Winter’s Tale (Book + Movie review)

The book was probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever read or ever will read. I found that Winter’s Tale is a book not trying to tell a story, but instead convey a message; The world is completely predictable as it is absolutely unpredictable. I know that’s not the only message in there, but it’s the one I like the most.
This was the most complex book that I have ever read and I know that no other book will compare to it.
If I were to describe this book in a few simple words I would describe it like this: Cloud Atlas and John Dies at the End had a baby, but then Cloud Atlas got a divorce and remarried to A Hundred Years of Solitude.
While the story it self seems simple;
“New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake, orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter Lake, a middle-aged Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young girl, who is dying. Peter Lake, a simple, uneducated man, because of a love that, at first he does not fully understand, is driven to stop time and bring back the dead. His great struggle, in a city ever alight with its own energy and besieged by unprecedented winters, is one of the most beautiful and extraordinary stories of American literature.”
That summary literally only covers two-hundred pages of the novel out of around 800.

The Table of Contents

The Table of Contents

Peter Lake and Beverly are only together in three Chapters, they meet in “A Goddess in the Bath” and then they’re together in “Lake of Coheeries,” but in “Aceldama” they both die (sort of).

The rest of the chapters are about the different characters, Virginia Gamely, Hardesty Marratta, Asbury, Christiana, Harry Penn, Craig Binky, the Ermine Mayor, Cecil Mature, Praeger. This book is filled to the brim with different stories and lives that to say it’s about Peter Lake and Beverly would be completely and utterly wrong. There’s so much more than a simple love story here- there’s a mayor election, a bridge being built, a great fire. All of these are crucial bits that make up the overall tale.
While the book can be confusing and very very round about it eventually gets to its point and what a stunning point it is.
I had my sister read one chapter, “Nothing is Random” and she said it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever read.
I rate the book 5/5, this is a book everyone needs to read once in their life time.

The movie, though, is a completely different story and I mean that literally. As I was predicting they took all of the characters out and rewrote the story so nothing but its bones were left.
Even though it was a good movie I was sorely disappointed by it. They changed everything about it, even the small simple things that were vitally important in the book.
The first thing that they changed that really pissed me off (it was really the only thing) was that they said that the stars were people who had died. When Beverly narrated that on the screen I nearly threw a hissy fit and that was in the first two minutes. They kept a lot of other things that made me happy, though, Peter running from the Short Tails, his meeting with Isaac Penn… and that’s about all they kept the same.
The angels and demon fight, didn’t bode over well with me. In the book it’s hinted that Athansor and Jackson Mead are angels, as is Cecil and MootFowl, but in the book the magic is very subtle and not mentioned by anyone. I liked that Athansor had wings, but again it’s suppose to be subtle not displayed like they’re all in a giant circus.
In the movie, however, they did make a few passes at things that happened in the book. Peter mentions that he used to live with two girls when he was little and would sing and dance for money and it was really small things like that that made me happy.
The movie was a great movie, but it wasn’t the book and if that’s what the book fans want they are going to be a little more than frustrated.
I rate the movie 3/5
My advice for anyone and everyone is to watch the movie first and then read the book. You’ll get a basic introduction into the story and won’t be disappointed like I was if you read the book first.

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