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A Sport and a Pastime: A Novel

by

A Sport and a Pastime: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780374530501
ISBN10: 0374530505
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"As nearly perfect as any American fiction I know," is how Reynolds Price (The New York Times) described this classic that has been a favorite of readers, both here and in Europe, for almost forty years.

Set in provincial France in the 1960s, it is the intensely carnal story — part shocking reality, part feverish dream — of a love affair between a footloose Yale dropout and a young French girl. There is the seen and the unseen — and pages that burn with a rare intensity.

Review:

"Salter inhabits the same rarefied heights as Flannery O'Connor, Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams, and John Cheever." The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"A feverishly compressed, exquisitely controlled story." Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times

Review:

"A tour de force of erotic realism, a romantic cliff-hanger; an opaline vision of Americans in France....A Sport and a Pastime succeeds as art must. It tells us about ourselves." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Salter particularly rewards those for whom reading is an intense pleasure." Susan Sontag

Review:

"The encounters of Dean and Anne-Marie seem not to require reading but sensing, as if the touch of the eye were almost too much for reality. And when at last the dream breaks, it is not with a shatter but a silent splintering of crystal fragments." Time

Synopsis:

"As nearly perfect as any American fiction I know," is how Reynolds Price (The New York Times) described this classic that has been a favorite of readers, both here and in Europe, for almost forty years. Set in provincial France in the 1960s, it is the intensely carnal story--part shocking reality, part feverish dream --of a love affair between a footloose Yale dropout and a young French girl. There is the seen and the unseen--and pages that burn with a rare intensity.

About the Author

James Salter was born in New Jersey in 1926 and is the author of The Hunters, The Arm of Flesh, Solo Faces, Light Years, Dusk and Other Stories, and a memoir, Burning the Days. He lives in Aspen, Colorado, and Long Island, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

SMOak, July 27, 2015 (view all comments by SMOak)
I checked out A Sport and a Pastime shortly after reading the obit for James Salter in the NY Times. I was hooked by the first chapter, where Salter's description of a simple train ride in the French provinces blew me away. His writing has that type of visceral power. If you know anything about this novel, you might have heard that its frank depiction of sex was scandalous when it came out in 1967. It is not, however, a highbrow Fifty Shades. If anything, the desperate coupling of the protagonist and his young French lover brought to mind for me the first two of the Buddha's Four Noble Truth's--all phenomena and experiences are dissatisfying and that dissatisfaction results from our clinging to what is pleasurable and our aversion to what is not. Don't worry, though, Salter doesn't teach the path to enlightenment. He just plunges you into the ecstasy and misery of being alive.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
lukas, May 27, 2015 (view all comments by lukas)
"The more clearly one sees this world, the more one is obliged to pretend it does not exist."
Released in 1967, James Salter's "A Sport and a Pastime," which has become something of a cult novel, doesn't seem to fit in with the Summer of Love ethos of its time. While it partakes of some of the boho free-spiritedness of the Beats and Henry Miller's raw sexuality, it also is a more crafted, poignant work in which the sex and the freedom aspects are tinged with a Fitzgerald-like melancholy. The story is simple: an American college dropout has an intense, passionate affair with a French girl. The book doesn't even run 200 pages and I think benefits from being read in a single day. Will appeal to fans of Cheever, Richard Yates, and Fred Exley. Reynolds Price, in the introduction, called it "as nearly perfect as any American fiction I know." The title comes from the Koran: "Remember that the life of this world is but a sport and a pastime. . ."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
lukas, May 27, 2015 (view all comments by lukas)
"The more clearly one sees this world, the more one is obliged to pretend it does not exist."
Released in 1967, James Salter's "A Sport and a Pastime," which has become something of a cult novel, doesn't seem to fit in with the Summer of Love ethos of its time. While it partakes of some of the boho free-spiritedness of the Beats and Henry Miller's raw sexuality, it also is a more crafted, poignant work in which the sex and the freedom aspects are tinged with a Fitzgerald-like melancholy. The story is simple: an American college dropout has an intense, passionate affair with a French girl. The book doesn't even run 200 pages and I think benefits from being read in a single day. Will appeal to fans of Cheever, Richard Yates, and Fred Exley. Reynolds Price, in the introduction, called it "as nearly perfect as any American fiction I know." The title comes from the Koran: "Remember that the life of this world is but a sport and a pastime. . ."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374530501
Author:
Salter, James
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Introduction by:
Price, Reynolds
Introduction:
Price, Reynolds
Author:
Price, Reynolds
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
France
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Americans -- France.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20060831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
200
Dimensions:
8.29 x 5.48 x 0.54 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » General

A Sport and a Pastime: A Novel Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 200 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374530501 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Salter inhabits the same rarefied heights as Flannery O'Connor, Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams, and John Cheever."
"Review" by , "A feverishly compressed, exquisitely controlled story."
"Review" by , "A tour de force of erotic realism, a romantic cliff-hanger; an opaline vision of Americans in France....A Sport and a Pastime succeeds as art must. It tells us about ourselves."
"Review" by , "Salter particularly rewards those for whom reading is an intense pleasure."
"Review" by , "The encounters of Dean and Anne-Marie seem not to require reading but sensing, as if the touch of the eye were almost too much for reality. And when at last the dream breaks, it is not with a shatter but a silent splintering of crystal fragments."
"Synopsis" by ,
"As nearly perfect as any American fiction I know," is how Reynolds Price (The New York Times) described this classic that has been a favorite of readers, both here and in Europe, for almost forty years. Set in provincial France in the 1960s, it is the intensely carnal story--part shocking reality, part feverish dream --of a love affair between a footloose Yale dropout and a young French girl. There is the seen and the unseen--and pages that burn with a rare intensity.

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