How would you like a good read for the holidays? Something that you could pick up now and then and get lost in? Something that actually has some substance to it but is not heavy labor?
If you would, then give some consideration to Mark Helprin’s book of short stories: The Pacific. The book, like Helprin’s life, is wide ranging and filled with . . . well, filled with life. Helprin is the only guy I know of who served as a soldier in both the British and the Israeli military and his writing is a product of a profound understanding of the world, its history and the people who experience and create that history.
So many of the stories in this book are love stories. There is love at first sight, vividly and convincingly portrayed. There are stories of devout soldiers. Some who gave their lives on battlefields, others who carry their wartime consciousness heroically into domestic life. There are stories of bounteous charity and great reward; the kind that is of good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.
There are stories of quiet, civic heroes and stories of baseball stars. Helprin handles them all with profound understanding. You’ll get to know people here that you’ll be glad you met.
I got my used copy for fifty cents. You can’t go wrong here. You’ll come away from every story surprised and satisfied.