Memoir from Antproof Case

Memoir from Antproof Case

4.0 4
by Mark Helprin
     
 

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From Mark Helprin, acclaimed author of A Soldier of the Great War and A Winter's Tale, comes a miraculous song of the twentieth century.

In a mountain garden in Brazil, an old American is writing his memoirs, placing the pages carefully in his antproof case. As he reminisces we learn he was a World War II ace who was shot down

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Overview

From Mark Helprin, acclaimed author of A Soldier of the Great War and A Winter's Tale, comes a miraculous song of the twentieth century.

In a mountain garden in Brazil, an old American is writing his memoirs, placing the pages carefully in his antproof case. As he reminisces we learn he was a World War II ace who was shot down twice, an investment banker who met with popes and presidents, a multimillionaire, a man who was never not in love. He spent his adolescence in an insane asylum in Switzerland; 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Helprin's narrator writes his "memoir" as an old man, reviewing an extravagant and occasionally perilous life spanning many of the major events of the 20th century. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380727339
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/28/1996
Series:
Harper Perennial
Pages:
514
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.52(d)

Meet the Author

Mark Helprin was educated at Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford and served in the Israeli Army, Israeli Air Force, and British Merchant Navy. He is the author of, among other titles, A Dove of the East and Other Stories, Refiner’s Fire, Winter’s Tale, and A Soldier of the Great War. He lives in Virginia.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Upstate New York
Date of Birth:
June 28, 1947
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
A.B., Harvard University, 1969; A.M., 1972. Postgraduate study at Oxford University, 1976-77.

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Memoir from Antproof Case 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Atthebeach More than 1 year ago
"A Soldier of the Great War" was my first Helprin book. I was mesmerized and set out to read every Helprin book---which I have. "Memoir from Antproof Case" is my favorite, though not his best selling or most important book, it's probably his most relatable. This story about a man's life filled with adventure, danger, heroism, love, crime, fame, wealth, loss, sadness, and more love is just plain enthralling. The story unfolds as the man in his older years writes his memoirs and keeps them in an antproof case. Looking back on an amazing life, one few could imagine and fewer could have lived, at a time when it is really almost over, is so poignant and powerful. This man's life is so full and such a wild ride, you just can't wait to follow it from one outrageous event to another. And yet, ironically, his greatest nemesis in life....coffee. He's human after all.
R1Ecko More than 1 year ago
I found this book in a hole in the wall coffee shop that has a bookcase where you can pick up and drop off books as you like. The book did not even have a cover anymore and I started it like I start every book, opening to a random page and seeing if the writing style caught my eye. It did and this quickly became my most read book in history. Cover to cover, over and over, the characters are hyper realized, with quirks and lovable faults and the randomness is almost hilarious at times and heartwarming at others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The voice of the never-named memoir writer is beguiling from the very beginning. He is true to himself in matters of principle - love, fairness, fidelity, defying the consumption of coffee. He is charming. He also is deadpan funny as he recounts his fantastical life. Very few works of fiction can make me laugh out loud, and this one succeeded. The sublime humor is based deep within the character, and I don't think he knows just how funny he is. This novel also has the gorgeous, moving prose and humanity that drew me into 'The Pacific & Other Stories' and compelled me to seek out other Helprin fiction.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Helprin is a resplendent writer. He writes with such flare that one sometimes forgets about the plot or purpose of his novel. Each phrase, sentence, and paragraph is so well crafted that they carry multiple meanings and are often hilariously poignant. The protagonist of Mark Helprin's fourth novel struggles through enormous challenges and succeeds in many different fields, befriending popes and presidents along the way. He then retires to a sleepy little Brazilian village to write his memoirs. And this is the hyperbolic crux of the novel: he hates coffee and has retired to Brazil! This is just the tip of the satirical iceberg that Helprin has created. Memoir from Antproof Case is a sweeping satire of the twentieth century. It exposes the pernicious nature of our western compulsion for selfishness. Mark Helprin writes with the vocabulary of Dickens, the wit of Twain, and an irresistible imagination that is his own. It has been a long seven years since Helprin's latest, a drought which will hopefully be ended soon. But that remains to be seen. Wishing to hear from Mr. Helprin soon, Dan Hokstad North Bay ON.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many book covers are littered with promise and guarantee of 'laugh out-loud laughter'. 'Memoir' delivers, in a Fed-Ex overnight fashion. Helprin is a magician, interlacing the emotional elements of humanity; the earth, wind, and fire of life. If this story, and all its meaning, were to be transferred to canvas, there would be an insufficient amount of colors to furnish justice. Bravo Helprin, bravo.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another great book from one of the undiscovered jewels in American literature. Mark Helprin never ceases to amaze. I was reminded of Kurt Vonnegut's writing style in this novel, but Helprin takes it to another level. His intermingling of the sublime and the ridiculous is just right in this novel. A circuitous journey that had me enthralled by the characters involved. Like his novel, A Soldier of the Great War, Helprin takes us on an epic journey that encompasses time and distance, yet in a less serious and grandiose vein. The palet of words he uses to color this grand journey are a wonderment. I've found few authors who can delight and amaze like Mark Helprin...and he does it using vastly different themes,settings, and tones in each of his works. In reading Mark Helprin, I'm reminded of a Rubik's cube. I know this will all fit together at the end, and I envy someone with the talents to make the difficult seem so easy!
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