Mark Helprin has a unique way of seamlessly merging "reality" and the fanciful and this book is no exception. Written as a memoir by a colorful man who has led a strange and colorful life to his son. Not a quick read, but worth the effort.
Lovely, detailed story of a well-lived life of a man. This guy did everything and went everywhere and certainly took advantage of his limited time on Earth. His coffee hate cracked me up and his ardency about it floored me. Then, near the end, I understood.
I ended up loving this guy, who never truly had love from a woman returned to him. Even his "son," whom he does consider his son, was fathered by another man with his wife (not a spoiler - he says this early on). But he lived a life, a glorious, wonderful life and I don't think he'd trade it for anything. Great quotes in this. Just fantastic.
In a mountain garden in Brazil an old American is writing his memoirs, placing the pages carefully in his antproof case. We learn he was a WW II ace, an investment banker, a multimillionaire, a man who was never not in love, the thief of the century, a murderer and a protector of the innocent.
An exciting and entertaining book about a quirky and unforgettable character!