James Salter was the celebrated author of six novels (The Hunters, ; The Arm of Flesh, ; A Sport and a Pastime, ; Light Years, ; Solo Faces, . A Sport and A Pastime is a seductive classic that established James Salter’s reputation as one of the finest writers of our time. It is remarkable for its eroticism, . The astonishing novel and “tour de force” about a love affair in postwar France from the iconic author of All That Is (The New York Times Book Review).

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Eleven pages into A Sport and a Pastime, the unnamed narrator throws us a curveball: And sad, sad, sad. It is told by an unnamed narrator. It has the feel, evoked by the setting and the elegant bluntness of the prose, of something written by Fitzgerald or Hemingway. First of all, this star system aggrieves me. And it’s such a wise book.

A Sport and a Pastime

Inflatable Foot Darts mix of darts and football will have you reeling in excitement. I’m not going to lie, it’s a strange little book. Even now, long afterwards, I cannot destroy the images. The great, central square: Philip DeanAnne-Marie.

Jun 25, Steven Godin rated it liked it Shelves: That’s kind of the hook of the novel; the way in which we construct stories, spory on scant information. The novel operates, in a sense, as jakes reverse The Great Gatsby: He knows there can be such a thing, but like to answer to a difficult problem, he cannot imagine it. Since this showed up on a list devoted to books for men, and since I am all man, I wondered briefly at my tepid response. His friends, Cristina and Billy Wheatland, have a house there which is seldom use and he takes advantage of their offer to move into it.

The biggest part of the novel develops as a double roadtrip: A few years ago Esquire published a list of 80 books every man should read that was so hilariously penis-centric that even they admitted it. I just didn’t feel the connection between Dean and his nineteen-year-old French lover, Anne-Marie. Pages to import images to Wikidata All stub articles.

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pstime Open Road on your Kindle in under a minute. Chapters 13 – They are dead ends, ending up with the author walking home alone while the women move on to the next guy. Certainly the narrator is our registrar — without him nothing of the relationship is notarised; nothing can really exist.

I did not speak much French at the time, but little language skill is required to translate the overt and less than maternal exasperations of an overly irate French woman. There is a remorselessness and a callousness to the way Dean makes love to Anne-Marie, not because Salter is a misogynist or because he wants to glorify the male saltre fantasy, but because we know Dean still does not know how to fully navigate the currents he finds himself swimming against. Salter gets to have his cake and butt-fuck it, too.

The sex scenes are not graphic enough to arouse any prurient interest, and they seem tame in comparison with lurid passages that can be found in any number of books penned by contemporary writers. The most notable thing about A Sport and a Pastime is how Salter chooses to tell his tale.

A Sport and a Pastime Summary & Study Guide

She is youth, if not innocence. This novel feels dated in its subject matter, and is beset with passages of casual racism and sexual imperialism that are repugnant to me. They curve in behind and mould it… The sheep move in a current, like a stream – the edges cling, the center continually flows. I say the main character has made it all up, that Phillip Dean doesn’t even exist, but maybe I’m an unreliable reader.

We forget that love is not the celebration of our ideals but the acceptance of our failures. It’s also a very sexy novel. Anne-Marie and Dean’s emotional progression is mirrored by their progression through various sexual acts—first coitus, then oral sex, then, marking the peak of their emotional intimacy, anal sex.


James Salter: A Sport and a Pastime (Video ) – IMDb

They do not last forever. He promises the narrator that he will return to Autun and, contradictorily, he promises Anne-Marie that he will fly her out to America.

So the good news is, Salter can really write. That is one of several unsettling mysteries.

A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter

The two lovers have completely different attitudes towards the relationship. How compulsive pastim how fascinating. Thus, he savors each moment realizing that they are being led inevitably to a messy end. I do not know what to say except that it was very well done. The lies would be revealing. Their power differential is stark and paves the course for the obsession.

Already he seems to be outliving them. You have your poor childhood, postcards from the boys in St. The book then, becomes not just a practice in erotica, but actually a dark account of what envy and solitude can do to a person: It’s narrated by Dean’s friend, and the relationship between the narrator is Dean is reminiscent of the dynamic between Nick and Gatsby in The Great Gatsby.

They should not be important, perhaps, but they often become so real, so ready to take control of her, these plain qualities hidden by the brilliance of a language and life the taste of which he has only just begun to grasp. Material, craft, and affect: There is more to this book than just enticing sex. When he feels her jerking on the first stroke, obviously that must be pleasure, according to him.

Trivia About A Sport and a Pas They are deep in a sumptuous dream in which they have discovered one another.