As Max Saw it
Two men are classmates and friends at Harvard, though never all that close: Max, a brilliant student with a touch of the aesthete's affectations about him, and Charlie, some years older, having served in the Korean War. As Max sees it, Charlie excels in a single scull, soaks up martinis, and enjoys the favors of a particularly glamorous Radcliffe girl. Twenty years later, not having seen each other since college, the two men meet unexpectedly as guests at a villa on the shore of Lake Como. Max is now a law professor, circumspect and slightly sorry for himself - a man to whom relationships do not stick. Charlie has become a celebrated architect, the most successful member of their class. Beautiful when a young man, he has ripened into a foul-mouthed, golden-tongued giant: a demigod and a bully. In his imperious way, he proclaims that Max will henceforth be one of his chosen intimates. Charlie is right. Max's life becomes increasingly intertwined with Charlie's, and with that of Toby, Charlie's adolescent companion. When Toby is stricken by a devastating illness, Charlie performs an act of coolly calculated self-sacrifice, the only gesture he thinks will make a difference. Max bears witness, and learns a lesson that may at last complete his sentimental education. With all the force and elegance of his earlier work, Louis Begley's masterful new novel tells a gripping story of friendship and mortality.
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As Max saw itUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Like Begley's second novel, The Man Who Was Late (LJ 12/92), this new work features a privleged outsider. Max is a Harvard graduate currently teaching at the law school, but he doesn't have the ease ... Read full review
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