Winter's Tale (my full review here) is a story of love, larceny and flying horses during New York's Belle Epoque (Just after the turn of the 20th century). It is a tale of criminal gangs, indigenous marsh-dwelling tribes, rainbow bridges and immortal architects. It is a story of love, beauty and justice conveyed across 748 pages of meticulously-wrought, poetic language for which the forthcoming film version will be a poor substitute, no matter how good it is. Do yourself a favor and read Winter's Tale before you see the movie.
Mark Helprin is one of my favorite authors, and this book and A Soldier of the Great War are two of my favorite books. Ever.