Magazine October 30, 2017, Issue

A Fable from a Master

Paris in the Present Tense, by Mark Helprin (Overlook, 400 pp., $28.95)

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 choice of Paris as a setting, and French men and women as protagonists, tends toward fable. Descriptions in the freshest of prose of the Seine with the Île aux Cygnes and

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




Price Controls for Health Care? In “The Price Is Right” (October 16), Peter Laakmann gives much-needed insight into why per capita spending on health care in the U.S., although higher than ...
The Week

The Week

‐ Who do you think has a higher IQ — Trump, or someone who chose to work for Trump? ‐ President Trump picked a fight with Senator Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), ...