[Read Ellis Island and Other Stories] epub Author Mark Helprin – DOC or Kindle

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Winner of the Prix de Rome and the National Jewish Book Award these ten stories and the tit. Until I bought a used copy of Ellis Island and Other Stories from our local bookstore I hadn t known of Mark Helprin But I was rewarded for my 4 purchase with a collection of 11 short stories that boasts a wide range of geography time and mood The stories range from Israel to the US to Europe from the turn of the 20th century into the 1970s Helprin is an American journalist and writer born in 1947 Helprin served in the Israeli infantry and two of his stories use this experience to depict the realities of combat and a soldier s return to civilian life In North Light the first person narrator is an Israeli soldier who is waiting to enter battle presumably the Syrian front during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 He says this of his fellow soldiers It is not the cautious who die but the overcautious The married men are trying to strike an exact balance between their responsibilities as soldiers their fervent desire to stay alive and their only hope which is to go into battle with the smooth courageous trancelike movements that will keep them out of trouble Soldiers who do not know how like dancers or mountain climbers to let their bodies think for them are very liable to be killed The story ends as the half tracks on a ridge carry the soldiers into the battle Ellis Island is a funny comic opera about a Jewish writer from Eastern Europe immigrating to the United States It first appeared in The New Yorker On a ship in the North Atlantic the unnamed first person narrator survives a great storm In January when the sea is cold and dark crossing the Atlantic is for the brave Seen from land during the day the ocean is forbidding but it is nearly unimaginable at night in a storm far north where the ice tumbles down gray wave troughs like tons of shattered glass He makes it through a Kafkaesue labyrinth of customs interviews medical examinations and various misadventures at foggy snow laden Ellis Island Finally he can leave to start a life in New York City with only pennies in his pocket His description of taking a ferry from Ellis Island to Manhattan is memorable We broke through the fog at a tremendous speed and came upon open water where we saw a golden city rising before us The reflecting windows of a thousand buildings were a leafy bronze color that crawled slowly upward across the gleaming facades At the center of this was a searing disc of yellow white fire captured from aloft In the New World I discovered faithful images of the sun were held up to it in an elaborate and extraordinary mirror and we having been told of such things as the Pyramids the Hanging Gardens and the Colossus of Rhodes had never been informed of this wonder This title story is truly a funny tall tale that for me went on just a little too long it s almost 70 pages and veered from what I would call believable absurdity to the realm of the unbelievable The story that most intrigued me most was The Schreuderspitze originally published in The New Yorker in 1977 It is a story that perhaps Thomas Mann might have written rich in symbolism blurring the boundary between reality and dreams A depressed Munich photographer Wallich who losing his wife and son in an auto accident disappears from his friends and fellow photographers He surreptitiously takes a train to a small town in the Alps in southern Germany in late autumn and inexplicably decides to train to be a mountain climber There are many eye catching sentences including the opening paragraph In Munich are many men who look like weasels Whether by genetic accidents meticulous crossbreeding an early and puzzling migration coincidence or a reason that we do not know they exist in great numbers Remarkably they accentuate this unfortunate tendency by wearing mustaches Alpine hats and tweed A man who resembles a rodent should never wear tweed Alone for several months in a mountain cabin Wallich breaks down and buys a large and heavy Telefunken radio console He listens to Beethoven s Violin Concerto on a Berlin radio station The music traveled effortlessly on anarchic beams passed high over the plains passed high the forests seeding them plentifully and came upon the Alps waves which finally strike the shore after thousands of miles in open sea It charged upward mating with the electric storm separating and delivering Wallich buys rope and other euipment and gets himself into shape to climb the famous Schreuderspitze but how he makes the ascent to the summit is not what you might think Helprin who was only in his early 30s when he wrote these stories brings readers on a fascinating journey around the world Those who like travelogues and fictional journeys through history with imaginative descriptive writing should find this collection enjoyable

Read Ellis Island and Other Stories

Ellis Island and Other Stories

Are closely unified in their beauty and in their concern with enduring and universal uestio. This collection includes two memorable stories The Schreuderspitze and A Vermont Tale a few good ones and a number that are at least to this reader totally obscure Mark Helprin is clearly a most gifted and versatile writer but Hemingway esue he isn t Ellis Island and Other Stories will appeal to connoisseurs of literary style and descriptive passages than to those whose tastes run to the direct and spare

characters Ç PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ✓ Mark Helprin

Le novella Ellis Island exhibit tremendous range and versatility of style and techniue yet. It s hard to see even the genuine achievement of the overpraised Helprin does deserve praise for his ambition if not always his accomplishment He s too often straining for effect often even spoiling the effect he s after in his anxiousness to demonstrate to the reader his complex understanding of the scene he s created uite ofen his exposition is ungainly and brings the whole forward motion of the narrative to a leaden stop Nobody should be remembered for their worst work but since I seem to be almost alone in my dissatisfaction here is a paragraph from the story A Room of Frail Dancers He remembered that he had not eaten since there had been an endlessly high black sky wounded by the scattered broken points of stars The lamb was good with a salad a slice of lemon and a cold soda When he left the restaurant he passed the whores again dark of skin and painted in sharp angles with the deep colors of the Middle East colors which lasted through the heat of the day as if fished from cool earthen urns The line of one girl s eyebrows traveled so far down her cheeks that she looked like a Kabuki actor

10 thoughts on “Ellis Island and Other Stories

  1. says:

    Helprin is my favorite living author I've written glowingly of his work numerous times and the only thing keeping me from doing so again is I can't think of enough superlatives His stories are masterpieces of subtlety and

  2. says:

    As usual with a story collection some were better than others I loved the long comic title story and another about a grieving man who pursues mountain climbing in the Alps I'll never look at bees the same way after reading

  3. says:

    Until I bought a used copy of “Ellis Island and Other Stories” from our local bookstore I hadn’t known of Mark Helprin But I was rewarde

  4. says:

    It's hard to see even the genuine achievement of the overpraised Helprin does deserve praise for his ambition if not always his accomplishment He's too often straining for effect often even spoiling the effect he's after in his anxiousness to demonstrate to the reader his complex understanding of the scene he's

  5. says:

    I was looking forward to this collection and finally reading Mr Helprin It started out very good but with each passing story i got very tired of his style I found it stilted cold and drowning in the weight of simile After pages and pages of forced comparisons i wanted to shout DONT TELL ME WHAT ITS LIKETELL ME WHAT IT IS Reading Helprin was like reading a how to write descriptively undergrad textbook Technically all the elements were there

  6. says:

    The only story I remember is the one of the overprepared mountain climber with shades of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner Easily a 4 or better in its own right am deducting a star just from the one story for Helprin's Republican service Star power

  7. says:

    What an exceptional book of short stories I just finished The Stories of John Cheevers just before this and thought it was one of the finest short story books I've read but this is even better Every story was incredible but my favorit

  8. says:

    This collection includes two memorable stories “The “Schreuderspitze”and “A Vermont Tale”a few good ones and a number that are at l

  9. says:

    Mark Helprin's writing is most evocative and moving for me when he writes about weather Perhaps it's because I fi

  10. says:

    Loved the visual imagery created by these stories Some of the stories were like self contained and visually evocative scenes than narrative driven tales but at their best they are both They have a good spirit too

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