The 1960s. Philip Dean, a footloose Yale dropout, is touring provincial France and sometimes Paris in a borrowed, once elegant car. He begins a ...Show synopsisThe 1960s. Philip Dean, a footloose Yale dropout, is touring provincial France and sometimes Paris in a borrowed, once elegant car. He begins a mismatched affair with a young shop girl named Anne-Marie. Together they burn in an everyday but stunningly sensual paradise. A Sport and A Pastime established James Salter's reputation as one of the finest writers of our time. It is remarkable for its eroticism, its luminous prose and its ability to explore the boundaries between what is dreamt and what is lived, between body and soul.Hide synopsis
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this novel echoes the best of ernest hemingway and henry miller without imitating either. it also creates an erotic fantasy that seems absolutely rooted in the minutae of ordinary relationships. but these are lesser qualities compared to what a sport and a pastime does to celebrate provincial france. that is where the real love story exists, within the quiet french countryside that salter evokes with a closely observed reverence for delail that utterly separates his geography from the rest of the world. i honestly don't know another piece of fiction that does this so beautifully and effortlessly, making salter's jewel a work with nothing quite like it.
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