By James Salter

"As approximately excellent as any American fiction I know," is how Reynolds rate (The long island Times) defined this vintage that has been a favourite of readers, either right here and in Europe, for nearly 40 years. Set in provincial France within the Nineteen Sixties, it's the intensely carnal story--part surprising truth, half feverish dream --of a love affair among a footloose Yale dropout and a tender French woman. there's the noticeable and the unseen--and pages that burn with an extraordinary intensity.

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Additional resources for A Sport and a Pastime: A Novel

Example text

In the following nightmarish days I read the papers, listened to the radio, and lived in fear. It didn’t take long: Zeynep had been found in her house, dead. She was charred. I wrote to the district attorney again. I pointed out the similarity between the ways and the dates upon which Zeynep and Xenia had died. I argued that Nigel was seeking revenge and therefore punishing the people I loved in the same way that I had killed Xenia. Two weeks later the district attorney came to see me and reported that Nigel couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with this crime; he had proven that he was performing on stage at the time of the murder.

Her way of groping me, ignoring her boyfriend who stood with his back to us, planting a kiss on my lips before taking the stage, winking at me mischievously while sitting at a crowded table, well within her boyfriend’s field of vision, caressing my legs under the table sometimes … perhaps these and other dangerous games were expressions of the character traits her early Hollywood femme-fatale looks implied; but I was never as aggressive and courageous in keeping up with her as the men in those films.

At that moment, the young man felt certain this was all just one big nightmare. His knuckles were visibly white, even in the dim light. Truth of the matter was, though, this was only the beginning—he had no idea what was in store for him. The car obediently cruised forward toward their destination. The young man turned and stopped in front of Bebek Park. Just like every evening, the Bebek meatball vendor was setting up his stand in his white minivan, in spite of the contrary weather. Cavidan Hanım took advantage of their time in stalled traffic to look around, and she did so with gusto.

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