A Sport and a Pastime

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Modern Library, 1995 - Fiction - 180 pages
9 Reviews
"A Sport and a Pastime is as nearly perfect as any American fiction I know," Reynolds Price wrote of James Salter's 1967 novel that tells of the mismatched love affair between Phillip Dean, a Yale dropout adrift in Europe, and Anne-Marie Costallat, a young French shopgirl. An erotic tour de force, licentious yet pure, it is also a hymn to provincial France and has been admired and quoted from since its first publication. Its stunning knowledge and insight have the power to change lives. It brings a kind of splendor to the life that refuses to bow to conven- tion or mores, and, like Cavafy's poems, evokes the illicit in a way that endows it with an astonishing beauty. Brilliantly written and overwhelming in its effect, it remains a triumph on every level.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Paulagraph - LibraryThing

I rarely abandon a book, but Salter's novel, albeit stylistically elegant, is simply boring. He can write perfect sentences. I'll grant him that. But the novel itself doesn't add up to anything I need ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - alienhard - LibraryThing

Short, choppy sentences which at first seemed interesting, eventually grew tiresome. Plus more racist language. What is it with these white literary types? Sick of all the n-bombs. I gave up after 50 pages. Read full review

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About the author (1995)

James Arnold Horowitz (June 10, 1925 - June 19, 2015), better known as James Salter, his pen name and later-adopted legal name, was an American novelist and short-story writer. Originally a career officer and pilot in the United States Air Force, he resigned from the military in 1957 following the successful publication of his first novel, The Hunters. Salter published a collection of short stories, Dusk and Other Stories in 1988. The collection received the PEN/Faulkner Award, and one of its stories ("Twenty Minutes") became the basis for the 1996 film, Boys. He was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2000. In 2012, PEN/Faulkner Foundation selected him for the 25th PEN/Malamud Award. Salter Died on June 19, 2015. He was 90.

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