Memoir From Antproof Case

Memoir From Antproof Case

by Mark Helprin

Paperback(First Edition)

$15.83 $16.95 Save 7% Current price is $15.83, Original price is $16.95. You Save 7%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, January 30
17 New & Used Starting at $1.99


An old American who lives in Brazil is writing his memoirs. An English teacher at the naval academy, he is married to a woman young enough to be his daughter and has a little son whom he loves. He sits in a mountain garden in Niterói, overlooking the ocean.

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.

Mark Helprin combines adventure, satire, flights of transcendence, and high comedy in this "memoir" of a man whose life reads like the song of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780156032001
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 08/06/2007
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 129,133
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.16(d)

About the Author

MARK HELPRIN is the acclaimed author of Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Freddy and Fredericka, The Pacific, Ellis Island, Memoir from Antproof Case, and numerous other works. His novels are read around the world, translated into over twenty languages.


Upstate New York

Date of Birth:

June 28, 1947

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


A.B., Harvard University, 1969; A.M., 1972. Postgraduate study at Oxford University, 1976-77.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Memoir from Antproof Case 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 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 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!
franque23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A quick reading long story. Memoir of a man's entire life racked and lifted by events within and beyond his control. A well written book which certainly calls into question the protagonists' self opinions.I may never drink coffee again-that's not true but it could happen after absorbing this Author's whimsical driftings through time, space and thought. How bad is it to be rich? How difficult is it to have murdered a teacher? Is a crash landing all it's made out to be? First love burns as intensely as your desire to keep reading this story's 'vistas', travels and moments of self-reflection. Franque
ben_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Re-read on vacation. Helprin's stylistic flourishes astound and amaze, as does his ability to shift from the absurd and hilarious to the touching and sublime. And it's not just style. His aesthetic comes linked to an ethos, a theology. Helprin is, if not a preacher, at least an old-time country medicine show promoter: for the beauty of the world, for duty, for parental love, and against the painful inevitability of change; ever and always pointing us towards an ideal, and urging us to become the person we hope we could be. These virtues come at a price. Helprin protagonists are elves -- Tolkein elves -- made for this world, impossibly in love with it, walking light-footed on snowdrifts. In some books, this wears better than in others. 3.10.08
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This may just be my favorite book of all time. So many sentences could stand alone they are so beautifully written, but this is not just an exercise in writing stunning sentences - it is laugh-out-loud funny, and as an Agatha Christie lover, I was surprised to find it was a mystery as well at the end - never saw it coming!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago