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Paris in the Present Tense: A Novel Hardcover – October 3, 2017

4.5 out of 5 stars 354 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Paris in the Present Tense is a novel about love, and therefore about loss. . . . an intensely lyrical voice that both heightens and deepens every sentence, at times attaining a kind of Joycean beauty . . . Part of this force comes from the images that fly off Helprin's sentences like glitter from a sparkler . . . His Paris does exist in the present tense, irresistibly, undeniably real and alive, as though summoned by its creator rather than imagined. In this, the novel performs perfectly the function of literature, which is not to escape the world but to enter more completely into it.”
- The New York Times

“In most of the novels written in the United States since World War II, we find characters who have little or nothing to believe in . . . Mark Helprin is one of the rare writers for whom this is not the case . . . His books are romances in the chivalric mold, in which beauty, love and bravery possess a greater reality than the characters dedicated to honoring them. This is true again in his enchanting new novel, Paris in the Present Tense . . . This passionate and uplifting book produces a kind of music that few living writers know how to create.”
- Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

Paris in the Present Tense is a twilight novel, and its love affair, essential to any Helprin work, is a complex one, haunted by time . . . Helprin, author of the indelible Winter’s Tale and A Soldier of the Great War, has always been most comfortable in the epic mode, retaining a classicist’s eye for beauty while preserving enough of the contemporary world to speak to the present. His prose has an aching beauty.”
- Saul Austerlitz, The Boston Globe

“Haunting . . . extraordinary.”
- PEOPLE (A "PEOPLE picks" book)

“This is a very ambitious novel, to be read at many levels and thought about for a long time. Mark Helprin is his own master, telling a story that is in part a thriller and in part a reflection on the way of the world, its rights and its wrongs. In intention, he is closer to Victor Hugo or Alexandre Dumas than to any contemporary novelist I know of . . . The words most appropriate for this novel happen to come from French: It is a tour de force.”
- David Pryce-Jones, National Review

“On one level, Paris in the Present Tense is a caper, like The Sting, in which Jules comes up with an intricate and clever way to make his death pay off, quite literally. It’s also a bit of a romance, as he falls instantly and hopelessly in love (despite his devotion to Jacqueline) with a student named Élodi who is half-a-century his junior. Helprin’s style, however, elevates the story with sumptuous descriptions and complex characters whose conversations sometimes become analyses of such issues as anti-Semitism or meditations on the nature of music, time and love.”
- Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times

“A modern-day story of love, music, and death . . . A masterpiece filled with compassion and humanity. Perfect for the pure pleasure of reading.”
- Kirkus, starred review

“The fluidity of Helprin’s prose . . . makes this novel of ideas so utterly captivating.”
- Booklist, starred review

“Mark Helprin is a fabulous writer of the sort that makes you want to capitalize the word, a justly acclaimed master . . . Helprin holds the reader’s attention, directing it to things we see but ignore and to the inner life of the mind . . . entrancing.”
- Neal Gendler, The American Jewish World

“In Mark Helprin’s newest novel, Paris in the Present Tense, yesterday is never far from today . . . In his singing prose, unique characters and a story that is both heartbreaking and inspiring, Helprin has given readers a thoughtful gift.”
- The Emporia Gazette

About the Author

Mark Helprin is the acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Winter’s Tale, In Sunlight and in Shadow, A Soldier of the Great War, Freddy and Fredericka, The Pacific, Ellis Island, Memoir from Antproof Case, and numerous other works. His novels are translated into more than twenty languages and read around the world. He lives in Virginia.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.4 pounds
  • Hardcover : 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1468314769
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1468314762
  • Dimensions : 6.6 x 1.25 x 9.3 inches
  • Publisher : Harry N. Abrams; 1st edition (October 3, 2017)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 354 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
354 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 15, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 29, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on April 28, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

DeeJayH
5.0 out of 5 stars Death, love and music
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 2, 2018
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paul lumsden
5.0 out of 5 stars Paris minus the Parisians = Heaven.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 3, 2018
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Denis C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 6, 2018
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rotmanpr
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, without question. Helprin at his best.
Reviewed in Canada on April 28, 2018
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2 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece.
Reviewed in Canada on February 20, 2018
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