector of the innocent. And all his life he waged a valiant, losing, one-man battle against the world’s most insidious enslaver: coffee.
In this novel, Mark Helprin’s astounding prose combines adventure, satire, flights of transcendence, and high comedy in a "memoir" of a man whose life reads like the song of the twentieth century.
"Extravagant, daring . . . full of unexpected jolts of laugh-out-loud comedy . . . Helprin is one of the most ambitious novelists of our day."The Washington Post Book World
“Stunning . . . [Helprin] speaks with the tongues of angels.”San Francisco Chronicle
Educated at Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford, Mark Helprin served in the Israeli army, Israeli Air Force, and British Merchant Navy. He is the author of Refiner's Fire, A Dove of the East and Other Stories, Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Ellis Island and Other Stories, The Pacific and Other Stories, and Freddy and Fredericka. He lives in Virginia.