Refiner's Fire
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Refiner's Fire

3.98 (980 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"As if "The Odyssey" had been updated and rewritten by Dylan Thomas" ( "The Listener, " London), "Refiner's Fire" is the story of Marshall Pearl, orphaned at birth aboard an illegal immigrant ship off the coast of Palestine in 1947 and brought as an infant into the "ardent unlimitedness" of America. Determined to see the world in its beauty, ferocity, and ultimate justice, he does so, in scenes of gorgeous color and great excitement, as a child in the Hudson Valley, fighting the Rastafarians in Jamaica, at Harvard, in a slaughterhouse on the Great Plains, in the Mexican desert, on the sea, and in the Alps. Finally, he is drawn to Israel to confront the logic of his birth in a crucible of war, magic, suffering, and grace. At the opening of the book, he is one of the dying wounded being transported to Haifa during the 1973 War. We follow him as he dreams, reconstructing his life, until by the strength of what he has learned, suffered, and hoped, Marshall Pearl rises.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 543 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.34g
  • United States
  • English
  • Reissue
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156031078
  • 9780156031073
  • 620,657

Back cover copy

"That best of all possible novels: read ten pages and you can't put it down; finish it and you'll feel it haunt your days and nights." - The San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
Refiner's Fire is the story of Marshall Pearl, orphaned at birth aboard an illegal immigrant ship off the coast of Palestine in 1947 and brought as an infant into the "ardent unlimitedness" of America. Determined to see the world in its beauty, ferocity, and ultimate justice, he does so, in scenes of gorgeous color and great excitement, as a child in the Hudson Valley, fighting Rastifarians in Jamaica, at Harvard, in a slaughterhouse on the Great Plains, in the Mexican desert, on the sea, and in the Alps. Finally he is drawn to Israel to confront the logic of his birth, in a crucible of war, magic, suffering, and grace. At the opening of the book, he is one of the dying wounded being transported to Haifa during the 1973 war. We follow him as he dreams, reconstructing his life, until, by the strength of what he has learned, suffered, and hoped, Marshall Pearl rises.
"Every once in a while a book appears that engulfs you in its limitless beauty. This is such a book. Helprin's use of language and imagery is an ineffable joy." - The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Refiner's Fire is an experience, like being shot out of a cannon - exhilarating, extravagant, vertiginous." - The Boston Globe
Educated at Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford, Mark Helprin served in the Israeli army, Israeli Air Force, and British Merchant Navy. He is the author of, among other titles, Refiner's Fire, Ellis Island and Other Stories, Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Memoir from Antproof Case, The Pacific and Other Stories, and Freddy and Fredericka.
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Rating details

980 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 31% (304)
4 42% (410)
3 22% (220)
2 4% (36)
1 1% (10)
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