From Mark Helprin, acclaimed author of A Soldier of the Great War and A Winter's Tale, comes a miraculous song of the twentieth century. In a mountain garden in Brazil, an old American is writing his memoirs, placing the pages carefully in his antproof case. As he reminisces we learn he was a World War II ace who was shot down twice, an investment banker who met with popes and presidents, a multimillionaire, a man who was never not in love. He spent his adolescence in an insane asylum in Switzerland; he was the thief of the century, a murderer, and a protector of the innocent. And all his life, he waged a valiant, losing, one-man battle against the world's most insidious enslaver: coffee.